In honor of the 1st anniversary of the University Medicine Zurich (HMZ) flagship project “STRESS”, the consortium hosted the 5th annual meeting of the Swiss Stress Network on May 9, 2023. The program included talks from new members, data-blitz presentations by junior researchers, a speed-networking session and a general update of the HMZ STRESS project. On May 10th, 2023, the consortium partners additionally convened during the 1st Annual Symposium to present and discuss the individual projects’ progress and to identify future opportunities to continue to pursue new avenues of stress research.
Stress affects millions of people worldwide and remains a serious public health problem with long-term impacts on physical and mental health. Its prevalence has increased dramatically in the past decades, and recently peaked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Diagnosing and treating stress-induced diseases continue to pose a challenge, and people at risk are often overlooked. The HMZ Flagship Project STRESS aims to develop novel tools for diagnostics and intervention. Particularly, the establishment of biomarkers predicting mental and physical symptoms of stress, and markers revealing traits of resilience, will allow individuals at risk to be identified and interventions to be tailored.
The Annual Symposium was kicked off with an exciting lecture by Carmen Sandi, professor of neuroscience and director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics at the Brain Mind Institute at EPFL, Switzerland. The project updates and ensuing discussions demonstrated the added value of combining fundamental and clinical research in humans and animals, and how these can inform each other to gain deeper insights into the stress response and resilience to stress. To maximize the networking opportunity of the event, the young researchers engaged in a fun jam session intended to brainstorm their research, identify synergies and initiate regular networking events going forward.
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