Prof. Dr. Urs Frey

Medical Director and Professor of Paediatrics

Urs Frey has been Full Professor (Ordinarius) of Paediatrics and Medical Director at the University Children's Hospital of Basel since 2010. Prof. Frey graduated from the University of Bern in 1988, where he remained to complete his MD thesis and his training as a paediatrician. He then continued his research and clinical training at Boston University (Boston, USA), the Hammersmith Hospital in London (UK) and also Leicester University (UK), where he studied for his PhD in Medical Physics/Biomedical Engineering. From 2005 until 2010, Prof. Frey was Head of Departmentand Professor of Paediatric Pulmonology at the University Hospital of Bern.

Prof. Frey's major research interests include the developmental physiology of newborns with wheezing disorders and asthma, and the potential role of environmental pollutants affecting lung growth and development. He was also heavily involved in the development and international standardisation of non-invasive lung function tests in infants. Since the late 1990s, Prof. Frey has become increasingly interested in the mathematics of chaos and fractals in biological systems. In 2005, he and his colleagues presented a new concept on how asthma, as an example of a chronic disease, can be understood as a dynamically regulated process, which was published in Nature. Based on this work they recently developed new algorithms to estimate the risk for future asthma attacks in the individual patient.

From 2014-2016, Prof. Frey began served a term as President of Division III (Biology and Medicine) of the Swiss National Foundation. He continues to be an active member of the Swiss National Science Foundation Research Council, and is also heavily involved in the training and support of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from Switzerland and abroad. He is the recipient of several awards in the field of respiratory research, including the ERS Romain Pauwels Asthma Research Fund award in 2007, the Swiss Theodor-Kocher Research Award in 2003 and, most recently, the Guido Fanconi Memorial Prize for Paediatrics, in 2020. 

Prof Frey has published over 50 original articles in the last 5 years in well-ranked journals in the field of Pediatrics and Pulmonology. 

He lives with his wife and two daughters in Basel.