DBM News


Our dear colleague Antonius G. Rolink, Professor of Immunology at the DBM, has passed away on August 6, 2017.

Antonius G. Rolink (1953 – 2017)

Antonius Rolink was the Roche-Professor of Immunology and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Immunology at the Department of Biomedicine (DBM). Born in The Netherlands in 1953, he started his academic career at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he studied lymphocyte biology and the development of autoimmunity. In 1983, he moved to Switzerland as a member of the world-renowned Basel Institute for Immunology, where he served as a permanent member from 1995 to 2001. He authored more than 150 scientific publications, including many in top-ranking journals, and organized several EMBO workshops and the Basel Immunology Focus Symposium (BIFS), an international meeting that has become a regular and successful event. His research focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms guiding T and B lymphocyte diversity and B cell development, starting from earliest B cell progenitors all the way to antibody producing plasma cells. His work significantly contributed to a better understanding of how the immune system develops self-tolerance and how autoimmune diseases arise. 

His vision and engagement had a major influence on the scientific community and contributed significantly Basel’s reputation as a centre for research in immunology with international reach. Ton Rolink was not only a brilliant scientist, but also a passionate teacher and mentor.  He was responsible for teaching Basic Immunology at both the Phil.-Nat. Faculty and at the Faculty of Medicine. He had a clear, structured and interesting lecture style that was both inspiring and motivating.

With Ton Rolink we lose an outstanding scientist, academic teacher and friend, whose passion, character and knowledge will be dearly missed.