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Institute of Evolutionary Medicine (IEM)

Frank Rühli

Frank Rühli, Prof. Dr. Dr. med., EMBA

  • Director of the Institute
  • Head Paleopathology and Mummy Studies Group
  • Head Museum‚ Medical Collection and Human Remains Group
+41 44 635 05 15 (Room Y42 G70)

Current Postion

Director of  Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Zurich. Founding Director and Chair (Full Professor of Evolutionary Medicine)

Academic Appointments


Frank Rühli studied Medicine at the University of Zurich. After graduation in 1997 he worked as an assistant at the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University-Hospital Zurich. In 2000 he was awarded an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship to undertake a PhD at the Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit, Anatomical Sciences, University of Adelaide (Australia), where in 2002/03 he held a full-time lectureship.

He worked as assistant, senior assistant and associate professor at the Institute of Anatomy / University of Zurich from 2003-2014. In 2007 he finished his habilitation (“DSc”) in the field of anatomy/histology. Between 2010 and 2014 he was Head of the Center of Evolutionary Medicine (ZEM) at the University of Zurich and was appointed Director of the newly established Institute of Evolutionary Medicine (IEM) in 2014. In 2018 he received a diploma as an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) at the University of Zurich. In 2018 he was elected as Founding Chair (Full Professor of Evolutionary Medicine). He is a member of both the Science and the Medical Faculties at the University of Zurich.

Frank Rühli gained teaching and course coordinator experience in gross anatomy, histology, paleopathology, biomedical imaging and biological anthropology at multiple universities. He has supervised multiple PhD, BScHons, MD, DVM and DMD dissertations. He is currently head of the cross-sectional disciplines (Querschnittsfächer) at the Medical Faculty in Zurich. 

He is Associated Editor, Editor and Editor–in-Chief of various peer-reviewed journals:


Find the current lectures and seminars on the official University Calendar

Selected Press Clippings


Main Focus of Research

  • Evolutionary Medicine
  • Diagnostic Imaging of Ancient Mummies (Swiss Mummy Project)
  • Paleopathology / Disease Evolution
  • Biological standard of living and state of health of Swiss Armed Forces conscripts
  • Microevolution of Anatomical Norm Variations and Pathologies / Clinical Anatomy

Selected Publications

ZORA Publication List

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Weiterführende Informationen


Weissbuch Corona. Die Schweiz nach der Pandemie. Befunde – Erkenntnisse – Perspektiven

Hrsg. von Frank Rühli und Andreas Thier


Gesundheitssystem, Regierung, Verwaltung, Parteien, Rechtswesen, Kultur, Wirtschaft, Verkehr, Wissenschaft, Forschung, Bildung, Sozialverhalten, Ethik und Religion: Kein Bereich der Schweiz blieb von Corona unberührt. Das Weissbuch bündelt komprimiert den gesamten Erfahrungsschatz aus der Krise.


Ab sofort im Buchhandel erhältlich.