Leonel Aguilar is a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher in Applied Artificial Intelligence at the Data Science, Systems and Services laboratory (DS3), ETH Zurich. Previously he has held postdoctoral appointments at the Cognitive Science group (COG) and the Computational Social Science group (COSS), ETH Zurich, and the research centre for Large-scale Earthquake, Tsunami and Disaster (LsETD, now CESERI) at the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, Japan. Leonel obtained his Ph.D. at the Computational Science and High-Performance Computing Laboratory at the University of Tokyo. Previously, Leonel held a principal Lecturer appointment at del Valle University, Guatemala in both the Mathematics and the Civil Engineering departments. His research focuses on modelling, simulating and analyzing social phenomena and the development and deployment of the AI/ML-based systems to support this. He has built systems to analyze AI-driven software agents in artificial worlds to VR experiments to quantify human behaviour. Leonel has contributed to systems to make ML more accessible to non-experts while ensuring best practices. In this context, Leonel has contributed to Easeml/AutoML an Automatic Machine Learning system and its Integration with the Swiss Data Science Center’s Renku data science service and Easeml/CI&CD a system for continuous integration and delivery of ML models.
|Milagros Alvarado Llatance, studied psychology at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Perú. She is a member of the DIAS Unit of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and has experience in evaluating early childhood development in rural areas. Interested in the field of early childhood development, risk factors associated with developmental delay, and especially in early childhood intervention programs.|
Dr Alain Amstutz is part of the BRCCH-funded MistraL project, which investigates mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic in Lesotho. He is responsible for community-based intervention and supports the implementation of the project in the districts.
Dr Amstutz is a physician by training and is currently enrolled in a PhD (Clinical Research) at the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), which is funded by the SNSF/SAMW MD-PhD scholarship. His research focuses on how to control the HIV epidemic in Lesotho using innovative methods assessed in randomized trials, such as HIV self-testing, decentralization of ART delivery and differentiated service delivery for adolescents. Furthermore, one of his randomized controlled trials investigates low-level viremia in order to challenge the current WHO definition of virologic failure. He is eager to leverage lessons learned from the HIV epidemic for the COVID-19 response.
Dr Amstutz has been living in Lesotho for more than three years. He has fallen in love with the country and its people and still enjoys papa le moroho.
Prof Stefano Bassetti is Head of the Division of Internal Medicine at University Hospital Basel and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Basel. Within the frame of this project, he has clinical oversight of the COVID patient ward. Prof Bassetti graduated in medicine from the University of Zürich, where he was also a doctoral researcher in the Institute for Immunology and Virology. He started his clinical training as a resident in paediatrics at La Carità hospital in Locarno and was then a resident and fellow in internal medicine and infectious diseases in Lugano, Lucerne and University Hospital Basel. He worked for two years as an infectious diseases research fellow at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, USA, on vascular catheter-related infections and the airborne transmission of Staphylococcus aureus and then returned to University Hospital Basel as a senior physician, first in internal medicine and then in infectious diseases. From 2006 to 2014, he was Head of the Department of Medicine at the Cantonal Hospital of Olten. He is a board certified specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases and is actively involved in medical education and clinical training on a national and European level as Chair of the Board of Postgraduate Education of the Swiss Society of General Internal Medicine, a member of the Board of the Swiss Institute for Postgraduate and Continuing Education in Medicine (SIWF) and a Swiss representative in the European Federation of Internal Medicine. His main research focus is on clinical projects aimed at improving diagnostics and treatment, particularly in hospitalized multimorbid patients, and on the field of infectious diseases.
Matthias Baumgartner is a Professor for metabolic diseases at the University of Zurich (UZH). He is head of the Division for Metabolic Diseases, Medical Director of the Swiss Newborn Screening Program and Director of the Children’s Research Center at the University Children's Hospital Zürich. M. Baumgartner is an internationally known metabolic paediatrician and scientist with a main research interest in disorders of intracellular cobalamin metabolism including the homocystinurias and methylmalonic acidurias; he is a steering committee member of the European registries for Homocystinurias and remethylation disorders (E-HOD, www.e-hod.org) and Intoxication type Metabolic Diseases (E-IMD, www.e-imd.org) and an editor of the Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease. At UZH he initiated the clinical research priority program "Rare Disease Initiative Zurich - radiz" which is followed by the University research priority program “ITINERARE” that he co-directs.
Philippe Bechtold is a member of the peakPCR project. He is currently a PhD student in Prof Wendelin Stark’s group at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering (IBC) at ETH Zurich. His research stretches from coatings of metal surfaces for digital PCR applications to the development of PCR assays for the detection of different diseases. He joined the peakPCR project two years ago and has since engineered the ready-to-use consumables and the sample preparation steps. He holds an MSc degree in chemical engineering from ETH Zurich and has spent an exchange semester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA.
Benito K. Benitez is a double qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He is passionate about providing care for children with inborn or acquired facial and skull deformities. As a scientific surgeon he is committed to research for the best of these children. He lectures about craniofacial malformations at the University of Basel. Furthermore, he lectures medical officers in the Swiss Armed Forces about craniofacial injuries. Besides his scientific and clinical involvement, he holds a master in health and business administration. He is currently doing a PhD in clinical research at the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Basel.
Olivier Belli, MSc, D.Ing., is a PhD student in Prof Randall Platt’s group at ETH Zurich. He graduated with a master’s degree in high-throughput approaches for biology and an engineering degree in biotechnology from the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2017. Before joining ETH Zurich, he worked for companies developing cutting-edge technologies based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system such Caribou Biosciences (Berkeley, USA) and Horizon Discovery (Vienna, Austria). These previous professional experiences have allowed him to develop strong expertise in mammalian cell culture, recombinant virus production, molecular cloning, next generation sequencing, flow cytometry and gene editing. At the Laboratory for Biological Engineering at ETH Zurich, he develops in vitro methods for high-throughput screening of genetic mutations in human cells.
Dr Christoph T Berger is a research group leader in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. He is also a senior physician in clinical immunology and heads the vaccination clinic at University Hospital Basel. His research interests include investigating the human immune response to viruses and vaccines in healthy and immunocompromised subjects. He has conducted several prospective studies on influenza vaccination and co-founded a cohort of patients with autoimmune disease. He completed his MD at the University of Basel and did most of his postdoctoral studies in Boston, USA, at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard.
Yves Blickenstorfer is a fourth year PhD student at ETH Zurich in the field of Biosensing. Prior to his PhD he has studied material’s science at ETH. In the past four years he has worked on developing and optimizing the hardware and software for different novel biosensing technologies and model their quantitative response. He is currently focusing on sensitive electrochemical detection of gold nanoparticles in order to improve rapid diagnostic testing. He has been part of the founding process of the Roche spin-off Lino Biotech and will be CTO of the newly founded ETH start-up Hemetron.
Prof Johannes Bohacek is an assistant professor in the Institute for Neuroscience in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) at ETH Zurich. His lab focuses on the molecular and circuit changes induced by acute stress in the brain and the behavioural consequences of these alterations. He is specifically interested in the role of the brain noradrenergic system and how it contributes to both healthy and maladaptive stress coping.
Dr. med. Noé Brasier is a clinical researcher of the Chief Medical Information Office, Department Digitalization & ICT at the University Hospital Basel. He is working on the translational intersection between engineering and clinics with a focus on novel, wearable biosensors and digital biomarkers. He founded the expertise of internet-enabled Sudorology with a focus on clinical sweat analysis. He completed his MD at the University Hospital Basel by validating an automated smartphone application that reliably detects atrial fibrillation in combination with a smartphone camera.
Judith Bouman has been a PhD student in Prof Roland Regoes’s group at ETH Zurich since March 2018. In this BRCCH consortium, she is working on developing and testing statistical methods for estimating the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection with serosurvey data. In particular, she exploits approaches that do not require a cut-off to classify serological samples into sero-positive or negative. Before starting her PhD, she obtained a bachelor’s in medical natural sciences and a master’s in mathematics from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Besides working on SARS-CoV-2, she models within-host dynamics of HIV-1 and the spread of vaccine escape mutants in heterogeneous populations.
Prof Lukas Bubendorf is a surgical pathologist and Head of Cytopathology at the Institute for Pathology at University Hospital Basel (USB). He provides expertise in pulmonary pathology, performing autopsies of COVID-19 patients and evaluating autopsy histology. From 1998 to 2000, he completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the National Human Genome Research Institutes at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA. He is a member of numerous national and international scientific societies, the Steering Committee of the ETOP Lungscape project, the IASLC Pathology Committee and the editorial boards of several journals including the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Lung Cancer, Cancer Cytopathology, Diagnostic Cytopathology and Acta Cytologica. His major interests and diagnostic expertise lie within lung pathology and uropathology and in the general field of cytopathology. His research group is currently investigating the role of genomic evolution and heterogeneity in solid tumours, including lung cancer and prostate cancer. In cytology, he aims to translate molecular techniques and assays to clinical routine application.
Moniek Bresser supports the MistraL study in data management activities, specifically when it comes to capturing and reporting of patient data. After completing a research master’s in neurosciences, she moved to the field of clinical research and is currently working as a data manager in the Clinical Statistics and Data Management team in the Department of Medicine at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). Her interests are scouting for and exploring different software solutions for capturing and reporting data in order to ensure the level of flexibility required by many research studies in resource-limited countries (e.g., offline data collection in case of hard-to-reach areas) whilst safeguarding data quality.
Assistant Professor Andrzej Brudnicki is a paediatric maxillofacial surgeon. He is responsible for the long-term evaluation of treatment results at the Pediatric Surgery Clinic of the Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw, where he is an Assistant Professor at the Maxillo-facial Surgery Unit. The Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw is the largest cleft center in Europe with approximately 1000 cleft operations per year. In 2014 Prof. Brudnicki received his PhD (2014) in early secondary alveolar bone grafting. His research interest and expertise in pediatric maxillofacial surgery focuses on developmental disorders of the facial skull and defects of the maxillofacial cleft.
Prof Dirk Bumann is Professor of Infection Biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. His research group has worked on mechanisms of bacterial infection in animal models and human patients. In recent years, the lab has focused on single cell activities of pathogens in host tissues as a basis for developing novel anti-infective strategies. The main experimental approaches include flow cytometry, mass spectrometry and two-photon tomography.
Elisa Cappio Barazzone is a PhD student of Prof Emma Wetter Slack in the department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, since October 2020. She obtained a BSc degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Turin, Italy and a MSc degree in Molecular Biosciences from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. During her undergraduate studies she investigated the innate immunity of the intestinal epithelium. Her focus within the BRCCH project is aimed at characterizing the microbiota in mouse models and understanding disease pathogenesis.
|Andreana Castellanos is a Fulbright Scholar with an Impact M.B.A from Colorado State University, USA. She is a co-author on three educational books for children. Andreana is the Founder and CEO of Afinidata; a social start-up that uses artificial intelligence to provide access to early childhood education resources to families around the world. Afinidata serves over 70,000 families in ten countries and has been recognized as one of the most innovative solutions by institutions such as UNICEF Innovation Fund, Forbes CA, HolonIQ, and many governments.|
Dr Hui Chai-Gao is working as an expert at CSEM in surface bioengineering for various applications (biosensor technology, biochips manufacturing, bioassay development and biomaterial). Dr Chai-Gao is biochemist and co-inventor of 7 patents, authored and co-authored >20 peer-reviewed articles. She received her BS and MS degrees in chemistry from Nankai University, China and received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Bern, Switzerland, in 1994.
