Swiss scientists network

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Last update: January 2022


Lab Prof. Hugues Abriel

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern

Institute infrastructure: Cell culture and microscopy techniques, electrophysiology (conventional and automated patch-clamp), protein interaction techniques
Animal models: TRPM4 KO and KI animals, SNTA KO animals.

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Hugues AbrielChannelopathies, ion channels and protein-protein interactions 
Maria Essers
lab manager, technician
Animal surgery, biochemistry, immunostaining, protein-protein proximity assay, cardiomyocytes isolation, Langendorff
Sabrina Guichard
Cardiomyocytes isolation, genotyping, molecular cloning, generation transgenic animal, co-immunoprecipitation, western blot, biotinylation, immunostaining, patch clamp HEK-293.
Mey Boukenna
MD/PhD student
Cell culture, co-immunoprecipitation, western blot, biotinylation, Taqman. 

Dr. Jean-Sébastien Rougier
senior scientist

Cell culture, patch-clamp (heterologous expression system, iPSC, and cardiomyocytes), newborn cardiomyocytes isolation, molecular cloning, protein-protein proximity assay, immunostaining. 
Anne-Flore Hämmerli
Patch-clamp, atrial cardiomyocytes isolation, 
Dr. Oksana Iamshanova
Patch clamp HEK-293, co-immunoprecipitation, western blot, biotinylation
Dr. Patricia Teixidor Monsell
scientific officer


Lab Prof. Frédéric Allain

Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zürich

Institute infrastructure: Determination of structures at atomic resolution of Protein-RNA and drug-RNA complexes using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR)

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Frédéric AllainNMR, ITC, splicing assay
Dr. Antoine Cléry
senior scientist
NMR, ITC, splicing assay 


Lab Prof. Francesca Amati

Aging and Muscle Metabolism lab, Department of Physiology & Institute of Sport Sciences, University of Lausanne

Lab infrastructure: Human physiology and metabolism research lab including exercise testing, exercise intervention, stable isotope tracers, glucose clamps, indirect calorimetry, body composition.
Zebrafish facility, breeding, exercise testing and training.
Primary muscle cell cultures, respirometry, mitochondria isolation, wet lab, microsopy


TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Francesca AmatiClinical and translational research in muscle metabolism and aging, including muscle wasting, sarcopenia, insulin resistance and the development of other chronic diseases related to muscle metabolism. Our lab research projects include specific subcellular compartments, organelle dynamics and contact sites (mitochondria, lipid droplets, etc).
Dr. Sylviane Lagarrigue
Mitochondrial metabolism, respirometry (Seahorse XF analyzers), primary cell cultures
Dogan Grepper
PhD student
Zebrafish models
Cassandra Tabasso
PhD student
Dr. Ammar Ebrahimi
Small molecules and peptides, Drosophila models
Axel Aguettaz
PhD student
Imaging (high resolution, confocal, electron microscopy) 


Lab Prof. Johan Auwerx

Laboratory of Integrative and Systems Physiology (LISP) – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Lab infrastructure: 
Goals: to understand the role of mitochondria and proteostasis in health, disease, and aging
Strategy: systems & population genetics, molecular & cellular biology, and computational approaches
Model systems: C. elegans, mouse genetic reference populations, humans
Keywords: Metabolic sensing, Mitochondrial metabolism, Nuclear receptor and cofactor biology, Complex genetics, Genetic reference populations, Aging

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Johan AuwerxMetabolism, Aging, muscle wasting, sarcopenia, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, IBM, mouse and human genetics, NAD biology, mitochondria.    
Martin Wohlwend
Muscle stem cell, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, mitochondria and metabolism
Tanes Imamura de Lima Post-DocMuscle stem cell, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, mitochondria and metabolism
Barbara Moreira-Crisol
Visiting PhD student
Muscle stem cell, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, mitochondria and metabolism
Amelia Lalou
PhD student
Aging, proteostasis, mitochondria.


Lab Prof. Ori Bar-Nur

Regenerative and Movement Biology lab, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich

Lab infrastructure and techniques
I) Tissue culture: primary muscle cell culture, pluripotent stem cell culture (mouse, rat, human), reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (mouse, rat, human), reprogramming somatic cells into myogenic progenitors (mouse), isolation of fibro-adipogenic progenitors and satellite cells using surface markers, intramuscular cell transplantation and graft analysis.
(II) Relevant mouse strains:  C57BL/10ScSn-Dmdmdx/J, B10ScSn.Cg-Prkdcscid Dmdmdx/J, B6.Cg-Pax7tm1(cre/ERT2)Gaka/J, Pax7-nGFP. 

