• Network / Labs

    We strive to build a network of enthusiastic aging researchers in Switzerland.


    Hall, Michael


    Biozentrum, University of Basel

    Lab website: https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/research/groups-platforms/overview/unit/hall/

    CV, wikipedia, 2017 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, 2015 Canada Gairdner International Award, 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Story of TOR (Target of Rapamycin),

    Research: Understanding the molecular mechanisms that control growth and metabolism in health and disease may reveal new therapeutic strategies for a wide variety of disorders.

    Research interests: We study TOR signaling and growth control in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in mammalian cells, in mice and in human tumors using biochemical, genetic and cell biological approaches. The work with human tumors is a translational research project that relies on close collaborations with clinicians.

    Keywords: TOR (Target of Rapamycin), human tumors, new therapeutic strategies.



    Handschin, Christoph


    Biozentrum, University of Basel

    Lab website: https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/handschin

    CV, Twitter: c_handschin 

    Research: Skeletal muscle plasticity in health and disease.

    Research interests: Our group is interested in the molecular mechanisms that underlie cell plasticity of skeletal muscle in health and disease, including adaptations to exercise, and the pathological changes in muscle atrophy, muscular dystrophies and aging.

    Keywords: Skeletal muscle, exercise, transcriptional regulation, PGC-1alpha, muscular dystrophies.



    Rüegg, Markus


    Biozentrum, University of Basel

    Lab website: https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/research/groups-platforms/overview/unit/rueegg/


    Research: Synapse development and neuromuscular disorders.

    Research interests: Our goal is to understand the signaling pathways that contribute to the formation of synapses and that allow to restore them upon pathological alterations. We are particularly interested in the signals that trigger synaptic changes during learning processes, and in those important to maintain the neuromuscular synapses. In addition, it provides the basics for the better understanding of the loss of muscle mass and the associated impairment of mobility with age.

    Keywords: Synapses, Neuromuscular disorders, and generalized muscle weakness.


    Zavolan, Mihaela


    Biozentrum, University of Basel

    Lab website: https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/research/researchgroups/overview/unit/zavolan/​

    CV, Twitter: ZavolanLab 

    Research: The Zavolan group studies the role of (primarily) post-transcriptional regulation in cell fate determination.

    Research interests: Computational/systems biology, miRNAs, mechanisms of aging, cell fate determination.

    Keywords: miRNA, RNA-binding protein, computational methods, aging, cell fate determination.


    Eggel, Alexander


    Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergology, University of Bern

    Lab website: http://www.eggellab.com

    Research: Immunologic plasticity in aging.

    Research interests: Immunology, Aging, Type 2 Immunity, Immunoscenescence, Rejuvenation.


    Towbin, Benjamin


    Institut für Zellbiologie, University of Bern

    Lab website: www.towbinlab.org

    Twitter: @betowbin

    Research: We study evolutionary tradeoffs between growth and aging.

    Research interests: Optimality, Systems Biology, Aging, Growth.

    Keywords: Genetics, quantitative Imaging, modeling


    De Virgilio, Claudio


    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg

    Lab website: https://www3.unifr.ch/bio/en/research/biochemistry/de-virgilio.html​

    Research: We try to understand the molecular mechanism that control entry into and exit from quiescence in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Research interests: We are interested in nutrient signalling pathways that control growth, quiescence and chronological ageing using physiological, biochemical, molecular and cell biological approaches.

    Expertise: Target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1), Rag GTPases, amino acid signalling, Protein kinase A (PKA) signaling, chronological ageing.



    Flatt, Thomas


    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg

    Lab website: https://www.unifr.ch/biology/research/flatt/

    CV, Twitter: @FlattLab

    Research: Evolution of Aging and Longevity.

    Research interests: Evolution and Mechanisms of Aging; Trade-Off between Lifespan and Reproduction; Antagonistic Pleiotropy; Endocrinology of Aging; Genetics and Genomics of Aging in Drosophila; Aging and Lifespan in Wild Populations.

    Expertise: Evolutionary Biology; Population Genomics; Experimental Evolution; Genetic Analysis of Aging in Drosophila; Experimental Evolution of Aging; Endocrinology of Aging; Population Genetic Theory of Aging; Life History Theory


    Galliot, Brigitte


    Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva

    Lab website: https://genev.unige.ch/research/laboratory/Brigitte-Galliot

    Research: How an adult animal (the freshwater cnidarian Hydra) can keep regenerating and forget about aging?

