This project investigates the preservation of cultural heritage in Palestine as a form of resistance to the Israeli settler colonialism. By showing how across decades of Israeli occupation architecture and urban planning have been used to fragment Palestinian territory, land and natural environments, the project explores the possibilities of rehabilitation (architectural, social and cultural) of the historic centers of a cluster of rural villages which have been progressively isolated – geographically, politically, economically and culturally- from Jerusalem’s urban center.
The project seeks to show how a critical understanding and re-interpretation of Palestinian architectural heritage can initiate a process of repair for the rural communities at the outskirts of Jerusalem near Lifta, Al-Jib, Qalandiya and Beit Hanina to heal the separations caused by the Separation Wall and the Israeli policies. It engages with critical research methodologies to deploy the public dimension and function of architectural heritage as a space for repair from colonially inherited forms of urban/rural segregations and their racialized, social and economic aftermaths. The project is driven by the operative concept of repair – an analytical method for probing the variety of marginalized political, cultural and social histories and narratives that exist and emerge in Palestine’s long history of colonial occupation.
In the context of Palestine, the repairing of heritage is here intended as one that addresses double ‘wounds’: the material decay suffered by buildings and sites caused by endemic deterioration processes and the destruction and violence caused by colonial destruction. To address these ‘pathologies’ this project intends to employ the concept of repair in its extended meaning, as a way to innovatively offer new narratives/practices of heritage preservation that address both physical and psycho-social needs.
In seeking to study the complexity of repair in Palestine, the project combines participatory research approaches in urban studies, conservation, architecture and heritage with theoretical study and empirical analysis. The project can be understood as both a practice of heritage-making and community-building and also a means of investigating the way repair mobilize architectural heritage for social justice in Palestine.
A field trials will be performed using the Sahara tomato cultivar in the north and south of Algeria under abiotic stresses (salt stress and heat) and using two fertilization methods (with chemical fertilization and using an organic fertilizer based on plant by-products, especially date palm residues). Then, the effect of these treatments on tomato performance and mainly on the rhizomicrobiome structures and functioning will be studied. Microbial DNA will be extracted from the rhizospheric soil of each treatment and 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing will be established to get the microbiome profile data. The obtained data will be subject to divers’ bioinformatics tools to determine the shifts in the rhizomicrobiome community due to the treatments, to unravel the correlation between cultivation factors, to established computational models for more efficient and precision agriculture and finally to develop a few adapted rhizomicrobiome-based fertilizers. In a second part, this project also aims to train and develop the skills and expertise of the Algerian researcher in bioinformatics and microbial genomic data analysis. This small project will have a national impact on two aspects: (i) agronomic research and food security and (ii) higher education, especially for researchers and students at the National Higher School of Agronomy (ENSA).
Avec le vieillissement de la population au Nord et au Sud (ONU, 2019b), et un accroissement de la population mondiale migrante (ONU, 2019a), de plus en plus de scientifiques étudient les interactions entre la migration et le vieillissement autant dans les pays du Nord que du Sud. Plusieurs pays du sud, dont la Tunisie, connaissent une migration importante des adultes actifs sous la pression des crises économiques. Ces départs privent les personnes âgé·e·s ou au début de la retraite de l’aide et la solidarité de leurs proches à court ou moyen termes. Ce phénomène accélère l’apparition de problématiques liées au vieillissement dans des sociétés pensées comme encore jeunes et où ces enjeux ne sont prioritaire (Beaugendre et al., 2016). Nous observons également que de plus en plus de personnes à l’âge de la retraite choisissent de migrer, nous distinguons trois profils : celles circulant au sein de l’espace familial transnational pour soutenir leur enfants installés ailleurs (Nedelcu & Wyss, 2020) ; les personnes qui ont migré au début de l’âge adulte et qui, au moment de la retraite, décident, ou non, de retourner dans leur pays d’origine (Bolzman et al., 2016; Chattou et al., 2010; Labidi, 2016) ; les retraité·e·s des pays riches qui s’expatrient dans un pays dont le coût de la vie est plus bas (Bender et al., 2018; Repetti & Bolzman, 2020). Malgré une diversité des situations, la littérature montre que les parents vieillissants et leurs enfants échangent des soutiens matériels, économiques et de care (Mahfoudh et al., 2021; Repetti et al., 2021). Or, au cours de ces dernière années, ces échanges se sont déroulés dans un contexte d’instabilités politiques (Thiollet, 2013) et sanitaires (Lahlou, 2021).