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Ori Bar-NurStem cell biology with emphasis on pluripotent and satellite stem cells, direct lineage reprogramming methods such as conversion of somatic cells into muscle cells, principles of skeletal muscle regeneration. 
Nicola Bundschuh
Lab manager
Primary muscle cell culture, reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9, flow cytometry, FACS sorting.
Joel Zwick
PhD student
Reprogramming somatic cells into iPSCs or myogenic progenitors, primary muscle isolation and cell culture, fibro-adipogenic progenitor cell isolation and culture.
Seraina Domenig
PhD student
Genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9, production of viral vectors, in vitro modelling of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, reprogramming somatic cells into iPSCs or myogenic progenitors.

Giada Bacchin
PhD student

Direct reprogramming of somatic cells into myogenic progenitors, primary muscle/fibroblast cell culture and isolation, production of viral vectors, molecular cloning, human iPSCs, flow cytometry, biomaterials
Veerle de Goederen
PhD student
Muscle cell dedifferentiation, fish cell culture, transcriptomics
Christine Ling Li Trautmann
PhD student
Primary muscle cell isolation and cell culture of bovine myoblasts and muscle fibers


Lab. Prof. Perrine Castets

University of Geneva, Faculty of Medicine, Department Cell Physiology and Metabolism

Institute infrastructure: Microscopy, FACS, genomic platform, Proteomics facility, cell culture, muscle electroporation, AAV

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Perrine Castets
SNSF Assistant Professor
Muscle physiology; molecular biology; transgenic animal models; neuromuscular diseases; neuromuscular junction; autophagy
Dr. Alexandre Prola
Maître Assistant
Molecular biology; metabolism; Muscle Stem Cells; mitochondria; Ca2+ flux
Dr. Jayassiman Rajendran
Molecular biology; biochemistry; metabolomics; mitochondria dysfunction
Olivia Cattaneo
PhD student
Molecular biology; histology; epigenetics; neuromuscular junction
Ilaria Cocchiararo
PhD student
Molecular biology; autophagy; autophagic vacuolar myopathies, histology
Mélanie Cornut
PhD student
Mouse genotyping; immunohistochemistry; nuclear isolation; cell culture


Lab Prof. Maud Frieden

University of Geneva, Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism

Institute infrastructure: Calcium imaging, electrophysiology, human primary cell culture, lentivirus

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Maud FriedenElectrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging
Dr. Stephane Koenig
scientific collaborator
Molecular biology, myogenesis and muscle regeneration, lentivirus, signal transduction
Dr. Axel Tollance
Reserve cell activation, signal transduction, Ca2+ imaging
Loann Laubry
PhD student
Myoblast differentiation, Signal transduction, Ca2+ imaging, electrical stimulation on cell culture
Olivier Dupont
Lab technician
Myoblast differentiation, Signal transduction, Ca2+ imaging


Lab Prof. Christoph Handschin

Biozentrum, University of Basel

Institute infrastructure: Treadmill (open and closed), voluntary wheel running, grip strength, CLAMS (comprehensive laboratory animal monitoring system), qNMR (body composition)

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Christoph HandschinSkeletal muscle cell plasticity in health and disease incl. exercise and muscle wasting pathologies
Dr. Regula Furrer

Dysferlinopathy (in vivo testing, in situ force measurements


Lab Prof. Marisa Jaconi

University of Geneva, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Basic Neurosciences 

Institute infrastructure: Cell culture and microscopy techniques; pre-GMP and GMP lab; muscle physiology; animal facility and analysis of muscle function

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Marisa JaconiHuman pluripotent stem cells (ESC and iPSC) and tissue-derived stem cells 
Cardiac and skeletal muscle differentiation
Organoids and tissue engineering
Cell therapy strategies and GMP cell production
Setup for 3D sound-induced morphogenesis (Cymatix)
Setups for microfluidcs and electrophysiological characterization for 

Dr. Tania Rodrgues 

Mesoangioblast biology, muscle differentiation and functional analysis, lentivector transduction and clonal selection
GMP isolation and cell banking 
Martha Iabel Gonzalez Duque
Stem cells and cardiac valve reconstruction, 3D bioprinting, sound-induced morphogenesis


Lab Prof. Didier Hannouche & Dr. Thomas Laumonier

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine & University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland

Institute infrastructure: Hypoxic chamber, Whole Animal System for muscle physiology testing in mice, bioluminescence imaging.

