Mendrisio TI – The new Institute of Microbiology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland will function as a center of competence for the canton of Ticino. The focus will be on integrating a holistic vision of microbiology that encompasses humans, animals and the environment alike. The laboratory has been based at the Department of Environment, Construction and Design since 2014.

SUPSI presents new institute microbiology
At SUPSI in the Greater Zurich Area, the microbiology of the future is made. Image: Chokniti Khongchum

The former Cantonal Laboratory for Microbiology has been elevated to the rank of institute at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). On Monday, the new Institute for Microbiology (IM) was officially presented to the public.

As detailed in a SUPSI press release, the new institute will function as a reference and competence center for the canton of Ticino. The IM can even be seen as SUPSI’s response to current environmental and health crisis “as a public service to specifically deal with critical microbial interfaces between the environment and humans across society”.

Mauro Tonolla, Director of the IM, explains the thinking behind the new institute: “The special feature of the Institute of Microbiology is that it is active across both the healthcare and environmental sectors as part of a comprehensive vision of microbiology that considers humans, animals and the environment as interdependent, in line with the modern concept of a single, holistic health”.

The IM has scientific capacities and labs at its disposal that can make “a valuable contribution to solving problems and finding answers to important questions that affect society as a whole: invasive species, climate change adaptation, the loss of biodiversity, microbes and human health”, explains Silvio Seno, Director of the Department of Environment, Construction and Design, where the IM is housed.

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