    Research interests: Mechanisms that prevent aging, role of autophagy in the self-renewal of stock of adult stem cells, de novo neurogenesis, whole body regeneration

    Expertise: Hydra model system, gene expression, gene silencing, cell cycle monitoring, autophagy sensor



    Auwerx, Johan

    Professor and Nestle Chair in Energy Metabolism

    Laboratory of Integrative and Systems Physiology, EPFL

    Lab website: http://auwerx-lab.epfl.ch/

    Research interests: Our laboratory is using systems approaches to map the signalling networks that govern mitochondrial function and as such regulate organismal metabolism in health, aging and disease. We apply a state-of-the-art biological toolkit to study a variety of model systems, ranging from the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, over the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the mouse all the way to humans.

    Expertise: Metabolic sensing, mitochondrial metabolism, nuclear receptor and cofactor biology, complex genetics, genetic reference populations, and aging.

    Deplancke, Bart
    School of Life Science, EPFL
    Research interests: Understanding the molecular origin of variation in metabolic phenotypes including aging.
    Keywords: Stem cell function, genomic variation, single cell biology, adipogenesis, gene regulation.
    Expertise: Genomics, bioinformatics, microfluidics, adipogenesis.

    Feige, Jerome N
    Group Leader and Adjunct lecturer
    Skeletal muscle & Aging Lab, Nestlé Institute of Heath Sciences
    Lab website:
    Research interests: We study the molecular, cellular and nutritional mechanisms leading to the dysfunction of skeletal muscle during ageing, particularly the condition of sarcopenia, in which muscle mass and muscle function decline due to age. Sarcopenia involves multiple pathophysiological processes such as impaired neuro-muscular transition, altered excitation/contraction coupling, impaired regenerative capacity linked to stem cell exhaustion, defects of mitochondrial and energy metabolism in myofibers, and finally marbling of skeletal muscle with fat and fibrosis.
    Our recent work has demonstrated that neuromuscular dysfunction is a major driver of sarcopenia (Pannerec et al, Aging 2016) and that remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) during muscle regeneration is blunted in the aged muscle stem cell niche and can be targeted therapeutically (Lukjanenko et al., Nature Medicine 2016).
    Expertise: Muscle biology, aging, exercise, molecular control of rodent physiology.



    Keller, Laurent

    Department of Ecology and Evolution, Biophore, University of Lausanne
    Research interests: The goal of our group is to understand the principles governing the evolution of animal societies and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of social life, including aging. Longevity greatly vary among ant species, from the Pharaoh ant queens that live 6 month to the queen of the black garden ant that can live 29 years. Because of this extreme variability in lifespan, ants constitute an ideal taxa to investigate the genetic causes of extreme longevities. We are using comparative genomics and transcriptomics between castes and species to study the evolution of ageing.

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    Keywords: Aging in social insects.
    Expertise: Comparative genomics and transcriptomics, ecology.
    Vannini, Nicola
    Group Leader
    University of Lausanne

    Lab website: https://www.unil.ch/dof/vannini 

    Research interests: My laboratory is interested in understanding how metabolism influences the aging process of hematopoietic and immune systems. We aimed to develop metabolic/nutritional strategies capable to revert the age-associated defects of hematopoietic stem cells (es: myeloid bias) and immune cells (with particular focus on T cell and T cell therapies).

    Keywords: HSCs, myeloid-bias, T-Cells, Mitochondria, Mitophagy
    Expertise: Hematopoietic stem and immune cell function during aging. HSC transplantation, metabolic profiling (mitochondria), immune profiling, tumor and infection models, mitophagy analyses, cell fate analysis



    Kutalik, Zoltan

    Lausanne University Hospital

    Lab website: http://www.unil.ch/sgg

    Twitter: @zkutalik

    Research interests: Understanding the genetic basis of complex, common human diseases.



    Lingner, Joachim

    Sciences de la vie/ISREC, EPFL

    Lab website: http://lingner-lab.epfl.ch/

    Research interests: Telomere structure and function.

    Keywords: Genome stability, DNA replication, long noncoding RNA.

    Expertise: Biochemistry and molecular genetics



    Longchamp, Alban

    Group Leader and Fellow in Vascular Surgery

    Vascular surgery department of the DCV (Département Cœur Vaisseau) of the CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois)

    Lab website: http://cvalab.strikingly.com

    Research interests: Our goal is to understand the role of endothelial cells and hydrogen sulfide during aging, especially in the context of surgical stress. We are especially interested in optimizing dietary restriction regimen before surgery, to increase hydrogen sulfide and protects from ischemia and reperfusion injuries.

    Expertise: Hydrogen Sulfide, Dietary Restriction, Vascular Biology, Transplantation, Surgery.



    Ocampo Mendez, Alejandro

    Assistant Professor

    University of Lausanne, Pharmacology and Toxicology

    Lab website: https://www.unil.ch/dpt/en/home/menuinst/recherche/group-ocampo.html

    Research interests: Our goal is to understand the role of epigenetic dysregulation as driver of aging and disease and develop novel strategies based on epigenetic reprogramming to prevent or revert the manifestation of aging and disease phenotypes.



