GENEVA, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announces today the completion of the second study week hosted this year in its global headquarter in Geneva, covering projects in the field of genetics in medicine and disease related biology. Merck Serono supports each year the recognized foundation "Swiss Youth in Science" to promote the development of medical research vocations by hosting groups of scholars in its labs. These scholars are given the chance of getting a practical experience in labs and of understanding the reality of research with the help of high-skilled mentors.

"If we succeed in building well-prepared and motivated next generations of scientists, we will enable the discovery of breakthrough and innovative solutions to answer patients' unmet needs and to handle the global medical challenges of the future. Therefore, supporting meaningful initiatives to stimulate scientific curiosity and interest in research careers among the young is a responsibility that Merck Serono is eager to take on", said Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, Executive Vice President, Global Research and Development at Merck Serono. "As a leader in the medical field and local employer in Switzerland, we are continuously working on deepening our relationships with the Swiss community and with the academic institutions of the Lake Geneva region", added Dietmar Eidens, Head of Global Human Resources at Merck Serono.

Since 1989, the foundation "Swiss Youth in Science" whose mission is to promote Science, works in collaboration with the local Universities and the industry by organizing study weeks all over Switzerland in different scientific disciplines. Traditionally, Merck Serono contributes to the study weeks focused on chemistry and genetics that belong to its key fields of expertise. This year, the foundation proposed four themes in the frame of the genetics in biology and medicine week: molecular and cellular biology, bioinformatics, neurobiology, and anthropology/evolutionary biology. In this context, and to illustrate these research approaches, scholars have developed, together with Merck Serono, their assignments in the areas of pharmacology, immunology and new compounds screening. Under dedicated supervision of Merck Serono mentors, students have performed short research projects and presented them as posters at the final ceremony at the University of Geneva.