With more than 20 years working at CSEM or at Spin-off Company of CSEM, Dr Chai-Gao has created a versatile linker technology (OptoDex® as photolinker polymer) for diagnostic and medical applications. OptoDex® mediated immobilisation allows single-step covalent binding of any type of (bio)-molecule, including e.g. proteins, enzymes, hapten-conjugate or polysaccharide.
Dr Chai-Gao also has experience in the development of instrumentation for life sciences, specifically optical biosensors. She has been involved in development of various biosensors and performed many bioassays with sensors, including food quality control, antibiotic detection, water contamination monitoring (bacteria, pesticides and herbicides), and biomarkers detection for clinical diagnostics. Several methodologies and benchmarks have been established.
Panashe Chandiwana (BSc. Hons) is an MPhil student in the Department of Immunology, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. His thesis title is “Microbiome profiles in pregnant women and pregnancy outcomes: roles of HIV infection and malnutrition”.
Masha Cherepkova is a PhD student in the Platt group at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich. Masha obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia with a focus on stem cells and developmental biology. She then was working as a research assistant in the Biomedicum Stem Cell Center of University of Helsinki, where she became interested in developing new research tools using CRISPR-Cas systems. This interest brought Masha to the group of Professor Randall Platt where she works on improving the efficiency of Record-seq technology to develop next-generation living microbial diagnostics.
Dr Nakul Chitnis is the leader of the Mathematical Epidemiology group at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). He has a background in mathematics and his main areas of activity lie in developing and analysing mathematical models to answer questions of public health relevance. He has used various types of models ranging from population-based difference and differential equations to stochastic individual-based models in order to analyse the dynamics of malaria, COVID-19 and neglected tropical diseases, including opisthorchiasis, rabies, sleeping sickness and lymphatic filariasis and to better understand ecological processes such as foraging and dispersal behaviour and persistence at low population densities.
|Jorge Cuartas is a doctoral student in education and human development at Harvard University, graduate student affiliate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and Science and Innovation Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child (2020-2021) . His research focuses on disparities in child development and parenting practices in global contexts, and the effects of corporal punishment on children’s neural, cognitive, and socioemotional development. Jorge’s research aim is to develop evidence that can inform scalable programs to prevent corporal punishment and promote positive disciplinary approaches in prevention efforts and policy. He is co-founder and co-director of Apapacho, a non-profit organization aimed at fostering positive caregiving and child development in Colombia. Jorge received a B.Sc. in economics at Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, an M.Sc. in economics from Universidad de los Andes, as well as an Ed.M. in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.|
Prof Médéric Diard is an assistant professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. The Diard group investigates new approaches to managing bacterial infectious diseases and engineering the intestinal microbiota. The group’s toolbox comprises probiotic competitors, bacteriophages, vaccines and mobile regulatory elements. It deduces robust combinations of strategies from a detailed understanding of bacterial evolution both inside and outside of the host.
Dr Frank Dieterle is the project co-leader in the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI project. He received a PhD in Bioinformatics and Analytics from the University of Tübingen in 2003. He joined Roche in 2003 building up the Metabolomics research. His research interests are in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), companion diagnostics, biomarkers, nephrology and machine learning
In 2005 Dr Dieterle joined Novartis as project leader of safety biomarkers and was co-founder and first director of the international IMI SAFE-T consortium. In parallel, Dr Dieterle was global project team representative for Translational Medicine in 2 drug development programs in transplantation and nephrology. He joined the newly created Novartis Companion Diagnostics department bringing companion diagnostic tests from research to the market. In 2012 he became part of a small team leading the acquisition of the biotech VIVACTA and building up the Novartis Near Patient Testing Unit and a new Novartis site in Kent. In 2016 the unit launched and commercialized the first Novartis point of care IVD platform NIJI and diagnostic tests. Dr Dieterle led the Novartis Kent site 2017-2018 and the NPT unit until its closure.
In 2019 Dr Dieterle joined part-time FHNW (University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland) for the scientific project leadership of the biotech Genuine Analytics AG. Dr Dieterle is co-founder and CSO of the startup Mulier Health GmbH and CEO of Dieterle Life Science Consulting. In 2020 Dr Dieterle took the initiative to assemble members of the M4IVD network to develop home tests for COVID-19 which was the birth of the DAVINCI consortium.
Dr. med. Sarah Dräger is an internal medicine and infectious diseases specialist and senior physician in the Division of Internal Medicine of the University Hospital Basel. Her research interests include the investigation of therapeutic drug monitoring of antibiotics especially in critically ill patients and the improvement of prescription practices in hospital by the implementation of antibiotic and diagnostic stewardship programs. She is a postdoc in the research group of PD Dr. med. Michael Osthoff.
Dr Robert Dünner has been a senior scientific collaborator at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) since October 2020. In this BRCCH consortium, he is working on developing an agent-based model of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Switzerland. This model will be combined with a machine-learning approach in order to investigate the optimal properties and delivery strategies of pharmaceutical interventions, including, but not limited to, vaccines. Dr Dünner has a PhD from ETH Zurich, where he developed an agent-based model of negative-frequency dependent host-parasite coevolution and used it to investigate the influence of hierarchical metapopulation structure on the maintenance of genetic diversity.
Professor Kerina Duri (PhD, MSc, BSc. Hons) is an Associate Professor at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences and the current Chair of the Department of Immunology. She Established a Birth Cohort of 1200 mother infant pairs and over the past 24 months and there is been incredible accumulation of data from the pairs. Her research interest is understanding how maternal comorbidities: HIV, Helicobacter pylori and intestinal helminthes infections including malnutrition and mental health affect pregnancy outcome, infant growth and health, immune development and immune dysregulation through gut microbiota profiles and composition from birth into adolescence with a special focus on HIV exposed but uninfected infants/children.
Prof Adrian Egli is the head of Clinical Bacteriology and Mycology at the University Hospital in Basel. Prof Egli and his team have a strong exprtise in bacterial genomics and metagenomics to detect hypervirulent and multi-drug resistant bacteria in patient samples and explore transmission networks. Prof Egli is a project partner within the BRCCH project Precision Microbiota Engineering for Child Health.
Julian Erkert is a research associate and doctoral student at the University of Basel. He graduated in dental medicine at the University of Basel and is currently studying medicine at the University of Bern to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. His main focus lies on segmentation and analysis of imaging datasets for evaluation of surgical procedures in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Manina Etter is a doctoral candidate in Prof Gregor Hutter’s lab in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. In the BRCCH NeuroCovid trial, she leads the clinical part of the project, which is the subject of her doctoral research. She is a medical student and intends to complete a PhD in the field of immunotherapeutic treatments in neuro-oncology.
Dr. Rick Farouni is a Bioinformatics Scientist in the Platt group at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich. He is an applied statistician and computational biologist with expertise in the statistical modeling and bioinformatics analysis of genomics, single-cell transcriptomics (e.g. scRNA-seq), and CRISPR genome editing data. His current research focus is on the statistical modeling of data generated by single-cell CRISPR screens and transcriptional recording by CRISPR spacer acquisition experiments (e.g. Record-seq).
Prof Dr Günther Fink is an associate professor and Head of the Household Economics and Health Systems Research unit at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel. His work focuses on developing and evaluating new and innovative approaches for improving child health and development and on measuring the long-term benefits of early life improvements. He is currently the PI of the Zambia Early Childhood Development project, as well as the Co-PI of the São Paulo Western Region Cohort project, two longitudinal studies exploring the long-term effects of early life adversity. He is also currently working on cluster-randomized trials aiming to improve nutritional and early learning outcomes among children under age 5 in Brazil, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa and Zambia.
Charlotte Fonta, MSc is a PhD student in the laboratory of Prof Viola Vogel in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich. In her PhD project, she studies the mechanobiology of the extracellular matrix of healthy and diseased organs and more specifically she investigates a fibronectin tensional probe as a possible diagnostic tool to detect pathological microenvironment in ex vivo tissue biopsies and in vivo.
Prof Stephan Frank is a neuropathologist at the Institute of Pathology at University Hospital Basel (USB), providing neuropathological expertise including brain biopsy diagnostics and ISH-based SARS-COV2 detection.
Dr Sören Fricke is heading the sector for Integrated and Flexible Sensors at CSEM. For his customers he develops sensors for applications mainly in Life Sciences, Robotics and Industry 4.0. Dr Fricke is a phycisist with a broad background in semiconductors, micro- and nano-optics as well as printed electronics. He gained a strong manufacturing background in automotive electronics industry
Dr Fricke will be contribute to the project in regards scale up and pilot production, maintaining the link with the M4IVD association, for which Dr Fricke is chairman. His research interest is on precision technologies for Life Science applications and the scale-up of new technologies to industrial readiness. With his sector and the M4IVD association he strives to not only develop lab prototypes but bring these to pilot production. CSEM’s technology platforms provide a toolbox for diagnostic devices and they are constantly under development to anticipated future needs.
PD Dr Sean Froese is a Principal Investigator in the Division of Metabolism at the University Children's Hospital Zurich. His group studies inherited metabolic disorders, in particular those that affect folate and vitamin B12 metabolism. This encompasses investigation at the molecular level, including structural, biochemical and multi-omics approaches, combined with whole cell and whole organism studies. Our vision is through this integrated approach and international collaborations, to understand disease pathomechanisms, identify new therapeutic targets, and meaningfully impact therapies for these rare diseases with unmet need.
Dr Tracy Glass is the trial statistician for the MistraL study. She heads the Clinical Biostatistics and Data Management group in the Department of Medicine at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). She has almost 20 years of experience as a statistician working in the fields of cancer and HIV research and has acted as a principal investigator, co-investigator, and trial statistician on many studies, both complete and ongoing. She also has extensive experience of conducting trials in resource-limited settings. Dr Glass is an associate professor at the University of Basel and teaches several post-graduate statistics courses on statistics and clinical trial methodology.
Dr Monica Golumbeanu is a postdoctoral research associate in the Disease Modelling and Intervention Dynamics group at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) headed by Prof Melissa Penny. In her research, she develops data-driven computational analyses and mathematical models in order to understand infection dynamics and the impact of interventions on host and pathogen populations. Within the context of this BRCCH project (link below), she provides her expertise and support with data analysis and model-based methods for defining and implementing a decision framework for optimizing medical interventions against COVID-19. Prior to her postdoc, Dr Golumbeanu obtained a PhD in computational biology from ETH Zurich, where she studied gene expression dynamics of HIV infection.
Dr Lucia Gonzalez is a project manager for SolidarMed (a Swiss-based non-governmental organisation) collaborating on the BRCCH Mistral project. She is a Spanish-trained physician with a master’s in global health policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Paediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) at the University of Basel.
With more than 15 years of experience in international health and development, she has worked in tuberculosis, HIV, COVID-19 and primary health programmes in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. Her interests include the management of health programmes, evidence creation, policy dialogues and health economics.
