Michael Hengartner     

Swiss / Canadian

ETH Board


Michael Hengartner, a Swiss-Canadian citizen, was born in St. Gallen, Switzerland in 1966 and grew up in Québec City, Canada. He studied biochemistry at the Université Laval in Québec City. After earning his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz, he was head of a research group at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the USA from 1994 to 2001. In 2001, he was appointed professor for molecular biology at the newly created Ernst Hadorn Chair at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich. From 2009 to 2014, he acted as dean of the Faculty of Science and from 2014 to 2020 as rector of the University of Zurich. From 2016 to 2020, he also served as president of swissuniversities.

Michael Hengartner holds an Executive MBA from IMD Lausanne and is the recipient of several awards for his groundbreaking research on the molecular basis of apoptosis, among them the Swiss National Latsis Prize. In 2010 he was awarded the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at UZH and in 2016 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne University in recognition of his research in molecular biology and his services to society.