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Department of Chemistry PostDocDay 2016

Post-Doc-Day 2.0 October 20 - Schloss Au, Switzerland Speakers


Rolf Kümmerli


"Cooperation and competition in the microbial and academic world"

I am an evolutionary biologist interested in understanding cooperative and competitive interactions between individuals. Initially trained as anthropologists, I gradually moved to smaller study organisms, including insects and microorganisms. The transition from macro- to microbiology was spurred by my fascination for experimentally tractable systems, where evolution can be observed in real time. Ever since I earned my PhD, my research is financed by external funds (mainly SNSF and EU). In my talk, I will focus on career decisions by linking insights from my research on cooperation to the academic world.

Maria Anisimova


Prof. Maria Anisimova Life Sciences und Facility Management, ZHAW

"My evolution from mathematician to bioinformatician through natural selection"

Originally trained as mathematician, I have discovered a passion for solving problems in biology using mathematics, statistics and computation. Since then I have been working on the development of computational methods in order to understand how genomes evolve and how genetic mutations impact phenotype. I found myself inevitably bound to working on modeling natural selection and many fascinating problems in evolutionary genomics, eventually forming a research group at ZHAW. In my talk I will review some current and past projects, and how they link to potential applications in industry and society.


Session 1



Karina Silina - Institute of Experimental Immunology, UZH

"Tertiary lymphoid structures in non-small cell lung cancer and effects of chemotherapy"

Karina performed her PhD in the lab of Dr. Aija Linē at the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center. Her thesis was aimed to identify antigens in gastric cancer as novel targets for immunotherapy. In pursuit to perform more basic tumour immunology research she received a grant from the Sciex foundation to study tertiary lymphoid structures in cancer in the lab of Prof. Maries van den Broek at the University of Zurich where she has been working on this project since 2014. 



Thomas Müller - Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, UZH

"Identifying unused gene pools in old landraces for plant breeding in cereals"

After finishing the studies of Bioinformatics with a main focus on genetics and molecular biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, Thomas started his PhD at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. There he studied the drought response of Douglas-firs by analyzing the transcriptome using next-generation sequencing and performed population genetic analyses. As a PostDoc at the University of Zurich he investigates the genetic diversity of traditional Swiss wheat and spelt accessions of the Swiss genebank to search for agricultural interesting genes and polymorphisms not used in breeding yet.




Evelyn Lattmann - Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, UZH

"Developmental and Cancer Cell Invasion Share Regulatory Pathway Components"

Originally from Winterthur Evelyn made a big leap to Zurich, where she studied Immunology at ETH. Being drawn to understand fundamental processes of life, she went ahead to investigate the mechanisms that control the cell cycle during her PhD. After graduation from EPFL she was fortunate to obtain a URPP grant to combine fundamental and clinical research in the laboratories of Prof. Hajnal and Prof. Dummer. In particular, she is interested in the molecular pathways that allow cells to invade into different tissues during development and disease (e.g. metastasis formation).


Session 2



Yulia Sandamirskaya - Institute of Neuroinformatics, UZH

"Neuromorphic Cognitive Robots: Towards flexible, adaptive, cognitive robots while improving"

Yulia has studied Physics at Belorussian State University in Minsk and obtained her Doctoral degree at the Institute of Neural Computation (INI) in Bochum, Germany. She stayed in Bochum for the first postdoc and moved to Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University and ETH Zurich in April 2015, where she works on building cognitive neuromorphic robots. She is a Junior group leader at the Neuroscience Center Zurich and a Marie Składowska-Curie Individual Fellowship nominee. Since 2014, she is a vice-chair of the European Society for Cognitive Systems.



Jale Schneider - Institute of Physics, UZH

"Fluorescence imaging in biological tissue"

Jale studied Electrical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. Interdisciplinary research, where technology meets biology and medicine, has fascinated her from the very beginning of her academic path. The focus of her university studies was on biomedical engineering. She obtained her PhD degree at German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg in the field of Optical Nanoscopy. Her expertise on high resolution imaging led her then to her current Postdoc position at Physics Institute. Here, Jale develops a light sheet microscope for imaging in turbid media such as thick tissue.




"You and your career" 

Get prepared for your career. Learn about yourself, your possibilities on the job market, the tools to apply and how to develop a network and a plan to get to the job you want.

given by Daniela Gunz

Daniela Gunz

Daniela Gunz - Career Services UZH, Director of Research Partnerships at healthbank innovation AG, Founder / Managing Partner at hermelin gmbh Switzerland.

Daniela Gunz holds a PhD in biochemistry from the ETH in Zurich. She has 15 years of experience in clinical research and drug development. As Clinical Research Director at MSD in Switzerland she was responsible for Phase I to IV trials, and could developed a broad network in pharmaceutical medicine which includes government, academia and industry partners. She is a board member of SwaPP and has recently founded her own consulting company. Since two years she has been Director of Research Partnership at healthbank, a start-up in digital health and also serves as external consultant at the career services of the University of Zurich.




"Launching your career on the Swiss Labor Market"



Current Life Sciences labor market in CH

given by Signe Reidla


Roche’s RPF program (post-doc program):

Topics: What kind of profiles is Roche interested in? What does success look like in these roles? How to apply?

given by Martin Erschbamer



Getting your first interview, preparing your first interview, having your first interview.

given by Annie Wehinger-Bronchales



Signe Reidla - Business Development Director at Spouse Career Centre GmbH

Signe is Estonian and joined SCC in August 2015. Signe holds a Medical Doctor (MD) and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from University of Tartu, Estonia. Signe has over 13 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience in business/corporate development, commercial operations, strategic planning and drug development regulatory affairs. Signe has established affiliate organizations in the EU developing the infrastructure for newly established organizations and managing operations in the start-up phase. She has led market development with responsibility for the financial management of the budget to improve the company’s market position and to achieve financial growth.