Ce projet mobilisera des chercheurs et des étudiant·e·s afin d’explorer, en Suisse et en Tunisie, ce sujet en interrogeant : 1. dans quelle mesure et comment les soutiens matériels, économiques et de care circulent entre parents âgés et enfants adultes au sein des familles transnationales ; 2. Quelles ressources publiques, privées et de solidarité sont mobilisées pour la prise en charge des parents âgées dépendants à distance et localement. 3. Quel est l’expérience des retraité·e·s du Nord installé·e·s en Tunisie et comment organisent-ils et elles leur vie avec leurs familles à distance ?
Given the multitude of current global crises (political, social, economic, environmental, etc.), the project of a Critical Theory of society has been struck with an urgency that has stimulated a process of self-transformation and renewal. This can be recognized on two fronts: intellectual and institutional. On the one hand, the tradition has become more pluralistic in recent years, embracing a wider range of figures and theoretical and methodological approaches – including post-structuralism, pragmatism, post-colonial and gender theory, among others – thereby expanding its “cannon” and the theoretical tools at its disposal. As a result, Critical Theory is gradually becoming a more inclusive and global enterprise. On the other hand, Critical Theorists have sought to enhance the institutional scope, visibility, and profile of Critical Theory within the academy worldwide and recent political developments within the Middle East/Gulf region indicate a growing openness to inter-cultural philosophical dialogue. For example, the United Arab Emirates recently made a historical step towards a constructive dialogue with Critical Theory when it offered its most prestigious literary award – the Sheikh Zayed Book Award – to Jürgen Habermas, the Frankfurt School's leading representative.
Nevertheless, there remains much room for progress: the necessary critical dialogue with situated forms of theory and praxis emanating from developing regions – especially MENA and Africa – has not yet taken place in earnest due to the lingering Eurocentric biases of some of its predominant theoretical approaches. Indeed, the contemporary landscape in Critical Theory remains largely predominated by three paradigms: Kantian, Marxist-Hegelian, and Foucauldian-Nietzschean (genealogical). This project aims to contribute to the “globalization” of Critical Theory to overcome its lingering Eurocentrism that undermines its ability to make an effective intervention in the diagnosis and critique of the social dynamics of an increasingly globalized and multi-polar world. While retaining the inter-disciplinary and empirically informed character of the Frankfurt School tradition, the project expands the field of Critical Theory’s “learning process” by engaging with hitherto ignored or marginalized theoretical perspectives, thereby contributing to its continued evolution and dynamism.
À travers deux études de cas dans deux filières phares du secteur des produits alimentaires de terroir, dans deux pays différents (l'huile d’olive 100 % bio en Tunisie et le fromage "Tête de moine AOP" en Suisse), la présente étude vise à analyser en profondeur et comparer les pratiques stratégiques, managériales et organisationnelles relatives aux activités d’exportation adoptées par les acteurs intervenant dans les deux filières. Dans le cadre de ce projet, l’analyse comparative est un préambule à une dynamique d’échanges de bonnes pratiques entre les deux filières et à une proposition de conduite managériale pour les entreprises qui misent sur les perspectives de vente de leurs produits à l'export.
Cette collaboration tuniso-suisse va nous permettre de renforcer la collaboration entre les deux institutions en publiant dans des revues et conférences scientifiques et aider les entreprises à tonifier leurs stratégies d’exportation.
