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Institut für Biomedizinische Ethik und Medizingeschichte (IBME)

Manuel Merkofer

Manuel Merkofer, MA

  • Wiss. Assistent
044 634 83 72


Since February 2020: Ph.D. Project "How Medicine innovates: The Case of Microneurosurgery in the Second Half of the 20th Century". Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Flurin Condrau and Prof. Dr. Thomas Schlich.

Since July 2019: Research Associate at the History of Medicine Department (Centre for Medical Humanities)/Lehrstuhl für Medizingeschichte (Institut für Biomedizinische Ethik und Medizingeschichte), University of Zurich (Prof. Flurin Condrau)

2014-2016: Student Assistant at the Chair for Science Studies, ETH Zürich (Prof. Michael Hagner)

2013-2017: Master of Arts ETH in History and Philosophy of
Knowledge, ETH Zurich

2010-2011: Exchange Student (Erasmus), University of Padova (Italy)

2009-2013: Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Zurich


History of Neurosurgery, History of Psychology, History of Psychiatry, Transnational History, History of Science


2020: "Proseminar 1. Körper und Geist", philosophische Fakultät, HS 2020.

2021: "Proseminar 1. Körper und Geschlecht", philosophische Fakultät, HS 2021.

2023: Medicine and Film, medizinische Fakultät, HS 2023.

Einzelne Sitzungen:

2022: "Proseminar 3", philosophische Fakultät, FS 2022 (Vertretung Lisa Haushofer).

2022: Einführung in die Medizingeschichte, Psychiatrie, medizinische Fakultät, FS 2022 (mit Yvan Prkachin, Organisation Lisa Haushofer).


Neurosurgeons’ turn to microsurgery and the role of “conservative innovators” in the 1960s and 1970s, Society for the Social History of Medicine Biennial Conference (2024) ‘Resistance’, Glasgow, 16.07.-19.07.2024. (upcoming)

"From periphery to center: The early history of neurosurgery in Switzerland and how the neurosurgical clinic in Zurich became a hub for micro-vascular surgery (1937-1980)", Swiss Society for the History of Medicine and Science meeting, Bern, 24.11.2023. 

"Risks and Medical Innovation: The Case of Microneurosurgery in the late 1960s and 1970s, EAHMH Conference 2023,  Oslo, 30.08.-02.09.2023.

"The Privileges of High Technology Medicine: Microneurosurgery, Medical Innovation, and Risk-taking (1950-1980)", Forschungskolloquium des Lehrstuhls für Medizingeschichte der Universität Zürich, Frühlingssemester 2023, 03.05.2023.

"How subconscious traffic victims shaped neurosurgeons’ thinking, and mind-body philosophies got disentangled from clinical assessment of consciousness", “Before, below, beyond: Mind-body therapies in post-war times”, American Historical Association Annual Meeting  2023, Philadelphia, 06.01.2023.

"Medical visualization and the establishment of microneurosurgery", Work in progress seminar, Department of Social Studies in Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, 23.11.2022.

"The Writer and the Patient: Walter Matthias Diggelmann’s clinical memories and the 'emotional regime' in the neurosurgical clinic in the late 1970s", Emotion knowledge – exploring epistemic emotional intersections, North American Chapter on the History of Emotion (NACHE) Conference 2022, Fairfax, 04.-05.06.2022.

"Neurosurgical Ergonomics, Microsurgical Industries, and the Cold War", History of Science Suisse meeting 2022, Fribourg, 20.05.2022.

"Looking for the neurosurgical patient: Walter Matthias Diggelmann's 'Shadows, diary of an illness' ", 95th annual meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) 2022, Saratoga Springs, 21.-24.04.2022.

"Innovation in der Medizin: Der Fall der Mikroneurochirurgie (1950-1980)", Südwestdeutsche Regionalkonferenz zur Medizin- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte („Brezelkonferenz“), 20.11.2021.

"Developments in medical illustration, photography, and videography; the case of neurosurgery (1950-1980)", Histories of Knowledge in Society (Summer School), ETH Zurich and University of Zurich, 14.09.2021.

"How Medicine Innovates: The Case of Microneurosurgery in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century", Forschungskolloquium des Lehrstuhls für Medizingeschichte der Universität Zürich, Frühlingssemester 2020, 18.03.2020.


Die Erforschung des Hirns, in: 4bis8 Fachzeitschrift für Kindergarten und Unterstufe, 2020, 1, S. 26-27.



2023: EAHMH Oslo bursary 

2022: UZH Doc.Mobility: Nine-month research stay at McGill (Montreal) and UCSF (San Francisco)

2022: AAHM Travel Grant for participation at the American Association for History of Medicine Conference

2020: GRC Travel Grant from the University of Zurich for a research stay at Carl Zeiss Archives in Jena


Doctoral program at the Graduate Center "History of Knowledge"

International Society for the History of the Neurosciences

Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Geschichte

American Association for the History of Medicine

European Association for the History of Medicine and Health