Martin Erschbamer - Head Recruiting Pharma Research, Development and Commercial at Roche

Martin has a University degree in Political Science from the University of Padua (Italy) and also obtained a MSc in Human Resources from the London School of Economics. Previous to joining Roche in 2009 as a Recruiter he worked for Korn Ferry, a major Headhunter in the London office and then worked for 8 years at Novartis in the UK and in Basel in recruitment. Currently Martin is heading up recruitment for Roche's Research and Development organization as well as for their Global Marketing and Business Development functions.


Annie Wehinger-Bronchales - Senior Consultant / Career Coach at Spouse Career Centre GmbH

Annie is French and has lived and worked in Spain, the U.K. and Germany. She moved to Basel in 2003 and has worked with the SCC since 2005. Her background is in Marketing, she has also worked in diverse fields such as Banking for L-Bank, FMCG for Danone, Publishing for Planeta De Agostini and Pharma IT for tpi consulting. Her Educational Background is Business Administration and she has a post-graduate diploma in European Business Administration. She is a certified ILP and a certified HEB coach as well a Team and Executive coach.






Eric Alms - Graduate Campus (GRC), UZH

"Fostering key skills for an academic career (and beyond) "

Originally from Southern California, Eric studied geography and sinology in Santa Barbara, Beijing, Berlin and Zurich. Since the launch of Graduate Campus in 2011 he has been active in the promotion of junior researchers at UZH and is currently responsible for the transferable skills course program. Previously he has gained experiences in a diverse array of work settings including private enterprise, intergovernmental organizations and academia. In his presentation, he will highlight the main activities of Graduate Campus aimed at the promotion of junior researchers at UZH, with an emphasis on how these activities help foster key skills for an academic career and beyond.  




Maurice Thornton - Managing Director, headcount AG

"To be announced"

Maurice is the Managing Director of headcount AG, a consultancy providing recruitment and advisory services to the life sciences industry. He is also currently a lecturer for the University of St. Gallen’s MBA program. Previously he was responsible for leading staffing for Amgen, a biotech company based in California, as well organizational restructuring projects at the WHO in Geneva; prior to that he led the Life Sciences practice at Michael Page, a global recruitment firm. Maurice is a scientist by background, and has held research positions with the Addiction Research Foundation and Elan Pharmaceuticals




Patrick Sieber - Senior Lab Head, Actelion

"To be announced"

Patrick is a molecular and cell biologist by training. After several years of academic research in the area of developmental biology and genetics he switched topics and joined industry. Currently he is working as a senior lab head and discovery project leader in the cardiovascular and fibrosis biology ​unit within the drug discovery department of Actelion. In this function he is responsible for individual drug discovery projects starting from target identification and validation all the way through lead optimization ​including preclinical development. Drug discovery is a complex process and involves interactions of many different scientific disciplines to advance projects. In his presentation he will give some insight into his work and he will emphasize some of the similarities and differences compared to academic research. This should help young scientists to evaluate whether pharmaceutical drug discovery is a career option for them.


Sebastien Hug

Sebastien Hug - Scientific Advisor, SERI, Swissnex

"Connecting the dots around the world in education, research and innovation"

Sebastien Hug is Scientific Advisor in the International Relations Division of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, in charge of coordinating the swissnex and the Science and Technology Counselor network. As such, he is in charge of questions relating to, amongst others, Finance, Human Resources, strategy and communication and is advising the State Secretary and the Head of International Relations on respective issues. Previously, he was Project Leader for Higher Education and Partnerships at swissnex Boston (2011-2013) and Science and Technology Counselor at the Swiss Embassy in Ottawa, Canada (2007 – 2011). He studied in Fribourg, Paris and Ottawa and received two Master’s degree in History and Political Economy as well as in Public Administration and Policy. He is married and has two little daughters.



Poster 1 - 9

Asya Makhro - Institute of Veterinary Physiology, UZH

"Calcium Lowering Therapy in Sickle Cell Disease: Phase II Clinical Trial"


Tommaso Fedele - Clinic for Neurosurgery, USZ

"Prediction of seizure outcome improved by fast ripples detected in low-noise intraoperative iEEG"


Doris Hinger - Institute of Anatomy, UZH

"Exploring the potential of the novel photoactive nano drug HypLip as early detection and treatment modality for gastric cancer"


Vijay Chandrasekar - Institute of Neuropathology, UZH

"Human iPS stem cell based in vitro modeling and characterization of OPRI genetic prion disease"


Petra Paul - Institute of Experimental Immunology, UZH

"The role of macroautophagy in the immune response against Influenza A infection"


Phuc Ung - Department of Chemistry, UZH

"Light-activated Lanthanide Complexes for the Treatment of Cancer"


Kok Yik Lim - Deparment of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, USZ

"A Novel HIV-1-based Vector that Reproduces Features of Productive and Latent HIV-1 Infections"


Bithi Chatterjee - Institute for Experimental Immunology, UZH

"CD8+ T cells express inhibitory receptors but retain functionality in a novel humanized mouse model of Epstein-Barr virus infection"


Alexa Burger - Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, UZH

"Maximizing CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis for phenotype assays and genome engineering"