Rare Diseases Summer School

About the Summer School

The Rare Diseases Summer School focusses on a wide variety of subjects in the arena of rare diseases, from disease mechanisms and animal models to improving diagnoses and developing novel therapies.

There are lectures and workshops given by national and international rare disease experts on drug development, model organisms, how to choose clinical endpoints, clinical trials, regulatory aspects, patient registries, patient initiated research, ethical considerations, as well as what rare diseases may tell us about common diseases. All participants will have the chance to present their own research projects during dedicated poster viewing sessions. Authors of selected abstracts will also give a short oral presentation about their work.

The school addresses clinicians, physician-scientists, postdocs, and PhD students from various disciplines such as medicine, biology, psychology, sociology, and related fields.

Participants are limited to 30 to ensure a high staff to student ratio allowing participants to optimally benefit from the varied expertise of the faculty.

Please download the Rare Diseases Summer School flyer here:
 Summer School Flyer (PDF, 314 KB)

Regular Speakers

Prof. Nine Knoers University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands
Exome sequencing

Prof. Marshall Summar, Children‘s National Medical Center, Washington DC, USA
Clinical endpoints and drug development

Samantha Parker, Lysogene, France
Regulatory frameworks and registries

Prof. Effy Vayena and Dr. Jürg Streuli, University of Zurich
Ethical considerations

Christina Fasser, Vice-President ProRaris, President Retina International
Patient-initiated Research

Prof. Janine Reichenbach, Children's Hospital Zurich
Clinical gene therapy

Prof. Stephan Neuhauss and Prof. Carsten Wagner, University of Zurich
Model organisms

Every year, guest speakers (e.g. a keynote speaker) complete the program.


From 2018, the summer school takes place at the Kartause Ittingen, Warth (Canton Thurgau) and lasts two and a half days.