Staff

Paul Torgerson - head of unit

Paul Torgerson
Prof. Dr. Paul Torgerson

Professor Torgerson is a British trained veterinarian and graduated from Cambridge University in 1986. Subsequently after a period in clinical practice, first as a large animal intern at Glasgow Veterinary School followed by agricultural veterinary practice, Professor Torgerson returned to Cambridge to complete a PhD in Parasitology. He was subsequently appointed as a lecturer at University College Dublin where he developed an interest in parasite epidemiology. In 2002 he was invited to lead a group on parasite epidemiology at the Institute of Parasitology in Zurich and remained there until 2008. Following a brief spell at Ross University in The Caribbean, Professor Torgerson was appointed to the newly created chair of veterinary epidemiology in Zurich from late 2009. Professor Torgerson also holds the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Public Health with a speciality in population medicine and the Diploma of the European Veterinary Parasitology College.
Professor Torgerson’s publications can be found at:
Publications Researcher ID
Google Scholar

Contact Prof. Paul Torgerson
Office: TBA 10.11
Phone: +41 44 635 90 41
E-mail: paul.torgerson@access.uzh.ch
 

Sonja Hartnack - senior scientist

Sonja Hartnack
Dr. Sonja Hartnack

Dr. Hartnack studied veterinary medicine at the University of Munich and at the University of Liege from 1994-2000. She was awarded her doctorate following studies in animal nutrition from University of Munich in 2002. Between 2002 and 2009 she was employed as a postdoctoral researcher on a number of projects at the Veterinary Faculties of Munich, Leipzig, and the Vetsuisse Faculty in Bern. She joined the Veterinary Epidemiology Group in Zurich in early 2010. Dr. Hartnack holds the Diploma in Veterinary Virology from the Veterinary Chamber of Saxony and the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Public Health with a speciality in Population Medicine.
Dr. Hartnack’s publications can be found at:
Publications Researcher ID

Contact Dr. Sonja Hartnack
Office: TBA 10.15
Phone: +41 44 635 90 51
E-mail: sonja.hartnack@access.uzh.ch
 

Simon Rüegg - senior scientist

Simon Ruegg
Dr. Simon Rüegg

Dr Simon Rüegg is veterinarian. He completed a doctorate (DVM) and a PhD in epidemiology, biostatistics and molecular diagnostics of tick-borne equine piroplasmoses. Throughout field projects in southern Mongolia and as a veterinary practitioner he gained a solid understanding of practical aspects of veterinary medicine and epidemiology. From 2013 he worked as postdoc at the Veterinary Public Health Institute at the Vetsuisse-Faculty of Berne conducting an EMIDA project on cost efficacy of surveillance for vector-borne diseases and supervising a doctoral student. In September 2013 he has joined the Veterinary Epidemiology Group in Zurich as senior research assistant and lecturer. He also participates in the statistic consultancy. His research interest is the application of the theory of complex adaptive systems to medicine, in particular its impact on the medical decision making process, the relation between scientific, emotive, financial, ethical and social aspects, and the sustainability of medical practices. He also investigates the application of complex dynamical systems metrics to medical time series and is involved in several epidemiological investigations in Switzerland. His work in the COST Action "Network on the Evaluation of One Health" was published in two books, a "Handbook on Evaluation of One Health" and a Frontiers Research Topic with case studies. Currently, he works primarily on the implementation of One Health as foreseen by that framework.

He contributes to the editorial review board of various scientific journals on One Health, Epidemiology and tropical diseases. He teaches for animal keepers and contributes to a radio program of the Swiss national radio. Furthermore, he is chair of the Swiss Association of Exotic Pets, Zoo Animals and Wildlife, founding member of the European Network for One Health and Ecohealth, and member of the ethical commission on animal experimentation of the canton of Fribourg, of the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians, and of the Swiss Association of Veterinarians. His publication list can be consulted here:
Publications Researcher ID
Google Scholar

Contact Dr. Simon Ruegg
Office: TBA 10.15
Phone: +41 44 635 90 51
E-mail: srueegg@vetclinics.uzh.ch

Giulia Paternoster - PhD student

Giulia Paternoster
Giulia Paternoster

Giulia is a veterinary epidemiologist with a strong interest in public health, infectious and zoonotic diseases. She is interested in the science-policy interface, particularly in neglected tropical diseases that affect developing societies, epidemiological methods and their practical application to health policies within a global and One Health perspective.

