Ataman Sendoel, Principal Investigator
Ataman studied medicine at the University of Zurich and obtained an MD-PhD in Michael Hengartner's lab at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Zurich. During his doctoral studies, he worked on hypoxia response pathways and RNA-binding proteins in the context of apoptotic cell death induction in C. elegans.
Following a residency in hematology at the University Hospital Zurich, Ataman joined the lab of Elaine Fuchs at the Rockefeller University in New York. During his postdoc, he uncovered an essential role for translational reprogramming in the pathogenesis of cancer. For his work, Ataman has received the Science Magazine and GE Healthcare Young Life Scientist award for the best PhD thesis in Europe, the Georg Friedrich Goetz prize of the University of Zurich and the Blavatnik regional award for young scientists. He is a recipient of an ERC starting grant and a SNSF professorship grant.
Homare Matias Yamahachi, Senior Researcher
Before joining the lab, Homare Yamahachi studied Biology at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina before obtaining his PhD in Charles Gilbert’s lab at The Rockefeller University in New York. During his doctoral studies, he discovered that changes in sensory experience alter neuronal structural plasticity in vivo using viral vectors and two-photon microscopy. For his post-doctoral studies, Homare joined the Moser lab in Norway where he studied how the brain computes space to navigate the world. He then studied social communication in birds with an emphasis on animal welfare in Richard Hahnloser’s lab at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.
Mark Ormiston, Animal Technician
Mark Ormiston graduated with a master's degree in zoology at Newcastle upon Tyne University and persued a career in line with his interests in animal biology in the UK. In 2014 he moved to Switzerland and began work as an animal technician for the Institute of Laboratory Animal Science at the University of Zürich, where he developed skills in a variety of specialised transgenic reproductive techniques such as embryo transfers, pronuclear injections and gamete cryopreservation. He has long been a strong proponent of the 3R concepts in science and has previously managed the Swiss 3R Network communications.
Merve Yigit, PhD student
Merve studied Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Istanbul Technical University in Turkey and did her bachelor thesis working on human breast cancer. She then started her master study at the LMU (Ludwig Maximilians-Universität) in Munich in 2016, where she focused on Human Biology and Cellular Biology. She performed her master thesis in a translational cancer immunology lab investigating the effect of hypomethylating agents, cytostatics and immunomodulatory drugs on antibody mediated immunotherapy (BiTE therapy) of acute myeloid leukaemia.
Fabiola Valdivia Francia, PhD student
Fabiola studied biology in Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima, Peru. She joined Dr. Guerra's Single Molecule Lab as a junior research assistant where she studied the effect of gene expression during the stringent response in bacteria. Fabiola later received a full scholarship from the Science National Council in Peru to study her Master’s in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in UPCH. During her master's studies, Fabiola developed, standardized and validated an indirect ELISA test using immunogenic peptides for the diagnostic of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Dr. Arevalo's Pathoantigens Lab. For the past year, Fabiola has been working as a research assistant, continuing with the development of rapid diagnostic tests for leishmaniasis.
Peter Renz, Postdoc
Peter studied Biochemistry in Mannheim and Molecular Biology with a focus on Genetics in Cologne, Germany. During research projects under the supervision of Prof. Dieter Gruenert in San Francisco, USA and Prof. William James in Oxford, UK, he worked on gene therapeutic approaches utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 technology in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). He conducted his master’s research project on improving safety and efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-Cells for cancer immunotherapy in the lab of Prof. Hinrich Abken.
For his PhD he joined the Lab of Prof. Anton Wutz at the ETH Zurich under the supervision of Dr. Tobias Beyer, where he used transcriptomics in human embryonic stem cells to identify novel regulators of TGFβ and FGF signaling in the context of pluripotency and early development.
Clara Duré, PhD student
Clara studied Biology at the Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck, Austria, and did her bachelor thesis working on the role of N-termini of the core histones in nucleosome dynamics. She then continued with a master’s degree in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology in Innsbruck, where she focused on stem cell biology. During this degree, Clara studied also at the University of Helsinki, Finland, in the course of an Erasmus funding. She then conducted her master thesis at the University of Cambridge, UK, working on the phospho-regulation of Ascl2 in homeostatic stem cell maintenance and differentiation in the small intestine.