Paulo Gotardo is a Senior Research Scientist with the Digital Humans group at DisneyResearch|Studios. His main research areas are computer vision, graphics and machine learning, with a focus on capturing and modeling the appearance, 3D geometry and motion of dynamic scenes, and on building digital humans. Paulo received his BSc and MSc degrees in Informatics from Federal University of Parana, Brazil, and his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA. Prior to joining Disney Research, he was a graduate research associate with the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design and a postdoctoral researcher with the Computational Biology and Cognitive Science Lab, both at Ohio State. Paulo was also an Associate Research Scientist with Disney Research in Pittsburgh, at the Carnegie Mellon University campus.
Dr Michele Gregorini is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering (ICB) at ETH Zurich. Dr Gregorini is a pioneer fellow of ETH Zurich and his PhD thesis focuses on the agile development of a variety of chemical devices. His main project has been the development of hardware and software for the peakPCR platform, a series of thermocycling devices performing PCR analysis in a fraction of the usual time. Dr Gregorini obtained his PhD in Prof Wendelin Stark’s group after finishing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich.
Markus Gross is Professor of Computer Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), Head of the Computer Graphics Laboratory, and Vice President Research and the Director of DisneyResearch|Studios. He joined the ETH Computer Science faculty in 1994. His research interests include physically based modeling, computer animation, immersive displays, and video technology. Before joining Disney, Gross was Head of the Institute of Computational Sciences at ETH. He received a Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering and a PhD in computer graphics and image analysis, both from Saarland University in Germany in 1986 and 1989. Gross serves on the boards of numerous international research institutes, societies, and governmental organizations. He received the Technical Achievement Award from EUROGRAPHICS in 2010 and the Swiss ICT Champions Award in 2011. He is a fellow of the ACM and of the EUROGRAPHICS Association and a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina as well as the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2013 he received the Konrad Zuse Medal of GI and the Karl Heinz Beckurts price as well as the IEEE Visualization Career Award in 2015. In 2013 and 2019 he received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He cofounded Cyfex AG, Novodex AG, LiberoVision AG, Dybuster AG, Gimalon AG, Kapanu AG, Perceptiko AG, Propulsion Academy AG, Arbrea Labs AG, Nanocorp AG and Animatico AG.
Dr med Yakir Guri (MD-PhD) is part of the Department of Internal Medicine at University Hospital Basel. After obtaining his PhD from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel in the laboratory of Prof Michael Hall, he returned to clinical practice. Dr Guri is an expert on mechanisms regulating cell growth, with a particular emphasis on lipid metabolism and immunology. He brings together hands-on experience in treating patients, including those with COVID-19, and a deep understanding of disease mechanisms. As a physician-investigator, he strives to convert results from research discoveries and insights into clinically relevant outcomes.
Johannes Häberle is a pediatrician, neonatologist and intensive care specialist, and a senior metabolic consultant at the University Children’s Hospital in Zurich. He is an Assistant Professor for Pediatrics at the University of Zurich, and Head of the Metabolic Laboratory at the University Children’s Hospital. His research group focusses on inherited defects of ureagenesis and on the development of novel treatment options for urea cycle disorders. Dr. Häberle is chairperson of the European working group for Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Urea Cycle Disorders, and a member of the Executive and Scientific Boards of the European Registry and Network for Intoxication Type Metabolic Diseases (EIMD). He is chair of the SSIEM Education And Training Advisory Committee (ETAC) and Council member of the Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (SSIEM).
|Stella M Hartinger is an Associate Professor at Cayetano Heredia University, Perú; she leads the Unit for Environmental Development, Health and Environment and co-directs CLIMA, the Center for Latin-American Research on Climate Change and Health. Stella brings her expertise in managing randomized control trials in resource constraint settings to address environmental health problems such as indoor air pollution, WASH, disease prevention and maintain health and wellbeing. Her expertise extends, to carrying out RCTs in early child development and environmental health; setting up and cohorts studies on the interactions between viruses and respiratory bacteria in children; and multigenerational high altitude birth cohort, that explores the effects of health and environment exposure during pregnancy and its impact through the life course.|
Dr Jasmin Haslbauer is a resident at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel (USB). She executes autopsies and is responsible for tissue collection, and also provides histopathological examinations, immunohistochemical examinations and data consolidation. She received her undergraduate medical degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and an MSc in molecular pathology and genomics from the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London, UK. Her current research deals with COVID-19-associated immunological and cardiovascular pathology.
Dr Jürgen Hench is responsible for molecular pathology diagnostics at University Hospital Basel. He is a board certified neuropathologist with a strong interest in implementing artificial intelligence strategies in tumour classification.
After completing medical school in Zürich and Lausanne, Prof Cristoph Hess obtained his MD and PhD from the University of Basel before starting his clinical education in Basel and at Imperial College London. Subsequently, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked on T cell migration at Harvard Medical School. Returning to Switzerland in 2004, Dr Hess started his own research group in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. In 2009, he became a professor of medicine and Head of the Medical Outpatient Division and the Clinical Immunology Service at University Hospital Basel. In 2019, he was appointed as Professor of Experimental Medicine at the University of Cambridge. Dr Hess’s research focuses on the translational aspects of lymphocyte function and its metabolic basis. The goal of his work is to improve our understanding of patients suffering from disorders of immunometabolic regulation.
|María Luisa Huaylinos is the project supervisor at the San Marcos headquarters-Cajamarca of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Perú. She has a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences with an orientation in Biotechnology from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Perú. In addition to having participated in various research projects in the area of health, nutrition, biochemistry laboratory, microbiology and molecular biology, she was also a supervisor in rural communities of a research project where the children were assisted with the Cuna Más program.|
Prof Gregor Hutter is a senior neurosurgeon at University Hospital Basel. Within the frame of the FTC consortium (link below), he leads the clinical Neuro-COVID trial and implements CODEX analysis of brain autopsy samples from COVID patients. Prof Hutter started his research group in brain tumour immunotherapy at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel two years ago. He is a senior neurosurgeon specializing in neuro-oncology and also a molecular immunologist. His research intends to boost novel immunotherapeutic approaches in neuro-oncology, especially glioblastoma. Prof Hutter’s group aims to combine approaches that either locally target microglia and the adaptive immune system or directly interfere with the tumour cells. This is also achieved using innovative technologies such as 3D human tissue cultures and CODEX.
Vanja Ivancevic is the project leader in the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI project and will be supporting the DAVINCI team in regards to project and study management. She got her Master’s degree in Molecular Biology, Major in Infection Biology, in February 2019 at the University of Basel (Biozentrum). In 2019, she joined Hemex’s clinical operations team. In Hemex, Ivancevic supports the clinical operations team with clinical study design development and submission to regulatory authorities and ethical committees of clinical studies for medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She has also a key role in managing and writing grant applications and supporting companies with the requirement and implementation in coaching programmes.
Dr Saso Jezernik is a postdoc researcher and will be supporting the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI team in regards to design of the device, user and medical input. Dr Jezernik received a MSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Graz, Austria, in 1996, and a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Science and Engineering from Aalborg University, Denmark in 1999 in collaboration with the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, USA (working on active medical implants). From 1999 until 2002 he was a post-doc at ETH Zurich working in medical robotics and neuroscience, and later Assistant Professor at Univ. of Maribor.
In 2006 Dr Jezernik completed the MIT Sloan Visiting Fellows Program and has studied at MIT and Harvard Medical School - specializing in technology strategy & innovation management and topics like: biomaterials, implants, MEMS microtechnology & tissue engineering. For the past 20 years Dr Jezernik has been focusing on bringing new technologies and enabling innovation in mechatronics and medical device products (e.g. in active implants, medical injectors, hearing instruments) working for major pharma and medtech companies. Lately, his focus has been on digital healthcare and IOT areas, enabling data collection, connectivity, and new solutions / new business models within the healthcare ecosystem. Dr Jezernik is a designated EU FP7 healthcare innovation reviewer, also evaluating EU Flagship R&I Human Brain Project. He holds 4 patents and has 18 peer-reviewed publications. He also serves as a reviewer for major medical and biomedical engineering journals. Currently works as a Director of Life-Science Consulting company Consultys in Switzerland, and is also a co-founder of a digital health startup Bioinitials.
Dr Sizun Jiang is a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the USA. He contributes his multiple areas of expertise to this project (link below), such as virology, multiplexed imaging and sequencing, the development of viralMIBI, CODEX and CyTOF computational data analysis.
Vlastimil Jirasko is a postdoctoral fellow researcher at ETH Zurich in the LBB group of Prof Vörös. He focuses on the assay development of rapid antigen test detecting SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. He obtained his PhD in the field of virology in the laboratory of Molecular Virology at Heidelberg University studying the assembly of infectious viral particles of the Hepatitis C virus. He gained further expertise in protein biochemistry during his assignment at the laboratory of solid-state NMR at ETH Zurich, where he optimized sample preparation of viral membrane proteins in liposomes for analysis by proton detected magic angle spinning solid-state NMR.
Dr Sarah Kadelka has been a BRCCH consortium member and a postdoctoral researcher in Prof Roland Regoes’s group at ETH Zurich since September 2020. She has a background in within-host modelling of infectious diseases. In this BRCCH consortium, she will be developing mathematical models that capture aspects of the within-host dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Prior to joining ETH Zurich, she obtained a PhD in mathematics from Virginia Tech, USA, where she worked on within-host modelling of hepatitis B infections.
Dr Georgios Kalamakis, PhD, is a joint postdoctoral fellow between ETH Zurich and the Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research (NIBR). He obtained a master’s degree in neural and behavioural sciences from the University of Tübingen, Germany, and did his PhD research in the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, where he studied the impact of ageing on neural stem cells in the murine brain. Dr Kalamakis has always been interested in high-throughput screening, which led him to join the Laboratory for Biological Engineering (ETH Zurich) and the Functional Genetics laboratory (NIBR), where he performs various genetic screens using the CRISPR/Cas9 system.
Dr Bulemba Katende, MD, MSc, is the MistraL project manager under SolidarMed in Lesotho. His research interests include clinical infectious disease, infectious disease epidemiology and immunology.
For the past ten years, he has worked in various clinical settings as a medical doctor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lesotho before moving to a public health setting, where he served as a technical advisor for the districts of Mokhotlong, Butha Buthe and Thaba Tseka in rural Lesotho under the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. In this position, in collaboration with the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), he managed to implement a comprehensive HIV/TB programme, which had a positive impact on HIV and TB case identification, linkage and retention in care.
In 2015, he was awarded the Novartis scholarship, which allowed him to complete a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at Stellenbosch University in the Republic of South Africa. During this time, he successfully conducted a countrywide research project that explored the impact of the use of GeneXpert technology on patients diagnosed with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in Lesotho. Dr Katende has experience in clinical general medicine, medical research, epidemiology and programme management.
Laura Kiser is a junior scientist and a medical student at the University of Basel. In her master thesis under leadership of Andreas Mueller and under guidance of Benito Benitez she focuses on cleft research. She is especially interested in biomedical engineering methods in treating cleft patients.