Giulia studied veterinary medicine at the University of Bologna and at the University of Madrid. From 2012 to 2016 she has worked as epidemiologist in a veterinary public health institute (IZSLER, Italy) on different projects funded by the Italian Ministry of Health and related to veterinary epidemiology and public health. After obtaining her MSc degree in Animal Health at the University of Milan in 2016, she worked as visiting researcher at Kansas State University (KSU, USA) on projects concerned with the development of risk assessment models for foreign animal diseases, and collaborated with KSU International Programs. Giulia is a member of the COST Action “Network for Evaluation of One Health”. As part of this network for scientific collaboration, she contributes with a project on the evaluation of the integrated West Nile virus surveillance in Italy, including economic and sociological aspects of zoonoses mitigation.

In July 2017, Giulia joined the Veterinary Epidemiology Group in Zurich to undertake research towards a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Life Science Zurich Graduate School) with Prof. Paul Togerson, as part of an SNSF funded project. The research project is on the epidemiology and transmission of Echinococcus in Kyrgyzstan. It involves field work in Kyrgyzstan, technology transfer, capacity building, mathematical modelling, statistical modelling and GIS system analysis.

Researchgate

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Contact Giulia Paternoster

Office: TBA 10.13

Phone: +41 44 63 58495

E-mail: giulia.paternoster@uzh.ch

Duriya Charypkhan - PhD student

Duriya Charypkhan
Duriya Charypkhan

Duriya is a young veterinary professional that has obtained her BVSc at the Kazakh National Agrarian University (2011-2016) with a possibility to study meanwhile as a grantee at Wageningen University. In 2016-2018 she was studying towards her Masters degree and at the same time she was employed at Kazakh Scientific Research Veterinary Institute (KazSRVI) where she started off as a laboratory assistant, later becoming junior researcher and this year January being promoted to Head of Brucellosis Laboratory. During her first year of Masters, in the beginning of 2017, Duriya came to our unit as a visiting researcher for five months and worked on her topic entitled “Epidemiology of Brucellosis in Kazakhstan” under supervision of Prof. Torgerson. A large data set of the incidence of animal and human brucellosis in Kazakhstan from 2006 to 2016 was analyzed. The analysis also included the geographical distribution using GIS systems, trends in the temporal incidence and socioeconomic impact of the disease, including monetary analysis and human health burden in terms of Disability Adjusted Life Years.

During her 2 years of employment at KazSRVI she was involved in numerous projects regarding brucellosis control in Kazakhstan in cooperation with OIE, worked closely with Ministry of Agriculture to review and update LSD national control program in order to harmonize it with international standards, took part in OIE PVS field missions and attended several FAO, OIE meetings as an observer from Member Country. 

In August 2018, Ms. Charypkhan had joined our unit as a doctoral student, working on a One Health project supervised by Simon Ruegg, where the goal is to identify the obstacles met during acquisition of a systems approach when transitioning towards an integrated approach to Brucellosis control in Kazakhstan.

 

Contact Duriya Charypkhan

Office: TBA 10.13

Phone: +41 44 63 58495

E-mail: duriya.charypkhan@uzh.ch

Liz Paola Noguera Zayas - PhD student

Liz Noguera Zayas
Liz Noguera Zayas

Liz studied veterinary medicine at the National University of Asunción, Paraguay (2008-2013). After two years in small and wildlife clinical practice (2014-2016), she developed a strong interested in the epidemiology of zoonoses and how every component in the ecosystem interacts to influence the emerging and reemerging of diseases.
Due to her motivation and having Paraguay a National Development Plan: 2030, she gained a scholarship to do her Master’s degree at the University of Montpellier in Emerging of Parasitic and Infectious diseases (2016-2018). As a part of her Master’s degree program, she did an internship at the Veterinary Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid, with EPICONTROL Research Team (Spain) related to a "Study of an autochthonous focus of canine ocular thelaziosis in the northwest community of Madrid between the years 2016 and 2017". The second internship was in "Determination of the ecological niche of the invasive tick Hyalomma marginatum in the south of France" at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) in ASTRE (Animal, Health, Territories, Risks and Ecosystems). Through those years, she reinforced her determination to apply her experience and learning to make a little contribution in Paraguay’s health regarding zoonoses. Then finishing her master’s degree, she applied for a doctoral scholarship granted by Paraguay (BECAL). Since June 2019, she has integrated the PhD program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Zurich (Life Science Zurich Graduate School). Now she is working on zoonoses with a One Health approach in Paraguay, supervised by Paul Torgerson and Simon Rüegg.

