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Group members

The Benton Lab - August 2012


Annick Crevoisier - Administrative Assistant



Liliane Abuin - Technician

Liliane obtained her Diplôme de Technicienne en Analyses Biomédicales from the Ecole Cantonale Vaudoise de Laborantins et Laborantines Médicaux. During 1996-2007 she worked in the group of Susanna Cotecchia in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Lausanne.

Ana Silbering - Post-doctoral Fellow

Ana obtained her Masters in Biology at the University of Buenos Aires. During her PhD thesis in Giovanni Galizia's lab she studied odour coding in the olfactory system of Drosophila. She received her PhD in 2007 from the Free University of Berlin. She joined the lab in September 2008 and will focus on the characterisation of neural circuits underlying olfactory behaviour. She also works part-time at the UNIL science outreach laboratories, L'Eprouvette.



Pavan Ramdya - Post-doctoral Fellow

Pavan obtained his PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard University in 2009. He received an HFSP Long-term post-doctoral fellowship in 2009 to study the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral evolution in the Benton lab and Dario Floreano's Intelligent Systems group at the EPFL. See his personal page for more details.


Steeve Cruchet - Technician

Steeve obtained his Diploma of Technician in Biomedical Analysis from the Ecole Cantonale Vaudoise de Laborantins et Laborantines Médicaux. From 2007 to 2010 he worked in the group of Thierry Pedrazzini in the Unity of Experimental Cardiology at the University Hospital of Lausanne. He joined the lab in March 2011.

Adria Le Boeuf - Post-doctoral Fellow

Adria obtained her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studied the contributions of microtubule dynamics to neurodegenerative disease. For her PhD work in Jim Hudspeth's lab of Sensory Neuroscience at the Rockefeller University, she studied the biophysical and mechanical contributions of electrostatics to the mechanosensory organelles of the inner ear, and was granted a National Research Service Award from the NIDCD, receiving her PhD in 2011. Since June 2011, she is pursuing her post-doctoral research jointly in our lab and that of Laurent Keller in the Department of Ecology and Evolution on ant chemosensory genetics and behavior.

Lucia Prieto Godino - Post-doctoral Fellow

Lucia obtained her B.A. from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, where she did her research thesis on olfactory processing in flies in the lab of Gonzalo Garcia de Polavieja. After a summer working on vision evolution in box jellyfish in the lab of Dan Nilsson at Lund University, she joined Michael Bate's group at the University of Cambridge for her PhD. During her PhD she studied the embryonic development of the Drosophila olfactory system, receiving her PhD in 2011. She was awarded a FEBS long-term post-doctoral fellowship to study the genetic basis of olfactory pathway evolution in Drosophila in our lab. She joined the lab in March 2012. Outside the lab, Lucia founded and runs the IBRO School on Insect Neuroscience and Drosophila Neurogenetics in Uganda.


Juan Antonio Sánchez-Alcañiz - Post-doctoral Fellow

Juan obtained his MS in Biochemistry from the University Miguel Hernández of Elche (Spain). He obtained his PhD in 2010 in the lab of Prof. Óscar Marín at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante (Spain), studying the intracortical migration of GABAergic interneurons in the mouse neocortex. He joined the lab in August 2012 to study gustatory circuitry in Drosophila, funded by EMBO, FEBS and HFSP Long Term Fellowships.


Benoîte Bargeton - Post-doctoral Fellow

Benoîte obtained her Masters in Biology at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI, FR). During her PhD thesis in Stephan Kellenberger's lab at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UNIL she studied a mammalian neural sodium channel, and began a collaboration with our lab to study Ionotropic Receptor function in Xenopus oocytes. She continued this work in our group during Sep 2010-Feb 2011, before joining Francisco Bezanilla's lab at the University of Chicago. She return to the lab to work on our HFSP project on IR ligand recognition in Sep 2012.


Roman Arguello - Post-doctoral Fellow

Roman obtained his PhD in evolutionary genetics from the University of Chicago (Committee on Evolutionary Biology) in 2008, while working with Prof. Manyuan Long's Group. His research focused on the molecular evolution and population genetics of gene families (including chemoreceptor families) and the rarely recombining fourth chromosome in the D. melanogaster subgroup. Following his PhD, he carried out a post doc with Prof. Andrew Clark's Group at Cornell where he was involved in generating and analyzing population genomic data sets designed to investigate the forces leading to genetic and phenotypic divergence between geographically diverse D. melanogaster populations. Roman will join the lab in Jan 2013 with the aim of bridging his evolutionary genomics background with functional studies of Drosophila taste evolution. His initial interests are in the role that taste receptor duplication events play in altering sensory neural networks between species, and in the evolution of oviposition preference, supported by a Novartis Foundation grant. See his personal workpage for more info.


Jan Armida - PhD Student

Jan obtained his Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2011. He worked in the lab during Oct-Dec 2011 for his First Steps project as part of his Masters in Medical Biology, under the supervision of Carol Gomez-Diaz, before joining Nicolas Toni's group at the Department of Fundamental Neuroscience for his Master's Thesis. He returned to our lab in June 2013 to begin his PhD research.


Giovanna Zappia - Technician

Giovanna obtained her MS in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from the University of Milan, Italy, where she studied the role of ADAM10, a metalloprotease involved in the physiological functioning, brain development and pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In 2010 she joined the Andrea Volterra's Lab in the Department of Fundamental Neuroscience at UNIL where she investigated the role of TNFα on the astrocytes in pathological conditions, particularly in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis. She joined our group in Oct 2013.


Sabine Mentha - Masters Student

Sabine obtained her Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2013. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Molecular Life Sciences. After a First steps project in bioinformatics in the lab of Marc Robinson-Rechavi, she joined our group in Feb 2014 for her Masters research project.



Phing Chian Chai - Post-doctoral Fellow

Phing Chian obtained his BSc from the National University of Singapore, where he studied the role of free radicals and proteasomal functions in biological systems under the supervision of Barry Halliwell. He then joined William Chia's lab in Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (Singapore) for his PhD. During his PhD, he was co-supervised by Yu Cai to study the actions of Hedgehog and Notch pathways in the development of the Drosophila central nervous system. He joined our group in April 2014 to pursue his research interest in the evolution of neural circuits for olfactory perception from a developmental perspective.

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