News & Awards

New Managing Director Corina Albertini

04 September 2023
Corina Albertini announced as new Managing Director of the Helmut Horten Foundation.

Corina Albertini will join the Executive Board on October 1st, 2023, and will take over the role of Managing Director on November 1st, 2023. 

Bernard Keller will step down from its role as Managing Director at the end of October 2023 due to reaching the statutory age limit. He will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Ms Albertini holds a master’s degree in business administration and financial management at the University of St. Gallen (Lic. Oec. HSG) and completed her advanced studies in foundation management at the University of Basel (DAS in Nonprofit Management and Law, CEPS).

She has held senior management and leadership positions for the last 20+ years, with her previous roles spanning financial companies, banks, and charitable foundations. She has delivered substantial achievements and impact for the organisations she has served. In her previous position at the Foundation Centro Competenze Non Profit - cenpro, she contributed significantly to the development of the philanthropic infrastructure in the Canton of Ticino.

Ms Albertini also holds various board mandates in foundations and other organisations in Switzerland.

New Scientific Director Dr. Vanessa Mareike Johnen

07 March 2023
On March 1st, 2023 Dr. Vanessa Mareike Johnen started her role as new Scientific Director.

  • Scientific Director of the Helmut Horten Stiftung since 2023
  • Former strategy consultant at PwC Strategy& within the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare sector
  • PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Oxford with several high-impact publications, MSc in Molecular Medicine from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg 
  • Since 2022 elected Young Leader of Global Bridges e.V. and since 2014 an active mentor in several networks focused on promoting biomedical sciences and diversity

Passing of trustee Countess Goëss-Horten

13 June 2022
Countess Heidi Goëss-Horten, a trustee of the Helmut Horten Foundation, passed away on 12 June 2022 at the age of 81. 

Countess Goëss-Horten was the widow of the late entrepreneur and founder of the Helmut Horten Foundation. Since 1971, she held the role of Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Helmut Horten Foundation. Thanks to her considerable donations, the Helmut Horten Foundation was able to realise sustainable projects that were vital for science.

Countess Goëss-Horten also supported many projects outside the Helmut Horten Foundation, especially in the fields of art and sport. Her last activity was the founding of the Heidi Horten Collection Museum in Vienna, which opened on 3 June. 

She received prestigious awards for her activities as a patron of the arts.

The Foundation Board will be committed to carrying forward her achievements and her values.

Second Helmut Horten Endowed Professorship for Prof. Dr. Pedro Beltrao

1 January 2022
Made possible by the Helmut Horten Foundation, Dr. Pedro Beltrao has been appointed Associate Professor of Computational Systems Biology by ETH Zurich.

Prof. Dr. Pedro Beltrao’s research investigates the cellular consequences of genetic variation and the resulting impacts on health. Since 2013 he has been leading a group at the European Bioinformatic Institute of the Molecular Biology Laboratories in Hinxton, UK. On 1 January 2022, he will take up his new position as Associate Professor of Computational Systems Biology in the Department of Biology at ETH Zurich and thus become part of the medical centre for translational research and precision medicine «The LOOP Zurich».

The newly founded research platform «The LOOP Zurich» replaced the former Helmut Horten Centre for Practice-Oriented Research and Knowledge Transfer. With its commitment to funding one chair each in the field of medical informatics at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, the Helmut Horten Foundation is supporting the development of the research and technology area of the new centre.

50 years Helmut Horten Foundation

22th October 2021
Helmut Horten Lecture Hall ETH Zurich

With a festive event celebrated the Helmut Horten Foundation  its 50th anniversary. The focus was not only on the latest developments in precision medicine, but also on 50 years activities of  the foundation .

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Helmut Horten Foundation professorship for Dr. Björn Menze

9 July 2020
Dr. Björn Menze was granted tenure professorship for biomedical image analysis and machine learning, Helmut Horten Foundation professorship by the University Council of the University of Zurich.

Since 2019, Prof. Dr. Björn Menze has been researching and teaching as a W3 professor for image-based biomedical modeling at the Munich School of Bio Engineering and the Central Institute for Translational Cancer Research at the Technical University of Munich. On 1 September 2020, he will take up his new position at the Faculty of Medicine in Zurich, where he will be part of the research and technology department of the new center for precision medicine «The LOOP Zurich – Medical Research Center».

«The LOOP Zurich – Medical Research Center» is a joint new research centre of ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich and the four university hospitals in Zurich. The Helmut Horten Foundation has donated 10 million Swiss Francs each to the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich to establish one chair each in the field of medical informatics, thus enabling the development of the research and technology area of the new centre. Prof. Dr. Björn Menze will focus on the processing and usage of biomedical data sets, which have become an essential part of precision medicine.

Photo: Heddergott / TUM


10 December 2018
The Helmut Horten Foundation is donating 10 million Swiss francs each to the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich for the establishment of a chair in medical informatics. The donation enables the development of the research and technology area of the new Center for Precision Medicine Research CPMR - "The Loop Zurich". 

The CPRM is a joint research centre of ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich and the four university hospitals in Zurich (University Hospital Zurich, Children's Hospital Zurich, Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich, The Balgrist). The aim of this centre is to develop and combine new technologies in the fields of molecular and cell biology, imaging, computer technology and data analysis in order to generate far-reaching insights from patient data. The aim is to enable the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are incurable today. 

The two professorships made possible by the donation of the Helmut Horten Foundation at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and the ETH will deal with the processing and use of biomedical data sets. The complexity and diversity of the measurements and the large amount of data require new analytical methods and software solutions, which can best be developed within the framework of a Center for Medical Bioinformatics. Close cooperation with the four university hospitals, above all the University Hospital of Zurich, and the universities is of great importance in this respect. This will make Zurich a centre of excellence for medical informatics.

Cross of Honour for Science and Art

23 November 2018
Countess Heidi Goëss-Horten was awarded the Cross of Honour for Science and Art at a ceremony held at the Federal Chancellery in Vienna.

Countess Goëss-Horten was honoured by Federal Minister Gernot Blümel for her generous achievements in the field of art and culture. In 2018, the Countess decided to open her top-class art collection with works from Klimt to Warhol to the public for the first time and set a new visitor record at the Leopold Museum with the exhibition "WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection" curated by Agnes Husslein-Arco. Not only did Heidi Goëss-Horten bear the entire cost of the exhibition and support an extensive scholarly publication on the collection, she also wanted to make art accessible to all interested parties. She sponsored weekly free admission and offered free art education programs for young and old, which were enthusiastically received by the visitors. Her generous commitment in the cultural and social field has now been honoured with an official award. Countess Goëss-Horten joins the ranks of great collectors such as Peggy Guggenheim or Farah Diba. 

Among the guests were close friends of the family and many Austrian museum directors who congratulated the art-loving patron on her recognition.