Dr Joachim Köser is a scientist at the Institute for Nanotechnology (ICB), University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Muttenz, Switzerland. Dr Köser has been active in several medical technology, tissue engineering and biosensor related nanotechnology projects. He was involved in two LFA related projects in previous years.
A biologist by training, Joachim Köser did his PhD at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg before moving to Basel in 1999 to join the group of Prof Ueli Aebi at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. In 2003 he joined the start-up company Concentris GmbH where he was responsible for the application development of cantilever sensors as chemical and biological sensors. In 2008 he joined the Nanotechnology group of Prof Pieles at the FHNW.
Maria Kuhn, MSc, is a PhD student in Prof Randall Platt’s group at ETH Zurich. As one of the first students to join, she helped to establish the Laboratory for Biological Engineering, and her PhD research combines her two main interests by developing direct in vivo CRISPR screens in the central nervous system. Before joining ETH Zurich, she worked at the Roche Innovation Center Zürich (RICZ), focusing on high-throughput molecular cloning and gene expression techniques. She graduated with high distinction in molecular biotechnology from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany, in 2015. During her studies, she received a German National Scholarship and was part of the TUM: Young Academy support programme. For her master’s thesis at the Helmholtz Centre in Munich, she studied genetic mutations in murine models for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Prof Niklaus Labhardt is a physician trained in Switzerland, Cameroon and Lesotho specializing in infectious diseases and tropical medicine with a master’s in international health. Since his obtainment of an SNSF Eccellenza Professorship grant, he has held a position as a senior infectious disease doctor at University Hospital Basel and has led the “HIV and Chronic Disease Care” research group at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). His research group’s work embraces clinical, epidemiological, molecular and implementation research focusing on HIV, HIV comorbidities and non-communicable diseases in Southeastern Africa and Switzerland. He is the sponsor/chief-investigator for several published or ongoing randomized controlled trials addressing questions around community-based HIV testing and care, improvement of the care cascade, cost-effective differentiated service delivery models and treatment failure in persons living with HIV and/or other chronic conditions in resource-limited settings. As President of the Board of the Swiss not-for-profit organization SolidarMed, he is committed to improving health for people living in rural areas in Subsaharan Africa. You can read more on the research group’s website.
Melanie Lang, PhD is a postdoctoral researcher working in the Sunagawa-lab at the institute of Microbiology, ETH Zurich since March 2020. She studied zoology (2007-2010) with a master's degree in evolutionary biology (2010-2012) at the University of Basel. She then moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a PhD in disease ecology in the group of Dr Amy B Pedersen at the University of Edinburgh, UK where she investigated the mechanisms of parasite within-host interactions in wild rodents (2013-2017). Eager to find out more about how the resident bacterial communities within an organism (microbiota) would be linked to an individual's health and disease outcome, she joined the group of Prof Debby Bogaert at the Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK, where she studied, amongst other projects, how the microbial networks at different sites of the human body would be linked to each other and how this affected susceptibility to respiratory tract infections in healthy infants (2017-2020). She now applies her wet lab, bioinformatics and data analysis experience within the framework of the BRCCH precision microbiota engineering project.
Dr Daniela Ledezma is a postdoc in the lab of Prof Sauer. In her research she combines metabolomics and transcriptomics data to understand transcriptional regulation in E. coli.
Dr Epke Le Rutte is a senior scientist in the Disease Modelling and Intervention Dynamics group at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), which she joined in November 2020. She will use an individual-based model, which captures the transmission dynamics of COVID-19, to identify the impact of different interventions on public health outcomes such as COVID-19 incidence and mortality. She also focuses on actively involving the projects’ stakeholders and on supporting policymakers.
Dr Le Rutte is a veterinarian with a PhD in human neglected tropical disease (NTD) control and elimination. During her PhD and postdoc (both at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands) she was an active member of the NTD Modelling Consortium, where she applied NTD transmission models to support policymakers such as the World Health Organization and Ministries of Health in identifying the most effective strategies for controlling and eliminating NTDs.
Dr Johanna Lieb is a senior staff neuroradiologist and the Deputy Head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology in the Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Clinic at University Hospital Basel (USB). In the frame of the FTC project (link below), she provides neuroloradiological expertise and is part of interdisciplinary neurological groups. She received her medical degree from Ulm, Germany, and took her residency in general radiology at USB and University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB). Thereafter, she received special fellowship training in diagnostic neuroradiology from USB, with a special focus on neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and neuro-oncology, as well as head and neck radiology (in which she has a European Diploma). Her clinical activities cover the whole of conventional diagnostic neuroradiology and head and neck radiology, as well as advanced imaging methods (perfusion, MR spectroscopy and functional MRI). She is part of interdisciplinary research teams in different fields of neuroscience.
Yoriko Lill is a research associate at the University Hospital Basel. Yoriko received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University, and PhD in Biophysics from Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried and Technical University of Munich. She has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt and in Nano-Optics Group at the University of Basel. Prior to joining University Hospital Basel, she was a research associate in Single-Molecule Biophysics Group and a lecturer in statistics at Purdue University, USA.
Lasse Lingens is a Research Engineer at the Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH Zurich. His main focus of interest throughout his studies at ETH were computer vision, computer graphics, robotics and machine learning. As his family has a rich background with medicine he is interested especially in research that focuses on the improvement of medical procedures by integrating and applying computer science.
Dr Fabian Lütolf is a R&D engineer at CSEM Muttenz. His activities include management and execution of projects related to design, prototyping and scaled manufacturing of micro- and nanostructures. Dr Lütolf received his PhD in Photonics and his current focus is the transfer of diffractive and plasmonic nanostructures to applications in life science.
Besides diffraction and plasmonics, Dr Lütolf’s research interests include a variety of manufacturing technologies with a focus on scalable processes. Functional printing, Photolithography and various embossing methods are examples of technologies that CSEM has successfully applied to pilot the fabrication of sensors, optical components but also bank notes and augmented reality devices.
Andrew Macpherson is a Professor of Medicine at the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital). His laboratory has worked on immune and non-immune mechanisms of host-microbial mutualism using animal models and translational work in human subjects. He has set up collaborations with Zimbabwean and Kenyan colleagues to address the problem of dysbiosis that triggers intestinal dysfunction and stunting in young children in the low- and middle-income countries.
Dr Adrià Martí i Líndez is a postdoctoral scientist working in Prof Christoph Hess’s group in the Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel. After an MSc in genetics at the University of Barcelona in Spain, he recently completed his doctoral degree in Prof Walter Reith’s group in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at the University of Geneva. During his doctoral studies, he investigated how arginine metabolism modulates cancer-directed T cells. His research continues to focus on the metabolism of virus- and cancer-fighting CD8+ T cells and on how unveiling metabolic vulnerabilities in senescent CD8+ T cells can help to optimise COVID-19 immunotherapies.
PD Dr Matthias Matter is a surgical pathologist at University Hospital Basel, providing his knowledge of immunology and molecular analysis in the frame of the BRCCH-funded “Lessons From the Deceased to the Living and Back” project. Dr Matter studied medicine at the University of Bern, where he also received an MD-PhD in the field of tumour immunology and host-viral interactions. His research experience was further extended by a postdoctoral fellowship on tumour immunology at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA. He is a surgical pathologist with a sub-specialization in molecular pathology and works at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel with a main focus on molecular pathology and gastrointestinal pathology. His main research interests are immune responses against tumours and the role of chronic inflammation, such as that caused by hepatitis B or C virus, in tumour development. In the BRCCH FTC project (link below), Dr Matter is mainly involved in study design, histopathological examination and analysis of the immune response against SARS-Cov2 in the lungs and lymph nodes using gene expression analysis and CODEX.
|Prof Daniel Mäusezahl PhD, MPH, received his qualifications from UC Berkeley and heads the Household Health Systems research group at the Household Economics and Health Systems Research unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). His research mainly deals with environmental, health and social impact assessment and he conducts health systems research with a portfolio focusing on surveillance and routine health data in infectious diseases in the Global South and North, food safety and environmental health interventions. His research in Switzerland focuses on the control of food- and waterborne diseases, maintaining a research station in the Andes and a work portfolio on integrated approaches to improve household, environmental and child health.
Prof Mirko Meboldt studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe (KIT) in Germany and launched his academic career at the Institute of Product Engineering Karlsruhe (IPEK), where he completed a doctorate in the field of product development. He embarked on his industrial career at Hilti AG in Liechtenstein, where he was globally responsible for CAD/PDM systems, standardisation and development methods. In his last position at Hilti, he was responsible for global technology and product development processes. In 2012, he was appointed Full Professor of Product Development and Engineering Design at ETH Zurich. His main research focus is on the development of new products in the field of mechanical engineering industries, biomedical applications and associated technologies. Since spring 2020, he has been a driving member of the helpfulETH initiative, which develops technical solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted, among other things, in the BRCCH-supported CoVent project, where he is a member of the organising committee and assists with the development of the low-cost ventilator.
Noëmi Meier is a project manager working in the group of Prof Slack at ETH Zurich. Noëmi has worked in infectious disease research in Switzerland and abroad before joining Emma's group at ETH Zürich. She holds a PhD in Clinical Research from the University of Basel. In her current role she is supporting the Precision Microbiota Engineering for Child Health project to facilitate research activities across this Multi-Investigator Project.
Dr Thomas Menter is a consultant at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel (USB). His main diagnostic and research interests are haematopathology, nephropathology and paediatric and placental pathology. He contributes to the FTC project (link below) by providing expertise in nephropathology, electron microscopy and haemato-/immunopathology, as well as placental pathology. He performs autopsies of COVID-19 patients and evaluates autopsy histology.
Prof Kirsten Mertz is a senior pathologist affiliated with University Hospital Basel and Head of the Molecular Pathology and Cytopathology service at the Cantonal Hospital Baselland. She is a clinician scientist with more than 10 years’ (inter)national experience in clinical, molecular and digital pathology. Her scientific focus is on infectious pathology, immunopathology and molecular oncology. Prof Mertz is driven by a fascination for science and by an ambition to translate ideas into individual health innovation. The Molecular Pathology and Cytopathology lab’s main focus is on molecular diagnostics of cancer and the pathology of infections. The lab routinely uses NGS (next-generation sequencing) to characterize solid tumours and PCR-based analyses to detect specific pathogens in human biopsies. In parallel to routine diagnostics, the lab performs molecular biological experiments to support translational research. They are currently developing metagenomics assays to screen for pathogens in patient tissue samples.
|Dana Charles McCoy is an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Her work focuses on understanding the ways that poverty-related risk factors in children's home, school, and neighborhood environments affect the development of their cognitive and socioemotional skills in early childhood. She is also interested in the development, refinement, and evaluation of early intervention programs designed to promote positive development and resilience in young children, particularly in terms of their self-regulation and executive function. McCoy's research is centered in both domestic and international contexts, including Brazil, Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia. She has a particular interest in interdisciplinary theory, causal methodology, and ecologically valid measurement. Before joining the HGSE faculty, McCoy served as an NICHD National Research Service Award post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. She graduated with an A.B. in Psychological and BrainSciences from Dartmouth College and received her Ph.D. in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Quantitative Analysis from New York University. McCoy's work has been published in journals such as Developmental Psychology, Child Development, Pediatrics, and The Lancet. She has presented her work to audiences around the world, including the WHO, UNICEF, and the World Bank.|
Dr David McIlwain is a senior research scientist in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University, USA. He brings his expertise in advanced single cell analysis tools with the CODEX system. He studied in Canada, receiving his undergraduate degree from McGill University and his PhD from the University of Toronto, advised by Dr Tak W. Mak. His doctoral work used reverse genetics to discover a new factor controlling the production of inflammatory mediator TNF. He completed his postdoctoral training investigating viral pathogenesis at both the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Infectious Disease at Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Dusseldorf, Germany, advised by Philipp Lang, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, advised by Dr Garry Nolan. Dr McIlwain uses advanced single cell analysis tools including CyTOF and a multiparameter tissue imaging platform named CODEX to map systems-level immune responses to infections including SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, influenza, B. pseudomallei, and Zika in humans and animal models. He currently oversees a team examining sequelae and immunopathology of Ebola virus infections in West and Central Africa and acts as a subject matter expert for clinical trials.