 

Contact Liz Noguera Zayas

Office: TBA 10.13

Phone: +41 44 63 58495

E-mail: lizpaola.noguerazayas@uzh.ch

Kubanychbek "Kuban" Abdykerimov - PhD student

Kubanychbek Abdykerimov
Kubanychbek Abdykerimov

Kubanychbek is a veterinarian, he finished a degree from the Kyrgyz Agrarian Academy “K.I.Skrjabin”, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. Then he started to work at Kyrgyz Research Institute of Veterinary Science “A.Duisheev” in the Department of Parasitology. In 2013 finished his Master’s dissertation. Kubanychbek was involved in numerous projects regarding zoonosis control in Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with World Bank, OIE, worked closely with Ministry of Agriculture to develop national strategies on Echinococcosis, Brucellosis, Rabies, Anthrax, took part in review and update of adjusted Standard Operation Procedures for the Kyrgyz Veterinary Diagnostic Center.
He has spent some time in Zurich working in the laboratories of the Institute of Parasitology learning and developing diagnostic tools for echinococcosis in animals (project # 119028, NF SCOPES (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland)). Kubanychbek interested in zoonotic diseases, epidemiology and statistics questions.
Abdykerimov Kubanychbek is a student of the SSPH+ Global PhD Fellowship Program in Public Health Sciences funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (Horizon 2020 - COFUND). He is enrolled for a PhD (December 2019) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Life Science Zurich Graduate School) at the University of Zurich, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Paul R. Torgerson. Kubanychbek would like to address in future research on the possibility of using epidemiological methods to decide issues and tasks in Veterinary Public Health, with an emphasis on zoonotic parasites.

 

Contact Kubanychbek Abdykerimov

Office: TBA 10.13

Phone: +41 44 63 58495

E-mail: kubanychbek.abdykerimov@uzh.ch

Skuman Rittem - PhD student

Sukuman Rittem
Sukuman Rittem

I graduated as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M) and have a master’s degree (M.S.) in agricultural biotechnology from Kasetsart University, Thailand. I acquired funding to attend the Enviro-vet Summer Institute course in 2010. Participating in this course in USA and Tanzania gave me a better understanding and the realization of the importance of ecosystem, conservation medicine and one health. During 2012 – 2017, I worked as a staff research veterinarian in the Monitoring and Surveillance Center for Zoonotic Disease in Wildlife and Exotic animals (MoZWE) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Mahidol University, Thailand. From this work, I gained experiences to conduct zoonoses and emerging disease surveillance and investigation in wildlife diseases. For example I conducted a leptospirosis survey in wild rodents, avian influenza monitoring in wild birds, zoonotic disease survey in flying foxes, cave bats, macaques, tigers and reptiles. Moreover, during this work, I had opportunities to facilitate and attend many one health related meetings and workshops in Thailand. Since 2017, I have been a lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Zoology, HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Science, Chulabhorn Royal Academy, Thailand. I have been granted a full scholarship from HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Science, Chulabhorn Royal Academy to participate in a PhD programme. I am determined to apply epidemiology and mathematic modelling to wildlife diseases, so I decided to do my PhD with the Epidemiology and Biostatistics program (Life Science Zurich Graduate School) at the University of Zurich. I enrolled for the program in February 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Paul R. Torgerson and Simon Rüegg and work on a project with participatory modelling to apply a one health approach to the challenge of human-monkey conflict in Thailand.

 

Contact Sukuman Rittem

Office: TBA 10.13

Phone: +41 44 63 58495

E-mail: sukuman.rittem@uzh.ch

Malwina Kowalska - PhD student

Malwina Kowalska
Malwina Kowalska

Malwina has been passionate about helping animals since childhood. She knew that her only career choice was veterinary medicine. In 2015 she obtained BSc and in 2019 master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine fom the University of Life Sciences (SGGW) in Warsaw, Poland. While studying she got awarded for her research on invasive forms of parasites in urban sandboxes.
After graduation, feeling itchy to discover new cultures, she moved to Nepal and Thailand. For 4 month she volunteered as a veterinarian in various nonprofit small animal clinics. During her stay in Asia, she saw animals suffering from ocular diseases and was saddened by the lack of qualified veterinarians who could help them. By bicycle, she made the journey back to Europe to broaden her ophthalmology and clinical knowledge. She moved to the UK to complete a rotating internship at a referral hospital followed by a one-year internship in ophthalmology.  There, her interest in scientific research increased and she completed a study on cataract surgeries outcomes that she presented at the 2017 British Veterinary ophthalmologists Meeting.
Malwina is a strong believer of the “One Health” policy, where one of the main principles is that human health depends on its surrounding ecosystems’ health. Given the main research topics of VetEpi team at the UZH is ”One Health”, this was an obvious career choice for Malwina who is currently as a PhD candidate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Her research focuses on a clinical trial that aims to validate novel treatment for corneal ulcers, a devastating disease in humans and animals.
ResearchGate

LinkedIn
 

Contact Malwina Kowalska

Office: TBA 10.16
email: malwina.kowalska@uzh.ch