Marcel Egli is head of the Institute of Medical Engineering at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts that combines the Centre of Competence in Bioscience and Medical Engineering, the "Space Biology Group" and the User Support and Operational Centre “BIOTESC” that serves the European Space Agency ESA. The Institute offers study programmes as well as complementary post-graduate courses.
Marcel Egli became first a precision mechanic before he entered the academic career. He started off by earning a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Berne. Thereafter, he enrolled into a multi-disciplinary graduate school (medicine and biology) at the same University. After completion, he spent several years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne (Howard Florey Institute, Australia) and at the Florida State University (Department of Biology, USA). There, he became Associate Faculty and focused on studying secretory rhythms of hormones in mammals. Later on, the appointment to lead the Space Biology Group at ETH Zurich brought him back to Switzerland. He received the Venia Legendi from ETH Zürich in space biology after submitting the habilitation thesis. A few years later, he moved his research group from Zurich to Lucerne, where the Institute of Medical Engineering was founded.
Marcel Egli has published numerous scientific articles in the fields of neurobiology, neuro-endocrinology, and more recently in space biology. His current research interests include mainly the cellular mechanisms of mechanosensation, induced by mechanical unloading (e.g. weightlessness). For conducting such research, not only regular laboratory instruments are employed but also research platforms like airplanes performing parabolic flight manoeuvres, sounding rockets as well as the laboratories of the International Space Station ISS.