PD Dr Benjamin Misselwitz is a senior Gastroenterologist and Clinical Scientist based at the University Hospital of Bern, collaborating on the BRCCH project (link below). He has special interests in intestinal functional disease research. Recently he has worked extensively with Professor Kerina Duri in Harare to collaborate on her extensive mother-baby cohorts, particularly to understand how the development of the intestinal microbiota affects susceptibility to intestinal absorbtive dysfunction.
Prof Andreas Moor is an assistant professor in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich. He studied medicine at the University of Bern. In 2010, he obtained an MD from the University of Bern, followed by a PhD in molecular cancer research from EPFL in 2014. Following his postdoctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, Prof Moor was appointed as an SNSF Eccellenza Professor at the University of Zürich. Prof Moor and his team moved to the D-BSSE in June 2020 and he currently holds an appointment as a tenure-track assistant professor of systems physiology.
PD Dr Andreas A Mueller is a passionate senior craniofacial surgeon who has been engaged in the clinical care of cleft lip and palate malformations for more than 15 years. He is heavily involved in basic and clinical research in this medical area. Since 2014, he has led the cleft lip and palate treatment centre at the University of Basel. This centre brings together all pertinent specialists for cleft care from University Hospital Basel, University Children’s Hospital Basel and the University Dental Clinic, with the objective of delivering the highest standard of care to the affected children and their families from birth to adulthood. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Swiss Society for Cleft Lip and Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies.
Convinced of the importance of biomedical engineering in surgery, he completed his PhD entitled “Complementing Surgical with Biomedical Engineering Methods to Evolve Lip and Nose Reconstruction” and further deepened his microsurgical training at the Department for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery in Amiens, France. His outstanding research has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and he has been awarded the Helene Matras Prize (Austria) and the Bernd Spiessl and Hugo Obwegeser prizes (Switzerland).
Dr Josephine Muhairwe is the Country Director for SolidarMed (a Swiss-based health non-governmental organisation) in Lesotho. She is a Uganda-trained physician with a master’s in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. She is also currently pursuing a PhD in global health in the Department of Medicine at the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva. In addition to directing all the health-related work for SolidarMed in Lesotho, Dr Muhairwe’s research interests include investigating how low- and middle-income settings can better respond to their health and health system challenges through the process of identifying and implementing changes in policy and practices. She is particularly interested in innovative approaches to the treatment and management of infectious and chronic diseases that include improvements in access, coverage, quality or efficiency for marginalised rural populations. During her free time, she likes to travel, read and provide free medical treatment during medical missions.
Privilege T Munjoma (MSc) is a DPhil student in the Immunology Department, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. His thesis title is “Maternal gut and breast milk microbiota diversity: influences on infant gut microbiota colonization and health within the first two years of life”.
Dr Keelin Murphy is a collaborator on the MistraL project working on the validation and development of the CAD4COVID software. Dr Murphy completed her PhD on the automated analysis of chest CT in 2011 at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. For several years, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University College Cork, Ireland, on the analysis of neonatal MRI and EEG, and she is now a member of the Diagnostic Image Analysis Group at Radboud University Medical Center at Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Her current research focuses on machine-learning analysis of medical images, primarily chest X-rays.
Dr Prasad K.K. Nalabothu is a research scientist at the Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland. His primary research background is in Cleft and Craniofacial Orthodontics which he specialized in during his training in Taipei, Taiwan. He did his Masters in lingual orthodontics at the University of Basel, Switzerland and his skill set is complemented by his PhD in smart implants for tissue expansion in cleft palate defects of new born.
Prof Michael Nash is a BRCCH co-investigator and tenure-track assistant professor with joint appointments at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Basel and the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich. Prof Nash earned a bachelor’s in biomedical cybernetics, graduating with the highest honours from UCLA, USA, in 2006. He has held internships at the California Institute of Technology/NASA and the Pacific Northwest National Lab in the USA and the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He earned a dual PhD in bioengineering and nanotechnology from the University of Washington, USA, in December 2010. Following postdoctoral work in applied physics at LMU Munich in Germany, he was promoted to group leader in May 2013. Prof Nash began his current position as a tenure-track assistant professor in Basel in September 2016. His research interests are in the areas of molecular engineering and biophysics, specifically focusing on single-molecule protein mechanical properties, protein and polymer engineering and the interface between synthetic and biological systems.
Giancarlo Natalucci (Prof Dr med), is a consultant (staff member) in neonatology and developmental pediatrics at the Department of Neonatology of the University Hospital Zurich. The focus of GN research is the neuromonitoring, the long-term neurodevelopment, the outcome predictors and the supportive therapies of at-risk newborns such as preterm born children. Since 2019 he is leading the Larsson-Rosenquist Center for Neurodevelopment, Growth and Nutrition of the Newborn as Assistant Professor with tenure track at the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich.
Dr Ronny Nienhold is a senior postdoc in Dr Kirsten Mertz’s lab and Head of the Molecular Pathology lab at the Cantonal Hospital Baselland. In the frame of this FTC project (link below), he is responsible for the SARS-COV-2 experimental PCR. During his PhD, he developed custom NGS workflows in order to elucidate the molecular background of myeloproliferative diseases.
Prof Garry Nolan is the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine, USA. He is a BRCCH collaborator using CODEX technology to investigate the pathophysiology of COVID-19. He trained with Leonard Herzenberg (for his PhD) and the Nobelist Dr David Baltimore (for postdoctoral work in the first cloning/characterization of NF-B p65/RelA and the development of rapid retroviral production systems). He has published over 220 research articles, is the holder of 20 US patents and has also been honoured as one of the top 25 inventors at Stanford University.
Prof Nolan was the first recipient of both the Teal Innovator Award (2012) from the USA’s Department of Defense (a $3.3 million grant for advanced studies in ovarian cancer), and he also received a $3 million FDA BAAA “Bio-agent protection” grant from the FDA for a “Cross-Species Immune System Reference.” He also received an award for Outstanding Research Achievement in 2011 from the Nature Publishing Group for his development of CyTOF applications in the immune system.
Prof Nolan is making new efforts in the study of Ebola, having developed instrument platforms to deploy in the field in Africa to study Ebola samples safely without the need to transport them to overseas labs (funded by a new $3.5 million grant from the FDA). He is an outspoken proponent of translating public investment in basic research to serve public welfare.
Prof Nolan was the founder of Rigel Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL, BINA) (a genomics computational infrastructure company sold to Roche Diagnostics) and serves on the Boards of Directors of several companies, as well as consulting for other biotechnology companies. DVS Sciences, for which he was Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, sold to Fluidigm for $207 million (2014) on an investment of $14 million. His areas of research include hematopoiesis, cancer and leukaemia, autoimmunity and inflammation and computational approaches for network and systems immunology.
Prof Nolan’s recent efforts are focused on a single cell analysis advance using a mass spectrometry-flow cytometry hybrid device (CyTOF) and nanoscale imaging with the Multiparameter Ion Beam Imager (MIBI). The approaches use an advanced ion plasma source to determine the levels of tagged reagents bound to cells – enabling a vast increase in the number of parameters that can be measured per cell – either as flow cytometry devices (CyTOF) or imaging platforms for cancer (MIBI). Further developments in imaging are enabled by CODEX – a system that inexpensively converts fluorescence scopes into high dimensional imaging platforms. These efforts will enable a deeper understanding not only of normal immune function, trauma, pathogen infection and other inflammatory events, but also of detailed substructures of leukaemias and solid cancers in order to promote new understandings that will enable better management of disease and clinical outcomes.
PD Dr med Michael Osthoff is a senior consultant in the Division of Internal Medicine at University Hospital Basel, where he an internal medicine and infectious diseases specialist. His research interests include investigating the role of the complement system in infections and ischemia injury, therapeutic drug monitoring of β-lactam antibiotics and the implementation of antibiotic/diagnostic stewardship programmes in the hospital. Dr Osthoff is the leader of the “Translational Immunology and Diagnostic Stewardship” research group and Head of Clinical Research at the Division of Internal Medicine at University Hospital Basel.
Dr Samantha Paoletti is working as Business Development Manager Life Science Technologies at CSEM. She is coordinating the research and the business development in regards Life Science Technologies.
Dr Paoletti is a cell biologist and her focus is the support to the industrial sector in regards miniature biosensors, fluidics and cell interface. Dr Paoletti will be working in the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI project as an academic collaborator, coordinating CSEM's different activities.
Dr Paoletti's research interest is on human health and the development of Innovative diagnostics for resource-limited settings. CSEM’s technology platforms address the evolving needs of the life science domain by utilizing the latest advancements in cell technologies, biomonitoring, and lab automation. CSEM goal is to narrow the gap between applied sciences and industrialization. To meet our partners’ needs, we draw on two decades of experience in functionalization, biomaterials, microfluidics, fluid control, MEMS, and AI to develop state-of-the-art tools for life sciences.
Prof Hans Pargger is Chief Physician and Director of the 44-bed intensive care unit at University Hospital Basel. In the frame of the BRCCH “Lessons from the Deceased to the Living and Back” project, Prof Pargger provides clinical expertise in intensive care and emergency medicine and also acts as ethical counsel. He received his medical degrees from the University of Basel. He is board certified in intensive care medicine, anesthesiology, preclinical emergency medicine and point-of-care ultrasound and has held a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. He was President of the Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine from 2008 to 2010. Since 2004, he has been President of the Certification Commission of the Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine. In addition to this, he has been President of the ethics committee of University Hospital Basel since 2012 and a member of the Senate of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences since 2014.
Prof Dr med Daniel H Paris is the principal investigator of the DAVINCI project. He is a clinical doctor and has been Medical Director and Head of the Department of Medicine at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) since early 2017, becoming an associate professor in 2018.
Prof Paris and his team will be in charge of the clinical research activities within the scope of the DAVINCI project, including study coordination, data and sample specimen collection, performing reference comparator diagnostics, data management, analysis and device validation procedures.