The introduction of immunotherapy, in particular immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) that release the breaks on the immune response, has significantly improved outcomes in patients suffering from various types of cancer. However, pancreatic cancer remains the seventh cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and this novel immunotherapeutic regimen seems to have limited effects. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies targeting tumor microenvironment (TME) are mandatory to overcome the shortages of current immunotherapeutic concepts.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by a fibrous and hypovascularized TME resulting in oxygen-deprived tumor tissue with hypoxia-mediated effects such as increased malignant potential, modified immunity, and resistance to therapy. The presence of hypoxia deters response to ICI. Since PDAC are associated with increased tumor hypoxia, these patients have decreased survival. The restoration of normoxia through anti-hypoxic treatment might therefore prove a significant benefit for the response of such patients to ICI. Myo-inositol-trispyrophosphate (ITPP) is the first-of-its-class nontoxic agent that enhances oxygen release in hypoxia and synergizes with cytotoxic anti-cancer agents in preclinical-tumor models. So far, this reagent has not been tested in combination with ICI. This study aims at investigating ITPP in zebrafish patient avatars, which hold great potential as a quick screening tool to innovate patient treatment strategies. Herein we will first validate the application of our signature as a hypoxia biomarker in human PDAC samples. We will investigate the ability of ITPP to restore normoxia with subsequent normalization of tumor vasculature and alleviate hypoxia in PDAC zebrafish xenografts and test the response of patient-derived xenografts to ITPP. Moreover, we will determine for the first time ITPP’s efficacy in ameliorating response to ICI in PDAC mouse models. Results from this study could fuel clinical trials for ITPP and ICI combination therapy and could put forth a hypoxia biomarker that can aid in patient selection by predicting response to hypoxia-alleviating therapy, thus enhancing patient outcomes.
Favorable climatic conditions and access to fresh water have always been major controls on the survival of human populations. In the past, increased rainfall and the resultant transformation of a desertic into a green Sahara with abundant resources provided favorable conditions for the dispersal and associated genetic flow of early human populations across northern Africa and into Eurasia. On the other hand, the complex topography of northern Africa may have created refugia during desert Sahara periods or asynchronous wet periods and led to distinct evolutionary features between different human populations. The exact timing and duration of green and desert Sahara periods remain poorly documented in terrestrial paleoclimate records, as most of them are fragmentary and poorly dated. Hence, further research about early human evolution and dispersals requires accurate climate reconstructions. Here we propose to focus our efforts on high-resolution and precisely-dated speleothem records from NW Africa, a key region in the history of the human race, and an ideal location to study the interactions high-low latitude climate systems. We have access to an existing set of well-dated speleothem records that will allow us to develop the first continuous hydroclimate and ecosystem reconstruction of the last 600,000 years in NW Africa. With this project, we will:
• Determine the timing and duration of the desert and green Sahara periods over the last 600,000 years
• Test large-scale teleconnections between the Northern Hemisphere and the low-latitude African monsoon systems on orbital-millennial time scales.
• Disentangle different moisture sources that nourished North Africa during glacial and interglacial periods, and test the most common assumption that the green Sahara, and therefore the survival of early humans in this region, was solely linked to an intensification of the summer African monsoon, whereas other moisture sources are not fully considered.
• Correlate the periodical hydroclimate fluctuations of the Sahara with archaeological evidence of human occupation in the region since the Middle Stone Age. Hence, we will provide unprecedented insights on the climate context and its potential role in growing or narrowing early human populations in North Africa, with an emphasis on important human migration events, cultural/behavioral changes, and evidence of refugium networks that could have existed in the region.
Zoonosis is a contagious illness that has spread from an animal species to people. Zoonotic infections can infect humans through direct contact, as well as through food, water, or the environment. They can also be bacterial, viral, parasitic, or involve unconventional agents. Each year, zoonotic infections kill millions of people around the world. While some zoonotic diseases have been recorded or studied, others remain unidentified. A surveillance-response system that integrates human and animal health, the environment, and food production components (iSRS), known as a One Health approach, is becoming more and more in demand on a worldwide level to investigate and detect zoonotic infections that are frequently transmitted from animals, food, and the environment to humans. One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach to obtaining optimal health outcomes that acknowledge the connectivity between humans, animals, and their shared environment. The inter-sectoral collaboration of numerous stakeholders in a complex health system, along with the flexibility to adapt to local demands and the current health system constraints, is a vital part of enabling the success of the One Health approach. Thus, Mapping across relevant sectors builds an understanding of a successful multi-sectoral One Health approach.