TeamPersonal expertise
Dr. Thomas Laumonier
Senior scientist, PhD
Co-responsible of the lab
Isolation of human myogenic stem cells, cell therapy, immunology, flow cytometry, gene therapy, bioluminescence imaging
Prof. Didier Hannouche
Professor, MD
Co-responsible of the lab
Orthopaedic surgery, cell therapy
Dr. Laure Gallay
Animal microsurgery, PCR, histology
Axelle Bouche
PhD student
Cell culture, flow cytometry, cell transplantation
Chloé Richard
Master student
Cell culture, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence


Lab Prof. Peter Meister

Institute of Cell Bioogy, University of Bern

Institute infrastructure: Confocal Microscopy, Spinning Disk microscopy for live and Calcium imaging

TeamPersonal expertise
SNF Prof. 
Peter Meister
C. elegans, muscle differentiation, epigenetics, nuclear organization, microscopy
Francesca Coraggio
PhD student
Cell plasticity, muscle cell induction, pluripotency, genetic screens


Lab Prof. Nicolas Mermod

University of Lausanne, Biotechnology

Institute infrastructureMuscle in situ electroporation, integrating and non-integrating non-viral DNA expression vectors, Next-generation DNA sequencing and genomics

TeamPersonal expertise
Nicolas Mermod
Gene  expression  and regulation, genomics, epigenetic regulatory elements, non-viral vectors
Dr. Lionel Mavoungou
Postdoctoral researcher
gene transfer in cultured muscle progenitor cells and transplantation, MDX murine model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy


Lab Prof. Markus A. Rüegg

University of Basel, Biozentrum

Institute infrastructure: Muscle electroporation; muscle force measurement; microscopy;cell culture; tread mill; voluntary wheel running; brain physiology.

TeamPersonal expertise
Markus A. Rüegg
Muscle physiology; molecular biology; transgenic animal models; neuromuscular diseases.
Dr. Shuo Lin
Development of neuromuscular junctions; muscle growth and muscular dystrophies.
Dr. Judith Reinhard
Research associate
Molecular biology; biochemistry; histology; histochemistry; muscular dystrophies (LAMA2 MD (MDC1A))
Dr. Daniel J. Ham
Muscle physiology; sarcopenia; muscle function testing.
Dr. Giulia Milan
Muscle physiology; cell biology; molecular biology; signaling pathways in muscle disease
Marco Thürkauf
Master student
Alexander Ham
Master student
Filippo Oliveri 
Genotyping of mice, lab management


Lab Dr. Francesco Santini and Prof. Oliver Bieri

Division of Radiological Physics, Department of Radiology, University Hospital Basel

Institute infrastructure: 1.5T and 3T human MRI scanners for in vivo imaging and spectroscopy, electronics laboratory, access to 31P coils for in vivo human spectroscopy and MR-compatible ergometer, equipment for electrical muscle stimulation during MRI.

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Oliver Bieri
Head of Radiological Physics
Methodological development, novel contrast mechanisms.
Dr. Francesco Santini
Head of Muscle MRI
Methodological development, dynamic  MRI; MRI safety; electronics design and development.
Dr. Xeni Deligianni
Methodological development, quantitative and dynamic MR imaging and spectroscopy; MR image and data analysis.
Dr. Claudia Weidensteiner
Methodological development, study design and data analysis, pediatric imaging.

Dr. Jakob Wasserthal

Image analysis and Artificial Intelligence
Tanja Haas
MRI scanning
Philipp Madörin
MRI scanning



Lab Prof. Smita Saxena

University of Bern, Dept. for Biomedical research and Dept. of Neurology, Insespital

Institute infrastructure: Confocal microscopy, spinning disk microscopy for live and calcium imaging, muscle force measurement, cell culture, voluntary wheel running, rotarod, stereotaxic surgery, optogenetics, laser dissection microscopy, ALS rodent models (SOD1, TDP-43 and C9ORF72).

TeamPersonal expertise
Smita Saxena
Degeneration of motor neruons and neuromuscular junctions in ALS, muscle factors that influence axonal regeneration status, mTOR signalling in motor neurons
Niran Maharjan
Senior Researcher
Motor neuron and iPSC-derived neuronal cultures, electron microscopy
Mert Dumansleep measurements
Federica Pilotto
PhD student
Carla Pernaci
PhD student
Rim Diab
PhD student

Alexander Schmitz
MD-PhD student



Lab Prof. Leonardo Scapozza

University of Geneva, Pharmaceutical Biochemistry

Institute infrastructure: Setup for measuring isometric force in sedated living mice or rats; Setup for measuring isometric and eccentric force in excised muscle; Setup for fluorescent imaging in living cells, mdx5Cv dystrophic mouse, mdx5Cv mice bearing conditional mutations for aromatase, estrogen receptors alpha and beta, cell culture facilities (P2 level), HTP plate readers, genomics platforms with capacity for RNA-sequencing and qPCR