David Taborsky, PhD student
David studied Biomedicine and Biotechnology at the University for Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria, where he worked on the role of dendritic cells in NK cell maturation during his Bachelor thesis. He then moved to Dresden for a master’s degree in Regenerative Biology and Medicine at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), working on retina organoids and zebrafish fin regeneration. David remained in Dresden for his Master Thesis in the Lab of Dr. Jochen Rink at the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG). There he was investigating the extensive regenerative abilities of planarian flatworms, with a specific focus on their muscle tissue.
Ramona Weber, Postdoc
Ramona studied biochemistry at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany. She then joined the laboratory of Prof. Elisa Izaurralde at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen. During her PhD studies, Ramona focused on the biochemical and functional characterization of proteins regulating post-transcriptional gene expression. Under the supervision of Dr. Cátia Igreja she applied in vitro approaches to characterize the molecular architecture of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) complexes. Furthermore, she combined CRISPR/Cas9-based approaches with ribosome profiling and RNA-seq strategies in cultured cells. Her research led to the identification of the underlying molecular principles of specialized decay factors in controlling co-translational mRNA stability and how an alternative initiation factor mediates unconventional mRNA translation.
Katie Hyams, Lab Manager
Katie studied Biological Sciences at Oxford University and then undertook research assistant placements at the Illinois Institute of Technology, US with Dr Mark Garfinkel, and the National Institute for Medical Research, UK with Prof Robin Lovell-Badge. Following this Katie completed a PhD with Dr Paul Martin within the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, looking at wound healing and early morphogenesis in the Zebrafish embryo.
Katie then left academic research, worked in science communication for several years, including stints at the BBC World Service and the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, moved country twice, before finally seeing sense and returning to scientific research in Zurich.
Chenke Shi, Msc Student
Chenke obtained her bachelor's degree in biology at the Nanjing University in China in 2021. She studied liquid-liquid phase transition of polyphosphates in bacteria for her bachelor's thesis. Then she continued her education with a master's program in cancer biology at the University of Zurich. She joined our group for a master's thesis with the topic of characterizing the role of a newly identified small open reading frame in cancer.
Umesh Ghoshdastider, Senior Bioinformatician
Merima Forny, now Wash U, St. Louis, USA
Merima obtained her bachelor in Biology at the University of Vienna. Afterwards, she moved to Zurich, where she started her master study at the University of Zurich. She performed her master thesis on non-viral gene therapy in the lab of Prof. Beat Thoeny at the University Children’s Hospital in Zurich. Following her studies, Merima continued to work as a research associate and diagnostician at the Division of Metabolism at the University Children’s Hospital in Zurich. Her work over the past five years at the Division of Metabolism included mutational analysis, biochemical enzyme and metabolite diagnostics, as well as research, involving a mouse model of methylmalonic aciduria.
Daniel Spies, now Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano
Daniel obtained his biology fundamentals during his studies of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Applied Sciences Vienna and Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna. Initially interested in Neurobiology, he joined the team of Helmut Kubista to investigate the role of L-type calcium channels in epilepsy for his Bsc. thesis and further specialized in Neurosciences for his Master studies. Switching gears, he conducted his master thesis in the lab of Alexander Stark at the IMP in Vienna where he combined his biological and computational skills to investigating the evolution of enhancer elements in flies, sparking his interest in computational biology. For his PhD he then moved to Switzerland and joined the lab of Constance Ciaudo at the ETH as a bioinformatic, investigating the role of miRNAs during early embryonic development of mice by dissecting and integrating several types of mouse embryonic stem cell OMICs data.
Martino Bernasconi, Msc Student
Martino studied biology at ETH Zurich where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2021. He then continued his education with a Master's degree in Molecular Health Sciences at the same athenaeum. During this time, he was able to conduct two research projects. In the first project, he investigated the role of several natural compounds against Malassezia. He joined our group in 2022 for his second project, during which he designed plasmids for the investigation of early tumorigenesis. Finally, he settled into the group to write his master's thesis in collaboration with the ETH Prof. Andreas Moor.