At the age of 43, she has achieved what would be a life’s work for others. Appointed associate (tenured) professor in 2017, she has headed a 20-person research group ever since. Already twice she received grants from the European Research Council (ERC). In 2019, she won the EMBO Gold Medal, awarded for internationally recognised contributions to the life sciences. This is now being followed by the Rössler Prize in 2020. Worth 200,000 Swiss francs, it is the most highly endowed research award at ETH Zurich and was made possible by a gift to the ETH Foundation from ETH alumnus Max Rössler.
Traditionally, the Rössler Prize is awarded on the Thanksgiving event of the ETH Foundation, which this year unfortunately cannot take place due to the corona situation. Picotti plans to spend the Rössler prize money in three ways. The first two are to further the development in her team and purchase new laboratory facilities. She also wants to donate part to the Corona Impulse Fund launched by the ETH Foundation. “I like to think that, in this way, I can encourage ETH research into COVID-19 and help students experiencing financial hardship,” she says.