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Leonardo ScapozzaBiophysics of interactions: ITC, SPR, Thermophoresis, Enzymology
Medicinal Chemistry: Cpds synthesis
Biochemistry: protein expression (mg scale), protein purification, target-based in vitro assay, protein characterization (SEC, SEC-MALS)
Dr. Olivier Dorchies
Senior Research Associate
Primary cultures of mouse skeletal muscle, in vivo force measurements, in vivo motor function (spontaneous locomotor activity, grid test, wheel running), influxes of radioactive calcium and sodium, fluorescent detection of ROS, roles of ROS and estrogen receptors in muscle dystrophy 
Dr. Hesham Ismail
Senior scientist
In vivo/ex vivo force measurements, primary mouse skeletal muscle cultures,  fluorescent imaging of intracellular pH, sodium fluxes, calcium fluxes, ROS, roles of ROS in muscle dystrophy
Elinam Gayi
PhD student
Management of multiple mutant mouse colonies, roles of estrogen receptors in muscle dystrophy
Dr. Amparo Garcia-Lopez
In vivo and in vitro study of RNA splicing, screening and characterization of RNA-binding molecules, study of neuromuscular diseases at the molecular and cell biology levels.
Dr. Laurence Neff
Research associate
Molecular biology, genome editing, viral vectors
Dr. Marta Sierra Arregui
In vivo and in vitro characterization of active and passive behaviour of skeletal and extraocular muscles, In vitro mechanics, In vitro motility, protein exchange in skinned muscle fibres. 
Ghali Guedira
PhD student
Barbara Pinheiro Tonneau
Histological evaluation of skeletal muscle, genotyping


Lab Profs. Michael Sinnreich, Susan Treves and Francesco Zorzato

University of Basel, Department Neurologie & Biomedizin

Institute infrastructure: Translational research on muscular dystrophies, Congenital myopathies with special focus on excitation contraction coupling dysregulation and calcium homeostasis.

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Michael Sinnreich

Neuromuscular diseases
Muscular Dystrophies

Prof. Susan TrevesIntracellular calcium measurements, resting membrane potential measurements with fluorescent dyes, Preparation of primary muscle moytube cultures (human, mouse, EOM) Western blots, preparation of poly and monoclonal  Abs, protein purification
Prof. Francesco ZorzatoForce measurements on fast and slow twitch muscles, Ca2+ imaging on single muscle fibers, single fiber dissection, SPARK analysis, electroporation. Western blots, preparation of Abs, protein purification
Dr. Jochen Kinter
Experience in NGS, drug screenings, aptamers
Dr. Lionel Tintignac
senior scientist
Myogenesis, primary culture of muscle cells, NGS and Ribo-seq, proteomics and PTM. Proximity labeling
Dr. Christian Klingler
Experience in NGS, drug screenings, aptamers
Dr. Alexis Ruiz
Force measurements on fast and slow twitch muscles. Single fiber dissection and Ca2+ imaging on single muscle fibers. Confocal microscopy, Western blots, qPCR. In vivo assessment of mouse muscle force
Yusuf Ertuna
Myogenesis, primary culture of muscle cells, proteomic and PTM. Proximity labeling
Dr. Yuko Noda (MD)
Visiting PostDoc (Japan)
Sub-cloning and site-directed mutagenesis, cell transfection, microsomal membrane preparation, Western blotting, Ca2+ imaging on single cells.
Sofia Benucci
PhD student
Force measurements on fast, slow twitch muscles and EOM muscles. Histology of muscle sections. Ca2+ imaging on single muscle fibers and single cells, qPCR, confocal microscopy, western blotting. In vivo assessment of mouse muscle force
Martina Franchini
PhD student
Force measurements on fast and slow twitch muscles; Ca2+ imaging on single muscle fibers and single cells, qPCR, Western blotting, confocal microscopy.  In vivo assessment of mouse muscle force
Hervé Meier
Research Assistant (Master’s)
Western blots, qPCR, protein purification, cell and tissue culture, subcellular fractionation, calcium imaging and confocal 
Microscopy, pPCR and Western blotting
Raphael Schmid
Master Student
DUX4 Biogenesis, Ubiquitination, Protein Homeostatis
Adeline Stiefvater
Research technician
Mouse muscle dissection, primary muscle cell and fiber culture, drug screening. EX vivo myotonia measurements


Lab Dr. Bernhard Wehrle-Haller

University of Geneva, School of medicine

Institute infrastructure: Microscopy, live-cell imaging, cell culture, fluorescent proteins

TeamPersonal expertise
Dr. Bernhard Wehrle-Haller
Dynamic regulation of cell-matrix adhesions, live cell imaging, cell culture, FRAP, microscopy, live imaging
Michael Bachmann
Fluorescent tag-proteins, live imaging, FRAP, integrin signaling, surface patterning
Jérémy Kessler
PhD student


Lab Prof. Werner Z'Graggen

Inselspital Bern, Department of Neurology

Institute infrastructure: equipment for muscle and nerve excitability measurements, ENMG equipment, muscle MR imaging, histology, mitochondrial activity essays


TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Hugh Bostock
PhD, researcher
Musle and nerve excitability measurements
Belén Rodriguez
PhD student
Muscle and nerve excitability measurements