    Robinson-Rechavi, Marc



    Lab website: http://bioinfo.unil.ch

    Twitter: marc_rr

    Research: Bioinformatics of genome and transcriptome evolution.

    Research interests: Molecular evolution, evo-devo, aging, bioinformatics, natural selection, anatomy, genomics.

    St. Gallen

    Kowatsch, Tobias
    Centre for Digital Health Interventions, University of St. Gallen and ETHZ

    Lab website: www.c4dhi.org

    Twitter: @c4dhi

    Research interests: Design of just-in-time adaptive interventions for healthy ageing in vulnerable individuals.

    Expertise: Digital Biomarker, Just-in-time adaptive interventions, Mobile Health, Voice Assistants and Chatbots for the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases and major mental illness

    Keywords: mobile health interventions



    Altmeyer, Matthias

    Department of Molecular Mechanisms and Disease, University of Zürich

    Lab website: www.altmeyerlab.org

    Research interests: Mechanisms of genome integrity maintenance in mammalian cells.

    Keywords: DNA Damage Response, Replication Stress, Chromatin Modifications, Quantitative High-Content Microscopy.

    Expertise: Cell cycle resolved fluorescence imaging of cellular responses to genotoxic stress, RNAi screens, DNA damage signalling.



    Aguzzi, Adriano


    Institute of Neuropathology, University of Zurich

    Google Scholar

    Twitter: @adrianoaguzzi

    Research interests: Prion research



    Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike


    Klinik für Geriatrie, Uni Spital Zürich

    Lab website: https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/waid/de/index/fachleute/ager/ca/heike_bischoff-ferrari.html

    Chefärztin Universitäre Klinik für Akutgeriatrie
    Fachärztin für Allgemeine Innere Medizin inkl. Schwerpunkt Geriatrie
    Fachärztin für Physikalische Medizin und Rehabilitation

    Direktorin, Zentrum Alter und Mobilität, UniversitätsSpital Zürich und Stadtspital Waid

    Koordinatorin und Studienleiterin DO-HEALTH

    Universitäre Klinik für Akutgeriatrie im Stadtspital Waid



    Ewald, Collin

    Assistant Professor
    Extracellular Matrix Regeneration Laboratory, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich

    Lab website: http://ewaldlab.com

    CV on LinkedIn, Twitter: @CollinEwald

    Research interests: Our recent work has shown that many health- and longevity-promoting interventions re-activate the expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) genes during aging (Ewald et al., Nature 2015, PMID:25517099). This ECM enhancement is required and sufficient for extending the lifespan of C. elegans. Our research efforts are focusing on exploring the mechanism(s) of how prolonged ECM homeostasis promotes healthy aging.

    Expertise: C. elegans ECM, aging, protein aggregation, neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease), Insulin/IGF-1 signaling, NADPH oxidases, ROS, oxidative stress, automated lifespan assessment, genetic and chemical high-throughput screening.


    Giroud, Nathalie
    Department of Computational Linguistics, University of Zurich

    Lab website: https://www.cl.uzh.ch/de/people/team/phonetics/nathalie-giroud.html
    Research interests: Human neuroimaging, aging, Behavioral training, neurophysiology-driven diagnostics and interventions, communication, hearing impairment



    Müller, Ralph

    Institute for Biomechanics, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://www.bone.ethz.ch/

    Research interests: Research in the Müller group is aimed at multiscale quantification and modelling of bone at the molecular, cellular, and organ level incorporating novel principles and techniques of mechanics, imaging, and in silico modelling applied to the areas of tissue engineering and regeneration, systems mechanobiology and personalized medicine.

    Keywords: Bone, aging, tissue engineering and regeneration, systems mechanobiology and personalized medicine.

    Expertise: Biomechanics, bioimaging, and in silico modelling.



    Ristow, Michael

    Energy Metabolism Laboratory, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich

    Lab website: http://www.energymetab.ethz.ch/

    CV, Twitter: @Prof_M_Ristow

    Research interests: We are pursuing research on the biochemical and molecular basis of longevity regulation to provide novel therapeutic options to prevent and cure age-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, neurodegeneration and cancer.

