10. June 2020

Doctor from children’s hospital awarded top paediatrics prize

Urs Frey from the University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB) has received this year’s “Guido Fanconi Memorial Prize”.


The Swiss Society of Paediatrics (SSP) has honoured Urs Frey with Switzerland's most prestigious award in paediatrics: the “2020 Guido Fanconi Memorial Prize”. Frey has been managing the University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB) as Medical Director since 2011. He is also a professor of paediatrics at the University of Basel.

Frey's research focusses in particular on asthma and lung development in infants. For example, he has been investigating the influence of air pollutants and genetics in this area for over 20 years in a long-term study, which involves using models that can predict the progression of a complex chronic disease and show the risk of events occurring such as asthma attacks.

Strong commitment and a great deal of passion

Alongside his clinical and research work, Prof. Frey is currently serving as Chairman of the National Steering Board of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN). This interdisciplinary group has been commissioned by the federal government to develop “innovative approaches” to using health data for personalised medicine in an ethically responsible manner and in compliance with the law and data protection regulations.

Urs Frey has also been strongly advocating for the concerns of clinical teaching and research for many years, as well as campaigning for better research conditions for doctors undertaking clinical work, as highlighted in a UKBB press release. With his interdisciplinary and integrative approach, he invariably succeeds in bringing colleagues together from different disciplines and encouraging valuable cooperation.

Prize in memory of Zurich-based paediatrician Fanconi

The Guido Fanconi Memorial Prize, worth 10,000 Swiss francs, is awarded annually by the Swiss Society of Paediatrics (SSP) and recognises particularly significant work in paediatrics. It is named after the Zurich-based paediatrician Guido Fanconi (1892–1979), who is considered to be the founder of modern paediatrics. This year’s accolade was awarded on 4 June 2020. Due to the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the prize will be presented to Prof. Frey on 12 November 2020 at the SSP’s general meeting.