Toxic Cyanide in Cassava

The 2. Symposium “Toxic Cyanide in Cassava” is a half-day interdisciplinary meeting of scientists to discuss aspects associated with the toxicity of endogenous cyanide in cassava. A special focus of this year`s program is on measures for fighting konzo, an epidemic paralytic disease.

The scientific program includes presentations from medicine, biology, chemistry and food science and round table discussions. Due to its informal character it is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss new programs and collaborations. The event is open to the public.

I am looking forward to welcoming you all in Zurich.

Felix Zelder


Friday, June 28th, 2019

University of Zurich, Campus Irchel, Lecture Hall G 85

13:00 - 13.10 Opening of the Symposium
13:10 - 15:00


15:00 - 15-30

Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30


16:30 - 18:30

Round Table Discussion


Confirmed Speaker


Julie Cliff


Julie Cliff is an Australian physician and epidemiologist who has worked in Mozambique since 1976, teaching at Eduardo Mondlane University.

Following graduation in medicine from the University of Melbourne, she trained in London in internal medicine (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians) and community health and tropical medicine (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

In the United States, she has been an International Epidemiologic Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Title:   Monitoring Cyanide Intoxication from Cassava in Mozambique


Ros Gleadow


Ros Gleadow is Professor of Plant Sciences at Monash University. She researches the effect of climate change on food security with a focus on plants that make cyanide and the impact on human and animal health. Current projects are on the effect of CO2, drought, temperature and salinity on growth and allocation of resources in sorghum, cassava and taro working in Africa, the Pacific Islands and Australia. Gleadow also leads the undergraduate science program at Monash on scientific practice and communication and leads the Faculty of Science on a new interdisciplinary Agtech initiative. She is a former President of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists and is a member of the Australian Academy of Science's Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Title:   New systems for predicting the toxicity of cassava in a changing climate


Felix Zelder


Felix Zelder is a group leader at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Zurich working in the area of synthetic and analytical chemistry. One of his research interests is the development of chemical sensors for applications in remote locations and resource limited settings.

Title:   Corrin-based Chemosensor Technology for the ASSURED Detection of Endogenous Cyanide


Mathias Cherbuin


Mathias Cherbuin is Chief Technical Officer at CyanoGuard AG where is he is in charge of developing cyanide monitoring solutions that enable the safe handling of cyanide-containing processes and monitoring of cyanide-containing samples. A key focus of his is the development of IoT devices and software that allow food security of cassava derived products and valorisation of bitter cassava in Africa.

Title:   Digital enhanced cassava processing in rural Africa



Attendance at the symposium and the coffee break is free of charge. Registration is required.



PD Dr. Felix Zelder

Department of Chemistry

University of Zurich

Department of Chemistry UZH