Prof Paris graduated in human medicine from the University of Zürich in 1996 and pursued a career combining internal medicine and infectious or tropical diseases. He spent several years working in clinical research in Southeast Asia for the renowned University of Oxford as the coordinator of clinical tropical medicine research focusing on tropical rickettsial illnesses, diagnostics, clinical trials and causes-of-fever studies. He completed his PhD in clinical tropical medicine in 2011 and became an associate professor at the University of Oxford in 2014. He has also been a visiting professor at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, since 2015, where he continues to supervise students.
Prof Paris is considered an internationally recognized expert and researcher in the field of tropical and travel medicine. His areas of interest include the causes of endemic febrile diseases, the evaluation of diagnostic methods and research into rickettsial illnesses – bacterial infections – and typhoid-like diseases affecting rural populations in Asia and Africa.
Prof Melissa Penny is a professor at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the University of Basel. Currently Head of the Disease Dynamics unit at Swiss TPH, she has more than 14 years’ experience in developing mathematical and computational models in order to provide quantitative evidence to support infectious disease control and elimination decisions.
Her most recent research focuses on data analysis and the development of mathematical models and algorithms in order to understand parasite, host and intervention dynamics, with the goal of informing decisions during product development through to implementation and policy recommendations. This work includes new approaches using mechanistic models to inform quantitative target product profiles for novel malaria tools and, under BRCCH funding, to inform novel medical interventions against SARS-Cov-2.
Prof Penny is also a member of the Data and Modelling expert group of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Taskforce, which develops and applies simulation models to inform decisions on novel medical interventions against COVID-19 in Switzerland.
Prof Randall (Randy) Platt holds associate professorships at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Basel. Prof Platt studied biomedical engineering and chemistry at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, USA. In 2011, he obtained an MPhil in material science from Imperial College London, UK, and in 2016 he received a PhD in biological engineering from MIT, USA. After a joint postdoctoral fellowship between MIT, Harvard University, and the Broad Institute, he was appointed as a tenure-track assistant professor at ETH Zurich and the University of Basel in October 2016.
Nila-Pia Rähle will be supporting the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI team in regulatory affairs and quality management related questions. She is co-founder and COO at Effectum Medical, a legal manufacturer for medical devices offering an outsourced quality management system (QMS) solution.
Rähle holds a Master in Biochemistry of ETH Zürich and a Master in Business Management of IE Business School. Her professional career includes different areas of the life sciences industry (Pharma, Biotech, Medical Devices) and she worked for both, leading global players and innovative start-ups. In her 20 years of business experience she held roles on national, international and executive level. With her broad experience she is able to manage all aspects along the entire value chain, having the key focus on project management, regulatory affairs and quality management.
Raghavendra (Raj) Ramachanderan is a PhD student in the Platt group at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at the ETH Zurich. He has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Regensburg and an M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology from Ruprecht-Karl University of Heidelberg, majoring in Bioinformatics. His interests lie in the intersection of synthetic biology and microbial systems biology. As a doctoral candidate in the Platt group, his research focusses on the application and expansion of Record-Seq technology, both experimentally and computationally, in gut bacteria to monitor the gastrointestinal tract and glean insights into pathogenesis and disease development.
|Lucero Ramirez Varela is a research assistant at the EASEL Lab and the SEED Lab, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA. Her research interests include social-emotional development in global contexts and peer interactions as mechanisms to foster positive behaviors. Moreover, Lucero is interested in developing and implementing educational interventions based on developmental science and prevention research. Before coming to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Lucero worked as a project manager in the Evaluation center at Universidad de Los Andes. There, she assessed school climate and social-emotional competencies in elementary school students. Previously, she was a project coordinator at Colombia’s National Ministry of Education, where she participated in the first national quality measurement of early childhood education services. Lucero holds an Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a MSc in Psychology from Universidad de Los Andes, and a bachelor’s in psychology from the same university.|
Ronja Rappold, MSc is a PhD student in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich with Prof Viola Vogel and Prof Emma Wetter Slack. She is highly interested in studying how mechanobiological cues are affecting cell signaling, more particular the mechanobiological impact on intestinal inflammation. In the MIP project, she is investigating pathology-associated extracellular matrix changes occurring in the gastrointestinal tract and other disease-implicated organs. Using immunohistochemistry and histology techniques, high-resolution imaging and advanced image analysis, she is aiming to find mechanobiological readouts, which could be used as early diagnostic markers in rare genetic disorders of metabolism.
Prof Srinivas Gosla Reddy is a craniofacial surgeon, who is specialized in treating patients born or suffering with any form of facial defects. Prof Gosla received his Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 1996 from the Mangalore University, Karnataka, India. Since 1997 he has been treating children with cleft and craniofacial defects in Hyderabad/India, where he later established a 50 bed stand-alone state of the art craniofacial center: “The GSR Institute of Craniofacial and Facial Plastic surgery”. Recognizing the unmet needs for these children he went on to further train in medicine and surgery at Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh. Furthermore, he obtained his PhD from the Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. He has also trained extensively in various craniofacial centers in Europe like University Hospital Zurich Switzerland, Poole Hospital United Kingdom, AV Sint Jan Hospital Bruges Belgium, University Hospital Muenster Germany, University Hospital Leipzig Germany and University Hospital Halle Germany. Prof. Gosla is also a well-known teacher in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He is a Professor attached to the Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. For his distinguished work in the field of craniofacial surgery he was awarded honorary Fellowships in Dental Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeon in Edinburgh and London. His research focuses on Cleft & Craniofacial anomalies. He is particularly interested in methods such as morphofunctional repair of cleft lip & palate.
Prof Roland Regoes is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Integrative Biology (IBZ) at ETH Zurich. He has been studying infectious disease dynamics and evolution for two decades. Specifically, he has contributed to our quantitative understanding of the emergence and evolution of new infections, preclinical HIV vaccine trial design, pharmacodynamics and the population dynamics and evolution of various viral and bacterial pathogens within their hosts. His research is conducted in close collaboration with both experimentalists and clinicians.
Dr Klaus Reither is Head of the Clinical Research Unit and the leader of the Clinical TB Research Group at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). He oversees and coordinates clinical research projects conducted by Swiss TPH and his research responsibilities comprise the set-up, implementation, coordination and supervision of clinical research projects, with an emphasis on TB clinical trials at Swiss TPH’s international partner organisations such as the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, the National Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases in Georgia and SolidarMed in Lesotho.
Dr Reither received his medical degree from the Free University Berlin, earned an academic MD from the German Heart Centre Berlin, pursued an MSc in international health and a diploma in tropical medicine and public health from Humboldt University Berlin and completed a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Basel. He has clinical experience in internal medicine and is a specialist in diagnostic radiology.
Dr Daniel Richards is a co-investigator on the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI project and will be leading the effort at ETH Zurich to develop a smartphone app capable of analyzing and interpreting the project’s SARS-CoV-2 test. Dr Richards joined the deMello group at ETH Zurich as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in early 2020 and has since focused on exploring the interface of synthetic biology, diagnostics and microfluidics. He has an active interest in point-of-care diagnostics, protein modification, synthetic biology and nanomaterials. Prior to joining ETH Zurich, Dr Richards was a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London, UK, where he was involved in developing nanomaterial-based diagnostic technologies for both infectious and non-infectious diseases. He completed his PhD at University College London, where he focused on applying novel chemical reactions to complex proteins with the aim of improving the functionality of therapeutically relevant biomolecules.
Maren Roche is a Scientific Project Manager. She coordinates the international project development and ensures a strong network with local and international institutes. Maren holds a PhD degree in cancer research from the Wellcome Trust Biocentre in Scotland, Dundee. Furthermore, she gained immunological research experience during her postdoctoral work at Martin Luther University in Halle, and intensified her knowledge in cancer research during her postdoctoral studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway. In addition to her research experience she gained laboratory management skills at ETHZ, Switzerland. Maren is very interested in scientific research and its transition into applications.
Carine Roese Mores is a PhD Student at ETH Zurich since September 2020. She was born in Brazil, where she studied Biology (Diploma 2016) and Biotechnology and Biosciences (MSc 2018). From 2018 to 2020, she worked as a bioinformatician at Loyola University Chicago, Illinois, USA, focusing on Human Microbiome data analysis. The research group that she is currently working with is headed by Prof Shinichi Sunagawa. Her main research interest within the group is to combine bioinformatic and experimental approaches to better understand structure, function and diversity of the human microbiome.
Dr Morten Ruhwald joined FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics) in 2019 as Head of the TB programme. He is a medical doctor with over 15 years of professional experience, including 4 years in clinical medicine and 12 years in research and development in the area of vaccines and diagnostics for TB.
Dr Ruhwald has been project lead on several diagnostic tests for latent M.tb infection, including specific skin tests and new simpler in-vitro diagnostics in the IGRA family. He has worked extensively with international stakeholders in translational medicine and product development for poverty-related diseases.
Before joining FIND, Dr Ruhwald was the Chief Medical Officer and Head of Human Immunology at the Center for Vaccine Research at Statens Serum Institut in Denmark. Prior to that, he led the TB immunology group at the Copenhagen University Hospital. He obtained his medical degree and PhD from Copenhagen University in Denmark and has published more than 80 academic papers.
Prof Uwe Sauer is Professor of Systems Biology in the Department of Biology at ETH Zurich. His interdisciplinary metabolomics-based research focuses on microbial metabolism and host-microbe interactions.
Dr Miodrag Savic (MD, DDS) is a member of the High Tech Research Center Basel at the Department of Biomedical Engineering (DBE), University of Basel. He is also a member of the Medical Additive Manufacturing research group, DBE. Dr Savic is part of the university’s Medical Faculty through his commitment in the Curricular Committee and the Faculty Assembly. He teaches 1st and 2nd year master students in dental medicine. As head of the suturing course for dental students since 2012, he has taught over 250 students. Since March 2020, Dr Savic has been delegated by the Department of Health as project leader of different projects in mitigating COVID-19.
Dr Savic received his medical and dental degrees from the University of Basel. He spent a clinical research year in the Stem Cell Center of Competence within the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. He received his medical doctor’s degree in the field of stem cell research and his dental doctor’s degree in the field of medical advanced materials in 3D printing. During his residency in general surgery at the University Hospital of Basel at the clinic for neurosurgery, Dr Savic and Dr Martin Sailer began a research collaboration which resulted in a common patent, (Sailer M and Savic M. 2016. Invasion cell culture system for use in drug discovery. European Patent Office).
Dr Spasenija Savic Prince is a senior pathologist with expertise in thoracic pathology and cytopathology at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel (USB). She received her medical degree from the University of Basel. After a residency in pathology and a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA, she joined the faculty in 2009. As part of the thoracic disease management team, she works with colleagues from pneumology, oncology, surgery and radiation oncology to care for patients affected by lung and pleural disease. Her research is primarily focused on lung cancer and the investigation of predictive biomarkers. Dr Savic has published numerous original papers and reviews and is an editorial board member of Acta Cytologica.
