Public Outreach


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Science Fairs

Coming soon: Scientifica 2023 (Link)

Nacht der Forschung 2022


The NCCR RNA & Disease participated in the Research Night of the University of Bern with the exhibition "Cosmos RNA - The Code of Life". Visitors could discover posters on RNA-related topics, perform various experiments, solve quizzes or try out the game "RNA Eater". One of the highlights was the "Molecular Bar", where visitors could have a drink mixed according to a code/recipe decoded from a translation of the RNA amino acid code. In addition, two people walked through the event as a "ribosome translating an mRNA," gave away Cosmos RNA treats, and drew attention to the Cosmos RNA exhibition. According to estimates by the University of Bern, around 10,000 people visited the Night of Research 2022.

Participating Groups:

  • Sebastian Leidel – University of Bern
  • Oliver Mühlemann – University of Bern
  • Mariusz Nowacki – University of Bern
  • Norbert Polacek – University of Bern
  • André Schneider – University of Bern
  • Volker Thiel – Institute of Immunology and Virology & University of Bern

Conzept & Coordination:

  • Nicole Kleinschmidt - University of Bern

Pictures: Adrian Moser

The NCCR would like to thank the organizers, all NCCR researchers and others who contributed to the exhibition, including Nikon for providing the microscopes. Special thanks go to Nicole Kleinschmidt, the driving force behind the Cosmos RNA exhibition, as well as Noah Kleinschmidt, Marc Landolfo, Sofia Nasif and Karin Schranz.

Scientifica 2021


On September 4 and 5, 2021, the Scientifica - Zurich Science Days took place, where ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich present their research to the public with booths and various event formats. The NCCR RNA & Disease participated for the fourth time at Scientifica with a booth dedicated to the topic "mRNA translation - a key process for mRNA vaccines and SARS-CoV-2".

At the NCCR booth, visitors were able to translate mRNA into the corresponding first 20 amino acids of the SARS-CoV spike protein in the form of a challenge. In addition, they were able to learn more about translation and NCCR research on ribosome inhibition by NSP1 and frameshifting in translation of the SARS-CoV-2 genome through a translation puzzle, a 3D-printed ribosome and NSP1 protein, and a translation puzzle. They were also able to play the RNA Eater game, tour a BSL3 protection suite, explore the Molecool website, and view the film "No Denial" and five short portrait films of NCCR researchers made as part of the NCCRWomen campaign.

You can relive a "guided tour" at the NCCR booth in the Facebook livestream below (in German):

The NCCR would like to thank the organizers and all NCCR researchers and others who contributed to the exhibition.

Nacht der Forschung 2017

The NCCR RNA & Disease conveyed its scientific activities to the public by participating at the "Nacht der Forschung" on September 16th, 2017.

A "Parcours" through the central Dogma - from DNA to RNA to Proteins - and beyond:

At the "Nacht der Forschung" guests could explore the world of RNA by visiting the interactive NCCR RNA & Disease "Parcours". Besides a number of posters and videos illustrating our research, the visitors had the unique opportunity to directly learn from our scientists and to carry out experiments on-site. The Bernese NCCR groups of Rory Johnson, Oliver Mühlemann, Mariusz Nowacki, Norbert Polacek, Marc -David Ruepp, and André Schneider represented the NCCR RNA & Disease with over 50 researchers.

Link to Nacht der Forschung Webpage

Scientifica 2017

This year's edition of the Scientifica - Zurich Science Days, was running under the theme big data and attracted over 30'000 visitors. The NCCR RNA & Disease was present with a booth, at which visitors were taken on a journey to learn about miRNAs, the role of big data for their study and the therapeutic potential of small RNAs.  The NCCR groups of Constance Ciaudo, Helge Grosshans, Jonathan Hall, Markus Stoffel and Mihaela Zavolan contributed to the 2017 participation.

Scientifica 2015

At the Scientifica – Zurich Science Days this year’s topic was "light" and the fair was visited by 25'000 persons. The NCCR RNA & Disease presented a project on developing treatments for the genetic disease Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP). Patients suffering from EPP are very photosensitive such that even short exposures to daylight lead to extremely painful skin reactions. The project aims to develop therapies based on alternative splicing modulation. This project is a collaboration between the NCCR groups of Jonathan Hall and Daniel Schümperli and the associated Porphyria group headed by Elisabeth Minder, Xiaoye Schneider and Jasmin Barman.