    Expertise: Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) within the mitochondria, mitohormesis, RNA expression screen of physiological aging in several evolutionary distinct species, including C. elegans, zebrafish, killifish, and mice.


    von Meyenn, Ferdinand
    Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolic Epigenetics, D-HEST, ETHZ
    Lab website: www.epigenetics.ethz.ch
    Twitter: @vonMeyenn
    Research: We aim to gain insights into the complex relationship between nutrition, metabolism and the epigenome
    Research interests: Epigenetic regulation of ageing
    Expertise: Epigenetics, DNA methylation, Epigenetic Clock

    Swiss or Swiss-trained aging researchers across the world

    David, Della


    Assistant Professor

    German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Germany

    Lab website: http://www.dzne.de/en/sites/tuebingen/research-groups/david.html

    Research: Our current research is based on our previous findings that widespread protein aggregation is a hallmark of normal aging in C. elegans (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000450). These results have since been confirmed in other organisms including mammals and demonstrate that protein aggregation is not restricted to a disease context.
    This novel marker of aging gives us the unprecedented opportunity to discover unique endogenous mechanisms responsible for promoting a healthy proteome. In particular, we aim to understand how longevity-related pathways deal with protein aggregation. Another main aspect of our research is to characterize the similarities and differences between age-dependent protein aggregation and disease-associated protein aggregation. Most importantly we are exploring how age-dependent protein aggregation is linked to unhealthy aging and neurodegeneration.

    Expertise: Protein aggregation and aging



    Hekimi, Siegfried


    Department of Biology, McGill University

    Lab website: http://hekimilab.mcgill.ca/home.html

    Research: We are using mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans and mouse mutants to understand aging, because it is a crucial, profound, and poorly understood biological phenomenon and because understanding aging might provide new ways for medical intervention on the aging process. We are particularly focussing on activities that affect mitochondrial function, and on mutants that enhance longevity. We are also interested in the biosynthesis and function of ubiquinone (UQ, Coenzyme Q, CoQ), the redox active lipid enzymatic co-factor and membrane antioxidant. Here too we use mutants in both organisms to unravel the basic biochemical functions of ubiquinone and to develop drugs that can help alleviate the diseases linked to ubiquinone deficiency.



    Misteli, Tom

    Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA

    Lab website: https://ccr.cancer.gov/Laboratory-of-Receptor-Biology-and-Gene-Expression/tom-misteli

    Twitter: @NCITomMisteli

    Research: My laboratory studies the cell biology of genomes. We use molecular techniques in conjunction with live-cell microscopy to understand how genomes are organized in intact cells and how the spatial organization of genomes contributes to their function. These studies provide insights into basic biological mechanisms and provide the foundation for novel diagnostic and clinical applications in cancer research.
    Defects in genome organization and nuclear architecture are responsible for numerous human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and muscular dystrophies and they have recently been linked to human aging. We are using several differentiation and disease models, including embryonic and adult stem cells, to elucidate how genome organization contributes to physiological processes and disease, particularly cancer and aging (doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.017 and 10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.028).

    Research interests: The Misteli Laboratory explores the cell biology of genomes.

    Expertise: Genome architecture, lamins, cancer, aging.



    Petrascheck, Michael


    Department of Molecular Medicine & Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA

    Lab website: http://www.scripps.edu/petrascheck/

    Research: Identification of small molecules that extend lifespan and thier underlying mechanisms

    Research interests: Aging, drug discovery, age-related disease.

    Expertise: Chemical genetics of aging.



    Taubert, Stefan


    Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada

    Lab website: http://cmmt.ubc.ca/taubert-lab/

    CV, Twitter: @TaubertLab

    Research: We study how transcriptional regulation of metabolism and stress responses contributes to aging and age-related disease.

    Keywords: Transcription, stress response, lipid metabolism, nuclear receptors.



    Truttmann, Matthias


    University of Michigan Medical School, USA

    Lab website: https://truttmann.lab.medicine.umich.edu/

    Research: Post-translational protein regulation in the context of aging and aging-associated diseases.

    Research interests: The overall goal of our laboratory is to determine the impact of post-translational protein modifications (PTM) on proteostasis in the context of aging and aging-associated diseases. We are particularly interested in a novel PTM, termed AMPylation, that negatively regulates the activity of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) family proteins. We employ numerous genetic, biochemical as well as behavioral approaches in conjunction with several model systems (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans, mice, primary human tissue) to elucidate how PTMs control chaperone activity and regulate proteostasis.

    Expertise: C. elegans, protein aggregation (in vitro and in vivo), neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, polyQ diseases), stress signaling, protein AMPylation, Yeast models, mouse models, histology, fluorescence microscopy, CRISPR/Cas9 (worm, mouse, human cell lines), in-vitro biochemistry, protein purification

    Keywords: AMPylation.



    Wyss-Coray, Tony

    Professor of Neurology
    Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, USA

    Lab website: http://web.stanford.edu/group/twclab/cgi-bin/

    CV, TED Talk.

    Research interests: Our laboratory studies the role of immune and injury responses in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease. We seek to understand how immune responses and injury pathways may modulate neurodegeneration and age-related changes in the brain (DOI 10.1038/nature20411).