PROF. DR. ROLF ZELLER

Research Group Leader

Genetic and systematic analysis of the signal-antagonist interactions and auto-regulatory feedback loops that control vertebrate organogenesis using mouse molecular genetics in combination with cell-biochemistry and data-based simulations of complex regulatory system. We use the developing limb bud as our main model to study the self-regulatory signaling systems that control outgrowth, patterning and chondrogenic differentiation. We also to what extent aberrant re-activation of these regulatory circuit contributes to malignant progression of medulloblastomas, which is among the most common brain tumors in children. In addition, we apply our deep molecular understanding of these morpho-regulatory signaling systems to the development-inspired engineering of cartilage and bone from mesenchymal progenitor and stem cells.

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SCIENTIFIC CAREER

  • 1980- 1984: PhD with Prof. E.M. De Robertis at the Biocenter, University of Basel, Switzerland.

  • 1985 – 1989: Postdoctoral fellow with Prof. P. Leder in the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

  • 1989 – 1998: Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.

  • 1999- 2003: Full-Professor in the Faculty of Biology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

  • Since 2003: Full-Professor at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Switzerland.


  • Elected Member of EMBO and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK).

  • Member of the National Research Council of Switzerland (Divison III: Biology and Medicine).

  • President of the Basel Declaration Society, which promotes ethically responsible research with animals and openness in communication and publication.

  • President of the Ethics Commission for Animal Research of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

  • Vice-President of the Swiss Science Communication Organization: Research for Life.