This project intends to examine and map the current zoonotic disease reporting and control, as well as cross-sectoral collaboration and structures of the ministries of health and agriculture in Palestine. Zoonotic illnesses are widespread and have a significant impact on public health. Brucellosis, salmonellosis, rabies, West Nile virus, tuberculosis, avian influenza (H5N1), and leishmaniosis were all reported and examined in Palestine, along with other illnesses. This requires reviewing and understanding the infrastructures, protocols, laws, responsibilities, activities, strategies, and initiatives of the Palestinian ministerial departments involved in zoonotic disease detection and reporting. Additionally, publicly accessible data from national government agencies will be examined, including program guidelines, yearly reports, official websites, interministerial communications, and minutes of meetings. To collect, clarify, and verify data, in-person interviews with officials, subject matter experts, and technical representatives of the ministries of health and agriculture will also be held.
Regenerative businesses aim at making a net positive impact on nature and social ecosystems around them. Regenerative hospitality organizations can be seen as the cornerstone of the destinations' sustainability; this is especially true in rural context where the growth of such businesses is intertwined with the community both at natural and social level. This project aims at creating a long lasting research partnership between EHL – Hospitality Business School and the Nature Conservation Centre of the American University of Beirut on a topic of mutual interest; the research has been designed to generate a better understanding of the role of regenerative hospitality organization in rural Lebanon and their use of digital technologies to support natural and social systems regeneration. The research team aims at disseminated a white paper based on the results of the research proposing digitally enabled regenerative hospitality organizations as one of the possible answers to the current economic and social hardship Lebanon is experiencing to support a more regenerative economic and social growth in the travel field.
Mankind is on the verge of a new and exciting space exploration era. However, the hostile space environment is known to affect both human and microbial biological and physiological processes including the musculoskeletal and immune systems. Musculoskeletal tissue is the framework of our lives, enabling us to perform daily activities, whereas the immune system is responsible for maintaining all tissues in a healthy state. It has been shown that the patient’s immune system not only plays a crucial role in fighting various pathogens but is also vital in inducing normal healing of damaged tissues. Space flights were shown to dysregulate the function of astronauts’ immune system, suppressing both the function of innate and adaptive immune cells including monocytes, T-cells and natural killer cells. This reduced responses to both dormant as well as potentially external pathogens, providing a need to study immunological phenomena under microgravity (µG) conditions.
Biofabrication technologies enable patterning of increasingly complex three-dimensional structures with hierarchical architecture, which can resemble native extracellular matrix (ECM), providing model matrices for studying biological and pathophysiological processes. Due to intrinsically different fluid and soft matter dynamics under µG, new types of bioengineering methods for generating biocompatible constructs using more fluidic channels, self-assembling molecules or using extrinsic fields (e.g. magnetic) are possible. Hence, µG may enable new kinds of biofabrication routes, which could potentially produce complex biomimetic anisotropic tissues and organoids otherwise not possible due to limitations in Earth’s gravity.
In Space ImmunoBioInks project we propose to study behavior of self-assembling peptide-based bioinks, used for modulation of immune system cells, under µG with an ultimate future goal of providing novel biofabrication tools for studies in space. The integration of supramolecular self-assembling peptides into new biofabrication pipeline omitting Earth-bound extrusion-based rheological requirements is expected to enable formation of materials with new kinds of dynamicity and molecularly designed shapes. The envisaged technology will contribute towards space bioengineering research.
Targeted radionuclide imaging and therapy becomes more and more important in oncology. The most targets highly cancer type specific. Therefore, a pan-cancer radiopharmaceutical would be highly beneficial. The extracellular matrix which is rearranged similar in the different cancer would be a favorable target. Tenascin-C a protein of the extracellular matrix is overexpressed in different cancer tissues and a promising target. The group of the Pasteur Institute in Tunis has developed highly specific nanobodies for targeting tenascin-C. Paul Scherrer Institut developed a stable radiolabeling method of His-tags of proteins with Tc-99m-carbonyl. Tc-99m is an ideal and often used SPECT radionuclide. The method will be applied to the his-tagged-nanobodies. We expect to achieve a good radiotracer which can be evaluated for a proof of concept in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, the method will be established by a scientific visitor from the Pasteur Institute at PSI and transfer the knowledge to Tunis where the in vitro and in vivo experiments will e performed.
If it works, also first clinical application would be taken into account. The long-term aim is to further develop the nanobodies for radionuclide targeted imaging and therapy.