Dr Marianne Schmid Daners graduated from ETH Zurich as a mechanical engineer in 2006 (Dipl. Masch.-Ing. ETH). Under the supervision of Prof Guzzella, she completed her doctorate on the topic of “Adaptive Shunts for Cerebrospinal Fluid Control” at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control in 2012. Dr Schmid Daners heads the institute’s Biomedical Systems Group as a senior scientist. At the interdisciplinary interface of clinical research and engineering, her passion is the pathophysiological understanding of the dynamics of the intracranial and cardiovascular systems. Her research focuses on the modelling, control and testing of biological systems, as well as on the development and control of biomedical devices for the treatment of heart failure and hydrocephalus. From the ETH Zurich side of the BRCCH-supported CoVent project, she is the leading member of the project’s organising committee.
Florian Schmidt is a PhD student in the Platt group at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich. Florian obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg working on CRISPR/AAV gene therapy. After a short stint in the laboratory of Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard together with Randall Platt he transitioned to ETH Zurich where they established the Record-seq technology used to create the living microbial diagnostics.
Till Schnabel is a Research Engineer at the Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH Zurich, from which he recently obtained his MSc. During his studies, he focused on computer graphics, computer vision, and machine learning. His main interest is the field of deep learning with graphical applications. Since his family has a profound background in medicine, he is interested in applying his knowledge to improve people’s lives.
Baran Gözcü is a researcher in the Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH Zurich. He is interested in applied research and his current research interests are in the fields of biomedical imaging, machine learning and computer vision. Gözcü received his BSc degrees in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Mathematics from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, and his MSc and PhD degrees from the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL in Switzerland.
Jan Schneeberger is a biomedical analyst in the Research Department Pathology at University Hospital Basel (USB).
Dr Samuel Schumacher joined the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in 2015 and is currently Evidence & Policy Lead across several FIND programmes, with a 40% focus on TB. He has a longstanding interest in the development and evaluation of technology to address global health problems and over 10 years of research experience focused on infectious disease diagnostics. Dr Schumacher has worked on a wide range of TB diagnostics projects, including large multicentre diagnostic accuracy studies and studies to directly measure the impact of TB diagnostics on health outcomes. He has extensive knowledge of medical research methodology, quantitative methods, evidence synthesis and policy development processes. He received his BSc and MSc in molecular biotechnology from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and his PhD in epidemiology from McGill University in Canada.
Professor Dieter Armand Schumann is a senior scientist and a maxillofacial surgeon. His main interests are in cleft surgery, reconstructive surgery and microsurgery. He has also a lot of experience in biomaterial science especially in cellulose research. During his career he was the Head of the Department of Maxillo-Facial and Plastic Surgery in Jena, 1983-2005. Prof. Schumann is one of the founding members of the International Bone Research Association (IBRA), which was established in 2004 in Zürich. In 2011 he went to Hyderabad, India on an international OP-mission. He further acts as a Board member of POLYMET Jena e.V. and is a senior research counselor in Basel since 2007.
Dr Christian Schürch co-initiated the collaborative study of COVID-19 between the University of Basel and Stanford University, USA. He studied medicine and completed a PhD thesis in tumour immunology, followed by a board certification in general surgical pathology. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Nolan laboratory at Stanford, investigating cancer immunology using highly multiplexed tissue imaging technologies. Dr Schürch has 44 peer-reviewed publications and is a co-inventor on two patents. He has been awarded a Swiss National MD-PhD Scholarship, a Hagmann Foundation Scholarship, a Cloëtta Foundation Scholarship, an SNSF Advanced Postdoc Scholarship and an SNSF Postdoc Scholarship. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Best PhD Thesis, a Hemmi Foundation Award, a Stowell-Orbison Certificate of Merit, a Brupbacher Young Investigator Award, a Pfizer Research Award, a Lady Tata International Leukemia Award and an ASH Abstract Achievement Award, and he was also selected for the 2021 inaugural Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation Cancer Immunology Symposium.
Dr Andrew Shattock is a BRCCH consortium member and a senior scientist at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) with 10 years of experience in developing and applying mathematical models of various infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, COVID-19 and several neglected tropical diseases. He specialises in transmission model development, metaheuristic optimisation, optimal allocative efficiency and supervised machine learning. He has provided modelling evidence for more than 20 national governments and has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Global Fund, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Dr Barbara Solenthaler, PhD, is a senior research scientist at the Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH Zurich, where she heads research on simulation and animation. She is also affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where she holds a Hans Fischer Fellowship awarded by Siemens AG. Her research focuses on physics simulations and animations for computer graphics. Dr Solenthaler is particularly interested in methods for efficient, robust and artist-controllable simulations and using data-driven techniques to transform and simplify workflows. In addition, she regularly serves on technical programme committees for major graphics conferences, including ACM SIGGRAPH, Eurographics and ACM SIGGRAPH / Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA). In 2016, she served as one of the conference chairs of the ACM SIGGRAPH / Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. She has also been appointed as an associate editor of Computer Graphics Forum (CGF) and is a co-founder of Apagom AG, which provides a real-time fluid engine using machine learning. She received her PhD in computer science from the University of Zürich.
Peter Spies is a scientist at the Institute of Chemistry and Bioanalytics, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Muttenz, Switzerland.
His research interests include the profiling of drug candidates (Biacore, ForteBio, Nanotemper, ITC and μDSC) and the development of enzyme or antibody based test systems (ELISA, Vertical Flow Immuno Assay, Lateral Flow Immuno Assay and enzymatic assays) for applications in clinical chemistry and in vitro diagnostics.
Peter Spies graduated as laboratory technician with a major in organic chemistry from Ciba-Geigy AG in 1988. In 1997 he received a federal diploma as senior lab technician. From 1989 to 1999 he was research associate in the research team of Dr Daniel Gygax in the Bioreaction Group of the Central Research Laboratories at Ciba-Geigy and later in the Group Immunoanalytics and Pharmacokinetics within the Preclinical Development of Ciba-Geigy AG/Novartis Pharma AG. He has been at the FHNW since 1999.
Dr Anna K. Stalder is a scientific assistant at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel. Her main focus is the curation and documentation of individual projects and the collection of data for the broad collaborations under this FTC project (link below). She also contributes to this project by providing expertise in multiplexed immunohistochemistry and data analysis, as well as translational science aspects.
Prof Wendelin Stark is a full professor at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering (IBS) at ETH Zurich. His research combines materials with specific functions for medical or industrial use. Prof Stark has developed nanoparticles for environmental applications: for example, to increase energy efficiency in water and solvent purification, to enable large-scale remediation or to create more environmentally friendly catalytic processes. He is the co-founder of 10 companies active in the areas of diagnostic reagents, nanoparticle synthesis, functional membranes and medical devices. In addition, he has written more than 330 papers and has obtained 40 patents.
Prof Daiana Stolz graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in 1997 and completed her clinical training in internal and pulmonary medicine in Germany, Switzerland, and the USA. She received a master’s degree in quantitative methods and public health from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA, in 2008 and was appointed Professor of Respiratory Medicine by the University of Basel in 2016. She has been a leading physician at University Hospital Basel (USB) since 2009. She is a fellow of both the American College of Chest Physicians and the European Respiratory Society (ERS). Prof Stolz leads a translational research group on inflammatory airway diseases at USB and has authored more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including several studies on pulmonary and systemic biomarkers for the characterization of patients with COPD. She is a member of the editorial boards of the European Respiratory Journal and Chest and is the immediate past Chair of the ERS Education Council.
Dr Stefan Stübinger is a co-investigator on the DAVINCI project and will be supporting the project with regard to integrating the lateral flow assay, innovative saliva sampling and new lenses into a simple-to-use saliva test. He will perform user testing and several rounds of prototyping and improvements of the test device.
Dr Stübinger studied dentistry in Munich and did his specialization in oral surgery in 2006. He is a member of the Hightech Research Center for cranio-maxillofacial surgery in Basel. Prior to taking up this position in 2015, he was a member of the Competence Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (CABMM) at the University of Zürich, where he was the leader of the Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery and Implantology Group. He was awarded his habilitation in 2012.
Dr Stübinger holds various patents, has developed several medtech devices and is the initiator and co-founder of six spin-off companies. He is involved in numerous ongoing multi-disciplinary research projects aimed at developing a new standard to assess and monitor individual risk factors related to different diseases based on the evaluation of bodily fluids. His major aim and vision is to move from delayed reactive medical services to evidence-based predictive, preventive and personalized medicine (3P), which will lead to an increased level of health among the general population.
Prof Shinichi Sunagawa has been a professor in the Department of Biology (D-BIOL) at ETH Zurich since 2016. He was born in Germany, where he studied biochemistry (diploma, 2002) and marine ecology (MSc, 2005). In 2010, he graduated from the University of California, Merced, USA, with a PhD in systems biology. He then joined the Computational Biology group headed by Prof Dr Peer Bork at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, where he initially worked as a postdoc (2010–2011) and then as a research and staff scientist (2012–2016). Prof Sunagawa leads the Microbiome Research Group, whose research interests include the study of ecological and evolutionary factors that determine the structure, function and diversity of microbial communities. The group develops and combines bioinformatic and experimental approaches in order to integrate quantitative “meta-omics” readouts with contextual information, with the goal of better understanding and predicting the role of environmental microorganisms and the underlying mechanisms of host-microbial homeostasis.
Tanmay Tanna is a PhD student in the Platt group at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, and is co-supervised by Prof. Gunnar Rätsch at the Department of Computer Science, at the ETH Zurich. His research focuses on creating computational tools for synthetic biology and integrating different types of omics data for health and diagnostic applications. He completed his MSc in Biology with a major in Molecular Health Sciences at the ETH. During his MSc, he focused on computational biology, testing algorithms for time-series RNA-seq data analysis and predicting protein structural changes by applying machine learning to NMR spectra. Prior to joining ETH, he completed a Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology at the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India. During his bachelor’s, he completed a research internship at the University of Tokyo and undertook his thesis as an Erasmus research fellow at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences.
Dr. sc. Alexander Tanno supports Prof. Vörös in a coordinative and scientific capacity. He as worked with Prof. Vörös for many years and together they are the lead inventors of the technology that this FTC consortium is built upon (link below). During his doctoral studies at Prof. Vörös Lab, Alexander Tanno gained the scientific and biosensing know-how to successfully implement the new technology. He is now appointed by ETH to translate the scientific findings into a commercialisable format to ensure that this invention is used to improve the health of as many patients as possible.
Dr Ethan Taub is a senior staff neurosurgeon and Head of Functional Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at University Hospital Basel (USB). In the frame of this project (link below), he provides clinical expertise in neurosurgery, neurology and encephalitis. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard, interned in surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and was resident and chief resident in neurosurgery at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York City, USA. Thereafter, he received special fellowship training in functional neurosurgery as the E. H. Botterell Fellow at the Toronto Western Hospital in Canada. He came to Switzerland in 1996 as a Moseley Traveling Fellow of Harvard Medical School and thereafter served as a staff neurosurgeon (Oberarzt) at University Hospital Zürich and Inselspital Bern and as an attending neurosurgeon (Belegarzt) at the Klinik Im Park in Zürich. He has worked in Basel since 2007. His clinical activities there cover functional/stereotactic and general neurosurgery, and his main research focus lies in functional neurosurgery. Dr Taub is a member of the editorial board of Clinical and Translational Neuroscience and he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and multiple textbook chapters.
Dr Samuele Tosatti is the CEO of SuSoS AG.
