Swiss scientists network

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Last update: December 2018

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 facility

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

Mey Boukenna
Dr. Jean-Sébastien Rougier
senior scientist
Patch-clamp, new born cardiomyocytes isolation, molecular cloning, protein-protein proximity assay, immunostaining

Dr. Lijo Ozhathil
Patch-clamp, atrial cardiomyocytes isolation, 
Dr. Daniela Ross- Kaschitza

Patch-clamp, molecular cloning, RT-qPCR

Prakash Arullampalam
MD-PhD student

Sarah Helena Vermij 
PhD student
Biochemistry, immunostaining, protein-protein proximity assay
Zizun Wang 
PhD student
Patch clamp, biochemistry, immunostaining, protein-protein proximity assay


Lab Prof. Frédéric Allain

Institute of molecular and biological physics, ETH Zürich

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

TeamPersonal expertise
Prof. Frédéric Allain
Dr. Antoine Cléry
senior scientist


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.  
Dr. Yoan Arribat
Zebrafish, neuromuscular models
Dr. Sylviane Lagarrigue
Mitochondrial metabolism, primary cell cultures

Dogan Grepper
PhD student
Cell cultures, mitophagy
Aurel Tankeu
MD/PhD student
Human metabolism, clinical diabetes



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.    
Mario Romani
PhD student
Aging, proteostasis, mitochondria
Peiling Luan
PhD student
Muscle stem cells, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, mitochondria and metabolism

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.
Andrew Palmer
PhD student
Primary muscle cell culture, TSE running wheel system, Ion Optix in-vitro electrical stimulation of muscle, exercise studies in mice.

Lab Prof. Laurent Bernheim

University of Geneva, Department of Neurosciences and Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism

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

TeamPersonal expertise
Laurent Bernheim
Myogenesis, muscle regeneration, muscular dystrophies, electrophysiology
Maud Frieden
Electrophysiology, Bioimaging, STIM1, SOCE
Stephane Koenig
scientific collaborator
Molecular biology, myogenesis and muscle regeneration, lentivirus, signal transduction
Axel Tollance
PhD student
Reserve cell activation, signal transduction, Ca2+ imaging
Jessica Brunetti
PhD student
Myoblast differentiation, signal transduction, Ca2+ imaging, electrical stimulation on cell culture
Dr. Agnieszka Dyrda

Electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging


Lab 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
Methodological development, novel contrast mechanisms.
Dr. Francesco Santini
senior scientist
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.
Tanja Haas
MRI scanning
Philipp Madörin
MRI scanning



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)
Geraldine Maier
PhD student
SMA phenotyping (in vivo testing, in situ force measurements)
Martin Weihrauch
PhD student
NMJ isolation, transcriptome, imaging


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
Didier Hannouche
Professor, MD
Co-responsible of the lab
Orthopaedic surgery, cell therapy
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
Karim Oudina
Animal microsurgery, PCR, histology
Ysaline Grand
Master student
Cell culture, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence
Joris Paccaud
MD student


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. Perrine Castets
Muscle Development, muscle physiology, neuromuscular junctions maintenance, autophagy regulation, molecular and cell biology
Dr. Daniel J. Ham
Muscle physiology; sarcopenia; muscle function testing.
Dr. Giulia Milan
Muscle physiology; cell biology; molecular biology; signaling pathways in muscle disease
Denis Falcetta
PhD student
Marco Kaiser
PhD student
bioinformatics, molecular biology
Marco Thürkauf
Master student
Alexander Ham
Master student
Filippo Oliveri 
Genotyping of mice, lab management


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
Preeti Yadav
Motor neuron and iPSC-derived neuronal cultures, electron microscopy
Sebastien Milesi
Federica Pilotto
PhD student
Carla Pernaci
PhD student
July Ricklin
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 Prof. Michael Sinnreich

University of Basel, Department Neurologie & Biomedizin

Institute infrastructure: Translational research on muscular dystrophies

TeamPersonal expertise
Michael Sinnreich

Neuromuscular diseases
Muscular Dystrophies

Dr. Christian Klingler
Aptamers, cell culture, lipid metabolism
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
Adeline Stiefvater
Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology
Beat Erne
Muscle histology, Immunohistochemistry, Light&Electron microscopy, WB, ELISA
Marine Theodore
Biomedical analyst
NMJ characterization, fiber typing, ex-vivo muscle force measurement
Samira Osterop
Biomedical analyst
Primary muscle cell culture, drug screening


Lab Profs. Susan Treves and Francesco Zorzato

University of Basel, Biomedicine

Institute infrastructure: excitation contraction, identification and characterization of novel proteins involved in calcium regulation in skeletal muscle and calcium homoestasis

TeamPersonal expertise
Susan Treves
Intracellular 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
Francesco Zorzato
Force measurements on fast and slow twitch muscles, Ca2+ imaging in single muscle fibers, single fiber dissection, SPARK analysis, electroporation, Western blot, preparation of Abs, protein purification
Sven Nicolay
PhD student
Force measurements on fast and slow twitch muscles, Ca2+ imaging on single muscle fibers, Western blots, qPCR, single fiber dissection
Sofia Benucci
Master's student

Jan Eckhardt
PhD student
superresolution microscopy (STORM), extraocular muscles
Moran Elbaz
Force measurements on fast and slow twitch muscles, Ca2+ imaging on single muscle fibers, confocal microscopy, Western blots, qPCR, single fiber dissection
Anne-Sylvie Monnet
Research Assistant
Western blots, qPCR, protein purification, cell and tissue culture,subcellular fractionation
Christoph Bachmann
Research assistant (Master's)
Western blots, qPCR, protein purification, cell and tissue culture, subcellular fractionation, calcium imaging, confocal and superresolution microscopy


Lab Prof. Beat Trueb

University of Bern, Department of Clinical Research

Institute infrastructure: common

TeamPersonal expertise
Beat Trueb
common cloning techniques
common cell culture techniques
breeding and geno-typing of knock-out mice
whole-mount in situ hybridization
cell fusion assay
Dr.Lei Zhuang
Dr. Philippe Beauchamp


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
Marta Ripamonti
PhD student
FRAP, integrin signalling
Kenza Fouad
PhD student
beta1 integrin acetylation, matrix synthesis
Dr. Adama Sidibé
angiogenesis, life cell imaging, beta1 integrin acetylation, matrix synthesis


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