Professor Marcel Tanner was Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute from 1997 to 2015 and is now President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences. He holds a PhD in medical biology from the University of Basel and a MPH from the University of London. Lived and worked in Africa and Asia and ha s published extensively in many fields of health research (>650 original papers) and has received global recognition for his expertise in the field of infectious diseases research and control. He was co-investigator and coordinator of the first African malaria vaccine trial in 1992 and participated as co-principal investigator in several major intervention trials on malaria and schistosomiasis. He developed a Swiss field laboratory to what is now the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania from 1981-1985 and when back in Europe as programme director 1987-1997.