The history of the TNU began in December 2011 when its Founding Director, Klaas Enno Stephan, was  appointed to a Chair in Translational Neuromodeling, jointly created by the University of Zurich (UZH) and ETH Zurich, at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.  The creation of this Chair was enabled by the cooperation between UZH and ETH as well as generous support by the René and Susanne Braginsky Foundation.

The TNU obtained its home in July 2012 when the group moved into a UZH building at Wilfriedstr. 6. This building underwent reconstruction in order to provide a unique research space which integrates computational scientists and clinicians under one roof and provides a custom-designed research clinic for evaluating the practical utility of computational models in patient studies.

The building's refurbishment and the general setup of laboratories lasted until summer 2013 and were overseen by Sandra Iglesias, Jakob Heinzle, Suzanne Wilde and Klaas Enno Stephan. Helene Haker became the Clinical Head of the TNU in 2013., followed by Helen Schmidt in 2019 The EEG labs were established 2013 by Gabor Stefanics.

In 2020, UZH and ETH extended the teaching area of the Chair to include Computational Psychiatry and renamed the Chair to "Translational Neuromodeling & Computational Psychiatry".

At its foundation in 2012, the TNU consisted of a handful of scientists; within a few years, we have grown to include more than 30 researchers, clinicians, technicians and administrators. This was possible thanks to the support of various institutions and foundations, including

  • UZH & ETH Zurich
  • René und Susanne Braginsky Foundation
  • Baugarten Foundation
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
  • European Union FP7 Program
  • European Union Horizon 2020
  • SystemsX.ch – The Swiss Initiative in Systems Biology
  • German Research Council (DFG)
  • NCCR „Neural Plasticity and Repair“
  • Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ)

The TNU celebrated its Opening Symposium on 18-20 September 2013 with presentations from internationally leading scientists. For details of the event, click here.