Günther Fink is the new Eckenstein-Geigy Professor for Epidemiology and Household Economy


Health economist, Günther Fink, is the new Associate Professor for Epidemiology and Household Economy at the University of Basel. Based at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), this is the second professorship in Basel supported by the Eckenstein-Geigy Foundation.

Prof. Günther Fink

The new chair at the Faculty of Science will receive 14 million Swiss francs from the Foundation over a period of ten years and will be based at Swiss TPH, an associate institute of the University of Basel. Coinciding with the professorship is the launch of a new research programme on health economy and human behaviour.

Strengthening health systems

The aim of the position is to combine epidemiological research with economics and other social sciences to develop new quantitative models and concepts for strengthening health systems in the global south as well as in Switzerland. With scientifically validated concepts and models, the programme is expected to have a global impact.

Günther Fink was nominated as Associate Professor by the University Council and will take up the position 1 August 2017. He was born in Bregenz (Austria) in 1972 and studied international economics and applied economics in Innsbruck and at the University of Michigan. Fink obtained his PhD from Bocconi-University in Milan in 2006 before moving to the USA to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University in the Program on the Global Demography of Ageing. In 2008, he was appointed Assistant Professor of International Health Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2014, he was promoted to Associate Professor of International Health Economics. Fink is married and a father of two.

Focussing on children’s health

In his research activities, Fink will concentrate on developing and validating new and innovative approaches to improve the health of children. He has evaluated health insurance schemes in Ghana and Burkina Faso as well as health programmes in Nigeria. He has also collaborated in major health programmes to reduce the burden of malaria in several African countries as well as in initiatives to improve infant nutrition and early child development and to establish vaccination schemes.

The Eckenstein-Geigy Foundation currently supports a chair for paediatric pharmacology at the university hospital, making it one of the biggest donors of the University of Basel. Created in 2007, the Foundation focusses on global health problems and the health situation in low-income countries, in particular. It supports scientific, cultural or educational initiatives from the Basel region while emphasising the sustainability of these projects in view of future generations.

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