Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology


Prof. Dr. Steven A. Brown (1970-2022)


Steven Brown passed away on December 14, 2022 at the age of 52. He was a key figure in the field of biological clocks. The University of Zurich has lost a passionate researcher and teacher.

Steven A. Brown, professor at the University of Zurich since 2006, died in a plane crash. He leaves a big void at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology and in the chronobiology community.

He was trained as an undergraduate in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. In 1997, he received his PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology also at Harvard University. He continued as a postdoctoral fellow with Ueli Schibler at the Department of Molecular Biology of the University of Geneva from 1997-2004 and was a Humboldt Fellow at the Charité in Berlin from 2005-2006, before he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Zürich. He received tenure in 2013 and headed the section of Chronobiology and Sleep research.

Steven Brown studied the molecular mechanisms of mammalian biological clocks and the ways in which these clocks control physiology and behavior. He made outstanding contributions to our understanding of circadian rhythms at the molecular and cellular level. He has received numerous awards and was the acting vice president of the European Biological Rhythms Society (EBRS) since 2019.

As an academic teacher Steven Brown has inspired students and colleagues with his passion for science, his enthusiasm, his exceptional creativity and knowledge. The Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Science and the entire University of Zurich have lost a brilliant researcher and teacher and fabulous colleague.