The pressure to reach carbon-neutral power grids in near future is pushing toward the rapid escalation of renewable energy sources in the electrical grid. Although environmental problems tell us that this is the way forward, the technical issues that these abrupt changes entailed indicate that we may not be fully ready. This has recently become evident in the European system, where, although it did not collapse, in 2021, three major events occurred. The operation of large interconnected electrical networks, such as in central Europe, is becoming even more challenging. Electrical systems are working close to their operational limits, and the energy transitions are not even close to being fully implemented. In addition, the digitalization of energy systems is equipping electrical systems with sophisticated measurement equipment that has changed the way they communicate their data, from copper wires to fiber optics and Ethernet. For this reason, technological advances should not only concentrate on solving the problems of how to improve the system security with respect to the integration of renewables but also on preventing the cyber security of the system from being affected. In this project, the research groups of ZHAW and KAUST are joining forces and competencies, to develop strategies based on data-driven and machine learning algorithms for anomaly detection of corrupted measurements from Wide-Area Monitoring System (WAMS) of power system utilities. The developed tools will be validated using Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) environment. The results of the project are intended to contribute to the transmission system utilities taking a step forward to reach the transition goals within the established timeframe.
Many Research shows that principals’ competencies have implications not only on teachers, as their leadership underpins the work of teachers, but also on student achievement (Branch et al., 2013, Day et al., 2016). The school principals have the primary and the ultimate responsibility for the pedagogical, social and administrative management of the school (Alladatin, and al., 2021).
Leadership is therefore a crucial factor in the success of educational reforms. The most important questions to consider are: How can we develop highly competent school principals and make their positions more attractive, effective, and sustainable? How can we provide future school principals with the required knowledge and practices?
From the perspective of work didactics, this project proposes to design a framework guideline, that will eventually serve to develop platform of training and support program for school principals, which will be more efficient and coherent with the real work situation contexts. The framework guideline is based on an analysis of the real activities of actual primary and secondary school principals in Morocco, with a sample of 30 schools’ principals. We are using the auto-confrontation interviews as a methodological tool, since it is a powerful process of understanding and explaining real activity with the aim of transforming and improving work situations.
This project allow to develop multinational collaboration and expertise on the use of activity analysis, as an innovative approach to professional development, in order to achieve the SDG 4 goal: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Heavy metals are toxic to all biota if they are present at elevated concentrations. In agriculture, heavy metals are inadvertently applied to soils, thereby impairing the quality of soils, freshwater, and crops. Switzerland has a tight-knit soil data base that has identified major heavy metal inputs into agroecosystems. Such data is a pivotal prerequisite for implementing measures that reduce the environmental and health risks associated with heavy metals in agroecosystems. In Palestine (i.e. in the Occupied Palestinian Territory), there is no such data base, and it is not possible to assess the risk of current agricultural practices on the environment and health of Palestinian society.
The overarching goal of the HEMiPA project is to sustain and improve soil, water, and crop quality by assessing the heavy metal fluxes in Palestinian agriculture. The HEMiPA project includes researchers that have expertises in Palestinian agriculture and expertise in heavy metals in Swiss agriculture. We expect that, unlike in Switzerland, it is not only fertilizers, but also irrigation water that serves as a potential source of heavy metal inputs into agroecosystems in Palestine. Water scarcity is a major challenge for agriculture in Palestine because of its semi-arid conditions, political restrictions, and climate change. To cope with water scarcity, wastewater is recycled and used for irrigation. However, data from other countries have shown that wastewater is often contaminated with heavy metals, which exacerbates the heavy metal transfer into agriculture.
To assess the risk of heavy metal fluxes in Palestine agriculture, we will identify major sources and pathways of heavy metals in Palestinian agroecosystems and provide mass balances for agricultural soils. We will begin by conducting a sample campaign in the diverse model region of Jenin (West Bank). Samples will be processed and analyzed in specialized laboratories at ETH. Beyond these scientific activities, we will disseminate our results to peers and stakeholders in Palestinian agriculture via work shops and fact sheets. We will provide knowledge transfers between the two countries, including training of technicians and students. Building on the activities and outcomes of the HEMiPA project, we will prepare a larger research proposal to establish a long-term collaboration between Swiss and Palestinian researchers with the aim of reducing heavy metals concentrations in Palestinian soils, waters, and crops.