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Interview in the Uni Nova Magazine

University of Basel

Fritz Verzár (1886–1979): An almost forgotten pioneer

Thanks to @MartinHicklin & @unibasel for this great article and mentioning. To me it was so surprising to find out that someone almost 50 years before me had this brilliant idea and pioneered an assay (rat tendon tail assay) that is still used today for measuring age-related changes (cross-linking of collagens)! Even more surprisingly was that this all happened in my home town (Basel) and I grew up in the exact same neighborhood where Fritz Verzar founded the Institute of Experimental Gerontology.

"Collin Ewald, a 35-year-old SNSF research professor at ETH Zurich, is following a hot lead. Ewald, who is from Basel, trained at Basel University’s Biozentrum, gained his master’s at the Friedrich Miescher Institute and then completed a PhD in Alzheimer’s research in New York. After that, he moved to Harvard Medical School’s Joslin Diabetes Center, where he turned his attention to the question of which factors support health aging and longevity......"

Below are more thoughts about how I stumbled over Fritz Verzar's research. (Written in German)

Ich bin per Zufall ueber Fritz Verzar’s Forschung gestolpert. Wirklich unglaublich was dieser alles so geleiste hat hier in Basel. Als Visionaer hat er das Institute fuer Experimentelle Gerontologie am Nonnenweg 7 gegruendet. Gewisse Quellen sagen, dass Verzar die ersten serioesen aging Experimente gemacht hat und das vor Hayflick (Ref. Ladislas Path Onc Res 2000).
Fritz Verzar’s 130 Geburtstag war am 18. Sept. und ich danke dem Uni Nova Magazine der Universitaet Basel fuer den schoenen Beitrag ueber den fast vergessenen Forscher Verzar.