Founded on June 18, 1964, the ISREC Foundation is a private non-profit foundation.

The ISREC Foundation was created on June 18, 1964, under the impetus of its president, Rodolphe Stadler, and its director and co-founder, Prof. Henri Isliker. Its first activity was the establishment of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), run by Prof. Isliker.  

Over the past sixty years, more than 150 personalities from Switzerland and abroad, including five Nobel Prize winners, have sat on the Foundation Council or the Scientific Board of the ISREC Foundation.

The institute has participated in significant research projects and discoveries, notably in the areas of mutagenesis, genome instability and repair, immunology, the cell cycle, cell biology, tumor virology, oncogenes, cell differentiation and bioinformatics.

The work accomplished by the scientists supported by the Foundation contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cancer and to identifying new therapeutic targets in diseases.

Since 2008, the ISREC consists of two distinct and independent entities:

L’ISREC@EPFL – the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, incorporated in the EPFL School of Life Sciences.

The ISREC Foundation, an accredited organization of public interest, supervised by the federal government.

The ISREC Foundation in 15 key dates

1924 – Establishment of the “Centre Anticancéreux Romand (CACR)” in Lausanne. The center, co-founded by Profs. Alfred Rosselet et Alfred de Coulon, was involved both in research and in treatment.

1957 – The CACR dedicates itself exclusively to scientific research. Other closely associated aspects such as medical-social work or prevention are outsourced to the cantonal organizations.

June 18, 1964 – Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Rodolphe Stadler (Chairman since 1951) and the remarkable solidarity of the German Swiss with their French Swiss compatriots, ISREC is officially established as a Swiss foundation in the “Rue du Bugnon” building.

1964 – The institute has 48 employees. Its director and co-founder is Prof. Henri Isliker.

1972 – The National Councilor Jean-Jacques Cevey is elected Chairman of the Foundation and works to consolidate the financial basis of the Institute and, with the help of the Confederation, the state of Vaud, the Swiss Cancer League and the “Romande” Lottery, to acquire a research building in Epalinges which meets the needs of the institute.

1973 – Thanks to collaborations between the ISREC and the Institute of Biochemistry, the WHO and the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute, a critical mass of more than 150 scientists is reached. The space available in the laboratory building at the “Rue du Bugnon” rapidly becomes totally insufficient.

1976 – Inauguration of the new building in the presence of the Federal Councilor H. Hürlimann.

1978 – After 18 years devoted first to CACR and then to ISREC, the founding director of ISREC, Prof. Henri Isliker, resigns. The torch is taken up by Prof. Bernhard Hirt, who also directs the ISREC during 18 years.

1994 – Professor Georges Muller is elected president.

1996 – Prof. Michel Aguet is the new director. In addition to basic research, his policy is to promote collaborations with clinical and applied research groups.

2001 – The ISREC is appointed “leading house” of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in the field of molecular oncology. This project also supports its partner institutions, the Ludwig Institute and the Institute of Biochemistry, and creates an opportunity to bridge the existing gap between fundamental and clinical research.

2005 – Mr. Yves J. Paternot is elected president. 

2008 – Integration of the ISREC research groups into the EPFL – School of Life Sciences.

2018 – Inauguration of the AGORA – Pôle de recherche sur le cancer. Initiated in 2013 by the ISREC Foundation, this center is the result of a partnership between the CHUV, the UNIL, the EPFL, the LICR, the HUG and the UNIGE. Under one roof, physicians, biologists, geneticists, immunologists, bioinformaticians and bioengineers join forces to address the numerous challenges posed by this disease, so as to develop and implement novel therapeutic approaches for patients.

Today – The ISREC Foundation is committed on a daily basis to supporting projects with a broad diagnostic and therapeutic potential for innovations in cancer research.

ISREC Foundation

Rue du Bugnon 25A
CH-1005 Lausanne / Suisse
CCP 10-3224-9

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+41 21 653 07 16