All change and continuity in the DCC leadership


After 5 years as Director of the SPHN Data Coordination Center (DCC) and Group Leader of the SIB Personalized Health Informatics Group, Dr. Katrin Crameri will be taking up a new position, co-heading the DigiSanté program of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) and the Digital Transformation Division of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) from June 1, 2024. Dr. Thomas Geiger, SPHN Managing Director, will assume ad interim the responsibility for the DCC’s activities.

Katrin took over the management in 2019 - since then, the DCC's portfolio of activities has grown significantly. It now includes the efficient FAIRification of health data provided by Swiss hospitals and other data providers, a Federated Query System for feasibility assessment on data from over 640,000 patients, a helpdesk to support legal and ethical frameworks for research with sensitive data in multi-center settings, and end-to-end solutions for data providers as well as researchers for the secure mobilization, processing, analysis and storage of sensitive research data on BioMedIT - Switzerland's Trusted Research Environment.

Katrin's tireless enthusiasm, resilience and energy have led the DCC team to constantly break new ground in building the Swiss health research data ecosystem, always finding goal-oriented solutions even in complex and difficult situations, making Switzerland a pioneer in collaborative research with health data.

Thomas Geiger, Director of the SPHN Management Office since 2021, will take over the lead of DCC on an interim basis, in addition to his current responsibilities. Thomas' comprehensive understanding of the activities across the initiative, his diplomatic skills and his good relationships with the DCC team members and network partners will ensure a smooth transition into the new funding phase of the future SPHN-DCC.

The ERI Dispatch 2025-2028 foresees to fund the SPHN-DCC for additional four years to consolidate its activities, further develop and deliver services to researchers across Switzerland in the period 2025-2028. The overall mandate and multi-stakeholder governance of the SPHN-DCC will remain in the responsibility of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), with Thomas Geiger as the SPHN-DCC Director. SIB will continue to participate in national and international efforts to facilitate the reusability of clinical and biomedical data in research. SAMS welcomes SIB’s commitment to continued collaboration and the opportunity to draw on the SIB's technical expertise as well as its access to the Swiss bioinformatics community and the European life science infrastructure ELIXIR. SIB will recruit a new group leader for the Personalized Health Informatics group to continue the work in the area of sharing and reuse of medical data.

DigiSanté is the Federal Department of Home Affairs’ program to promote digital transformation in the healthcare sector. There are many exciting overlaps and areas for potential collaboration and synergies between SPHN and the DigiSanté program, and the SPHN-DCC looks forward to continuing to work with Katrin Crameri as she settles in her new role at the FOPH.

Are you interested to learn more about SPHN, DigiSanté and the potential synergies? Then join us on the 31 October 2024 for the “Data for Health” symposium, jointly organized by SPHN and its sister ETH-Domain initiative “Personalized Health and Related Technologies”. You can register here.

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