Johannes Trück is a Consultant in Infectious Disease and Immunology at the Children's Hospital Zurich, and a group leader at the Children's Research Center. His main research interests focus on translational work in paediatric infectious disease, vaccines, innate errors of immunity, B cells and immune repertoire profiling.
Dr Ronald Tynes is scientist at the Institute of Chemistry and Bioanalytics, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Muttenz, Switzerland. Dr Tynes and his team will be supporting the DAVINCI team with the isolation and purification of COVID-19 antibodies from saliva and blood samples and with the development of a lateral flow assay to detect COVID-19 antibodies in saliva.
Dr Tynes’s research interests include diagnostics biochemistry and biotechnology. Dr Tynes received his PhD in Biochemistry and Toxicology from the North Carolina State University (US) in 1984, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institutes of Health (US) and Ciba-Geigy AG (Switzerland). Employment experience includes pharmaceuticals R&D at Sandoz AG and Novartis AG (Switzerland) as well as involvement in two start-up companies. He has been at the FHNW since 2008.
Prof Alexandar Tzankov is a surgical pathologist and Head of the Department of Histopathology and Autopsy at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology at University Hospital Basel. He is a member of numerous national and international scientific societies, such as the European Association for Haematopathology, the European Bone Marrow Working Group (of which he is also President Elect) and the International Council for Standardization in Haematology. He is also an editorial board member of Pathobiology and an official expert in the field of pathology for the Swiss Accreditation Authority. His major interests and diagnostic expertise lie within haematopathology and mediastinal pathology. Alongside intensive tissue-based research activity on the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and the human body in COVID-19, his research group is currently involved in translational investigations and precision medicine of lymphomas, particularly clonal relationships, the molecular evolution of relapsing lymphomas and deciphering the genetic landscape of marginal zone lymphomas. He has authored or co-authored >370 papers (orcid.org/0000-0002-1100-3819). In the framework of the FTC project (link below), Prof Tzankov leads the execution of autopsies, tissue collection, study design, histopathological examination, immunohistochemical examination, in situ hybridization examination, interpretation of gene expression data and basic statistics.
Dr Tom Valentin is a Senior R&D Engineer in the Liquid Handling and Sensing division at CSEM. Dr Valentin will be supporting the DAVINCI team in regards sample preparation, sample collections and device prototyping needs. Dr Valentin is a mechanical and biomedical engineer with extensive experience in tissue engineering, biomaterials, microfluidics, and 3D printing. At CSEM his focus is on a range of topics including tissue engineering, microfluidics, and contamination detection.
CSEM’s technology platforms address the evolving needs of the life science domain by utilizing the latest advancements in cell technologies, biomonitoring, and lab automation. CSEM goal is to narrow the gap between applied sciences and industrialization. To meet our partners’ needs, we draw on two decades of experience in functionalization, biomaterials, microfluidics, fluid control, MEMS, and AI to develop state-of-the-art tools for life sciences.
Prof Bram van Ginneken is Professor of Functional Image Analysis at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where he has been Co-Chair of the Diagnostic Image Analysis Group in the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine since 2010. He also works for Fraunhofer MEVIS in Bremen, Germany, and is one of the founders of Thirona, a company that provides analysis of medical images. Prof van Ginneken studied physics at the Eindhoven University of Technology and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In March 2001, he obtained his PhD on computer-aided diagnosis in chest radiographs from the Image Sciences Institute in Utrecht. From 2001 to 2009, he led the Computer-Aided Diagnosis group at the Image Sciences Institute, where he still holds an associate faculty position. He has (co-)authored over 200 publications in international journals. He is also a member of the editorial board of Medical Image Analysis and was elected to the Fleischner Society in 2017. He has pioneered the concept of challenges in medical image analysis in which multiple teams apply their algorithm to the same test data set in order to solve a particular medical image analysis task so that a fair comparison can be made.
Prof Viola Vogel is a professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) at ETH Zurich, where she leads the Laboratory of Applied Mechanobiology. With her background in physics and bioengineering, she pioneered the rapidly growing field of mechanobiology and its medical applications, with a focus on adhesins and extracellular matrix assembly and repair. She has discovered many structural mechanisms whereby mechanical forces can turn proteins into mechano-chemical switches, for which she was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for research entitled “Proteins as Mechano-Chemical Switches.”
Prof Ferdinand von Meyenn is a professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) at ETH Zurich. His group aims to gain insights into the complex relationship between nutrition, metabolism and the epigenome. The group’s work includes the development and use of single cell and next-generation sequencing techniques along with human and murine in vivo and in vitro models and genome-wide computational and bioinformatic analysis in order to drive fundamental biological discovery and to translate these findings into potential therapies for human metabolic diseases and developmental disorders.
Prof Janos Vörös is a professor at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Zürich and the Department for Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (D-ITET) at ETH Zurich, where he has headed the Laboratory for Biosensors and Bioelectronics since 2006. He obtained his PhD in biophysics from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and came to ETH Zurich in 1998. His research interests include bioelectronics, biosensors, bottom-up neuroscience, biophysics and biointerfaces. He has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has supported countless successful scientific and entrepreneurial careers and start-ups.
Jordyn Tinka Wallenborn is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. Her work focuses on understanding the relationship between human milk and lactation and early childhood development. She is also interested in the impact of individual, interpersonal, and societal factors on breastfeeding practices, and identifying interventions to support breastfeeding mothers. Before joining Swiss TPH, Wallenborn completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the University of California Berkeley Center of Excellence in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health. She graduated with a BA in Community Health from Minnesota State University Moorhead, an MPH with a concentration in infectious disease management from North Dakota State University, and received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Originally a biologist, Oliver Weingart is a ETH Zurich ieLab, Pioneer fellowship and Wyss Zurich alumni. He has lead Medical device development teams bringing class II and III medical products ranging from tissue engineered blood vessels over mechatronic devices to IoT soutions into the clinic. Oliver Weingart has worked on his own products in the past and is now supporting customers via konplan systemhaus ag in their device and product development. Oliver Weingart is currently working as project leader for medical device and IVD product development mainly in the area of mechatronics and Software engineering. Furthermore, he is consulting customers on requirements to achieve regulatory compliance to allow clinical application and CE certification. He is knowledgable in most applicable norms, guidelines and regulations (GMP, GCP, ISO 13485, IEC 62304, ISO 62366, ISO 14971, MDD/MDR and IVDD/IVDR).
Prof Emma Wetter Slack is a professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) at ETH Zurich. The Wetter Slack group’s research focuses on understanding and manipulating the interactions between microbes and host on microbial surfaces, particularly in the intestine. Their work involves developing novel mucosal vaccines for application in human and veterinary medicine, as well as establishing unique tools for the functional analysis of the microbiota in animal models. In combination, this will allow the group to rationally and robustly manipulate host-microbiota and host-pathogen interactions for the promotion of health.
Pascal Winnen will be supporting the BRCCH-funded DAVINCI project with data management, GCP auditing and developing the interface for an App. He is the CEO of Hemex and has 20 years’ experience in quality assurance and operational management of global clinical trials within pharmaceutical and medical device industry: experienced in study feasibility and budgeting, protocol development, submissions to regulatory authorities and ethical committees, site and study management, monitoring and auditing, vendor management and study logistics, data management, archiving, reporting, publishing and filing for marketing approval for phase I, II, III and IV trials, products quality review, management of batch documentation, QP/FvP batch release. He is a certified lead auditor and performed numerous worldwide vendor audits against cGxP standards, including co-monitoring with CRAs. He prepared and hosted multiple FDA, Swissmedic & EMA license-to-operate and pre-approval inspections. He has a BSc in Telecommunication Engineering and a MSc in Clinical Research, in addition to regular quality assurance and regulatory training. He is a serial entrepreneur in human and animal healthcare start-ups.
Dr Mathias Wipf is working as a guest scientist at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). He is developing novel in-vitro diagnostics technologies for rapid and point-of-care testing. Dr Wipf is co-founder and CEO of MOMM Diagnostics, a startup company developing rapid tests for preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy condition.
Dr Wipf’s background is in nanoscience and physics with a focus on biosensor technologies. He is an innovation driven scientist and entrepreneur with a strong interest in novel sensor concepts for healthcare and biomedical industry, striving to understand fundamental processes and implement technologies to improve the quality of life.
Christian Wolfrum is a Professor in the department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich. The main interest of the research group is the understanding of molecular mechanisms regulating adipocyte formation and activity. The lab uses a translational approach from mice to men to elucidate the molecular mechanisms, which are the underlying cause of altered adipocyte formation and activity in different models of obesity associated metabolic disorders. Special emphasis is given to the analysis of gene expression, posttranslational modifications and lipid species in mice models and human patients.
Mark Zander graduated from RWTH Aachen (Germany) in 2020 and holds a master´s degree in mechanical engineering. Post-undergrad, he specialised in medical engineering with a focus on cardiovascular engineering. Throughout his studies, he worked as a student research assistant at the Institute of Applied Medical Engineering (AME) in the Department of Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE) for five years. His research work included design, testing and analysis of membrane oxygenators and blood pumps. After academic exchanges at Technion Institute of Technology (Israel) and Politecnico di Milano (Italy) during his studies, he wrote his master thesis at Monash University (Australia) with the topic of experimental flow analysis in membrane oxygenators. In September 2020, he joined the Product Development Group Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the BRCCH-supported CoVent project as a PhD student. He is driven by the desire to gain a deeper understanding of pathophysiologic lung diseases to improve the outcome of mechanical ventilation treatments of patient.
|Ce Zhang is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at ETH Zurich. He believes that by making data—along with the processing of data—easily accessible to non-expert users, we have the potential to make the world a better place. His current research focuses on building data systems to support machine learning and help facilitate other sciences. Before joining ETH, Ce was advised by Christopher Ré. He finished his PhD round-tripping between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University, and spent another year as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford. He contributed to the research efforts that won the SIGMOD Best Paper Award and SIGMOD Research Highlight Award, and was featured in special issues including the Science magazine, the Communications of the ACM, “Best of VLDB”, and the Nature magazine. His work has also been reported by the Atlantic, WIRED, Quanta Magazine, the Verge, etc.|
Jakob is a postdoctoral scientist who completed his PhD in Berlin and is based with Andrew Macpherson in Bern. He has particular interests in mucosal T cell responses and has been working in collaboration with Randall Platt's group to operationalise their RecordSeq tool as a system to interrogate the intestinal intraluminal environment in the living gastrointestinal tract.
Dr Carl Zinner is an applied mathematician working on various bioinformatics projects for the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. Within his role in this FTC project (link below), he helps with the analysis of large-scale biological data. Dr Zinner received his undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and completed an exchange year at the University of California San Diego in the USA. After obtaining his Master of Quantitative Finance in Sydney, Australia, he gained experience as a financial markets data scientist in Geneva. Thereafter, he completed a PhD in theoretical physics at the Chair of Polymer Physics and Complex Fluids at ETH Zurich. His thesis investigated numerical simulations of gas flows at extreme scales. These occur during the re-entry of space vehicles, but also at micro scales in the lung. Before joining the COVID-19 project, he worked as an independent freelancer, utilizing his statistical and computational knowledge in machine learning and data projects.