Once upon a time (2005), a group of fearless scientists and clinicians set out on a journey and descended into the shadowy abyss between engineering and medicine. Their goal was to find and establish new routes and make them accessible for future groups. They called their team of explorers "CMBE", which stood for Clinical Morphology and Biomedical Engineering. They were lead by the two young assistant Professors Philippe Cattin (sponsored by Hansjörg Wyss) and Bert Müller (sponsored by Thomas Straumann).

After years of roaming through areas that no human being had ever seen before, they finally found the ascent on the other side. The new route was very different from what they had previously assumed: They now understood that the gap between medicine and engineering could only be bridged by groups of very different experts and characters, and that, therefore, collegiality, creativity, and mutual trust – were and are indispensable for any Abyss Overcomer.

Now that the path had been traced and mapped, they could set about building the bridgeheads. For this task, many miraculous specialists joined the team. And the name was also changed. From now on, the mission was called: Department of Biomedical Engineering. Founded in 2015, it aims for connecting the two discplinary continents with as many bridges as possible and making the crossing, which they called "translation", as easy as possible for people, ideas, technologies and methods.

You who are about to cross this bridge, know that you will arrive on the other side as someone else.



On 24 August 2015, the new Department of Biomedical Engineering was established in Allschwil with the aim to further advance procedures and technologies for medical treatment. Since more groups can build more bridges simultaneously, the DBE quickly consisted of roughly 70 researchers in Allschwil and around 60 medical doctors from the University Hospital Basel and the University Children's Hospital Basel. Now the project began to gain momentum. More brainpower, more ideas, more perspectives, more skills, more knowledge, more collaborations made the project faster and faster.


In December 2023, the DBE moved to new premises in the newly built GRID designed by Herzog and De Meuron within the BaseLink innovation district. During the inauguration on 30 January 2024, Thomi Jourdan, Director of the Department for Economy and Health of Basel-Landschaft, Andrea Schenker-Wicki, rector of the University of Basel, and head of the DBE, Philippe Cattin, pressed the button to release a laser robot to cut the traditional red ribbon in front of 100 guests from politics, clinics, University, industry, and research.