The Swiss Society for Radiation Biology was founded in Geneva in 1964, after a difference of opinions between radiologists and scientists prevented the integration of the Radiation Biologists into the then named “Society for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine”, (later renamed the “Swiss Society for Medical Radiology”).

Professor Dr. Hedi Fritz-Niggli, the director of the Institute of Radiation Biology of the University of Zürich was voted to be the first president of the Society. The aims of the society were set down to be to gain recognition in specialist area of radiation biology and to advance knowledge in this field, as well as to further the education of medical doctors and scientists in the fundamentals of radiation physics and radiation protection.

From 1966 to 1974 the journal “Radiologica Clinica et Biologica” (publishing house S. Karger in Basel) served as the joint official publication of both the “Swiss Society for Radiation Biology” and the “Swiss Society for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine”. However, this joint arrangement was later disbanded by mutual agreement. In 1995 the society decided to jointly issue the “Zeitschift für Medizinische Physik” (publishers G.Braun, Karlsruhe), which had originally been established in 1991 by the DGMP and the ÖGMP: all members of the three societies subscribe to this journal, which has a turn-over of about 1800 copies. Journals appear quarterly, the emphasis is on scientific publications, but the journal may also be used to report society news. The scientific papers may be written in German, French or English and all the articles undergo a review process following international standards of peer reviewing. In 1998 the publisher was changed to Urban and Fischer and since 2003 the journal has been published by Elsevier. In 2001, after much effort, the journal was included in Index Medicus and in Medline. An important step for the journal was it’s acceptance in the database of the Insitute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia. The “Zeitschrift für Medizinische Physik” has since then the important Impact Factor.

The society has pursued its aims primarily by regular conference activity, the formation of working groups, issuing statements during consultation processes on draft laws and regulations, as well as organising educational meetings. Collaboration with our neighbouring German and Austrian societies also allows the annual scientific conferences to be held as joint meetings on an international level. Since 1978, the scientific contributions to the annual meetings have been published in the “conference reports” of the society.

In 1980 the Statutes of the society were revised to reflect the increasing importance of medical radiation physics and the name of the society was changed in accordance to the “Swiss Society of Radiobiology and Radiation Physics”. In the same year the society was involved in founding the “European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics” (EFOMP), represented by the president of the society at the time Prof. Poretti. In 1982, the society joined the “International Organization for Medical Physics” (IOMP).

Since 1982, the society has been active in producing recommendations on many aspects related to medical physics, which were developed by working groups for specific areas of activity. Some of the recommendations have also found international recognition. In addition, reports are issued on various individual comparative studies, or other topics of interest. In order to promote the exchange of information among members, a society “Bulletin” was introduced in 1981, which initially appeared annually and now three times a year.

In order to meet the increasing need for qualified medical physicists and to ensure a high level of training, the society has drawn up guidelines and has granted professional recognition (board certification) in medical physics as of 1988, in accordance with international guidelines; the board certification has been fully in compliance with the EFOMP directive since 2000. From 1992 until its division into various professional associations in 1999, the “Swiss Society of Medical Radiology” also contributed to the professional recognition and was represented in the board certification committee. Since 1999 the SSRMP Board decides itself on the composition of the examination committee, but it is still considered important that radiology is represented.

Whereas initially the activities of the medical physicist were restricted to radiation physics, medical physicists are increasingly involved in other applications of physics in medicine. Therefore, in 1988 the whole field of medical physics was included in the catalogues of interest of the society and the society was given the new name, the “Swiss Society of Radiobiology and Medical Physics”(SSRMP).

In 1996 the Zurich government decided that the field of ionizing radiation was no longer to be supported at the Institute of Medical Radiobiology of the University of Zürich. This was a heavy blow for individual members directly involved as well as for the society as a whole. It meant that the most important working place of many radiation biologists along with the Centre of Radiobiology in Switzerland was gone.

Jakob Roth  / Translated from the German by Nicci Lomax


The society was led by the following presidents:
Prof. Dr. H. Fritz-Niggli Zürich 1964 – 1968
Prof. Dr. W. Minder Bern 1968 – 1976
Prof. Dr. P. Lerch Lausanne 1976 – 1979
Prof. Dr. G. Poretti Bern 1979 – 1983
Dr. P. Schweizer Zürich 1983 – 1987
Prof. Dr. J. Roth Basel 1987 – 1991
PD Dr. C. Michel Zürich 1991 – 1995
PD Dr. J.-F. Germond La Chaux-de-Fonds 1995 – 1999
Dr. W. Seelentag St.Gallen 1999 – 2003
Dr. L. André Bern 2003 – 2007
Dr. L. Cozzi Bellinzona 2007 – 2009
PD Dr. R. Moeckli Lausanne 2009 – 2014
Dr. P. Manser Bern 2014 –
In addition, the following members sat on the SSRMP board (alphabetical order): Dr. D. Aebersold (Bern), Prof. Dr. H. Aebi (Bern), Dr. Dr. E. Born (Bern), Frau S. Bulling (Genève), Dr. W. Burkart (Villigen-PSI), Dr. F. Corminboeuf (Lausanne), Dr. P. Coucke (Lausanne), PD Dr. N. Crompton (Villigen-PSI), Dr. P. Frey (Bern), Dr. G. Garavaglia (Bellinzona), Herr P. Haefeli (Winterthur), Dr. S. Klöck (Zürich), Prof. Dr. H. Lüthy (Basel), Dr. R. Menz (Basel), Dr. R. Mini (Bern), Prof. Dr. J.-H. Müller (Zürich), Dr. H.W. Nemec (Basel), Dr. M. Notter (Bern), Dr. M. Ozsahin (Lausanne), Dr. M. Pachoud (Lausanne), Frau A. Pfäfflin (Basel), Dr. S. Presilla (Bellinzona), J.-Y. Ray (Sion), Dr. H. Renfer (Bern), Dr. H. Roser (Basel), Dr. W. Roser (Villigen-PSI), Dr. N. Schwegler (Aarau), Frau R. Seiler (Luzern), Dr. D. Vetterli (Biel), Prof. Dr. G. Wagner (Bern), Dr. A. Willi (Chur), Prof. Dr. J.-F. Valley (Lausanne).
Board members list (1964-2014), Board constitutions (1964-2009)
Honorary members of SSRMP:
1965 Prof. Hanns Langendorff
1981 Prof. Hedi Fritz-Niggli
1983 Prof. Rolf Wideröe
1985 Prof. Walter Minder
1988 Prof. Herbert Lüthy
1988 Dr. Arnold von Arx
1998 Prof. Christian Streffer
2001 Dr. Pascal Schweizer
2002 Prof. Bernhard Rassow
2012 Prof. Jakob Roth
Theophil-Christen-Medallist of SSRMP:
2006 Prof. Jean-François Valley
2014 Dr. Léon André
2014 Dr. Wolf Seelentag