Coukos Lab members

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Wilson CASTRO
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Research associate
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Research interest

My expertise lies in project management, in vivo mouse models for immuno-oncology, infectious diseases, and inflammation. As a member of the Hi-TIDe, I leverage partnerships and collaborations within and outside the institute, and am committed to mentoring students and research fellows in research methodology. I received the Pfizer Research Prize in 2019.

Background

I studied microbiology at the University of Antioquia and performed my master’s thesis project at Harvard Medical School. From 2012 to 2017, I carried out my PhD work on NK cell-mediated immunity at the University of Lausanne’s Department of biochemistry. I joined the Hi-TIDe in 2018.

Angel de Jesus CORRIA OSORIO
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Sub-group scientific supervisor
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Research interest

I joined the University of Lausanne, in 2015, to do my PhD studies in cancer and immunology in the field of T cell engineering, under the supervision of Pr George Coukos and Dr Melita Irving. In 2020, I became sub-group scientific supervisor of the Hi-TIDe, led by Pr George Coukos within the Ludwig Lausanne Branch, supervising the system engineering projects.

Background

I studied medicine at Santiago de Cuba’s School of Medicine (2001-2007). I then did two years' training in general and internal medicine (2007-2009) at the Granma School of Medicine. After that, I moved to the Department of immunology of the Havana School of Medicine to continue my medical training, oriented towards clinical immunology (2009-2013). As part of my specialization studies, I did six years' research training (2007-2013) in the System biology Department of the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Havana, under the direct supervision of Dr Kalet Leon. My research training was focussed on R/Python-programming, structural modelling of proteins, mathematical modelling of immunoregulatory mechanisms and acquisition of bench-related experimental skills. In parallel, from 2010 to 2013, I did my Master's thesis, as part of the Biochemistry and Immunology Program of University of Havana. After receiving my MD Clinical Immunologist diploma (November 2013), I worked two years as a Medical research associate and Project leader in the System biology department of CIM and as Adjunct Associate Professor for clinical immunology in the Department of immunology of the Havana School of Medicine.

Isaac CRESPO
Oncology Lausanne Coukos Lab CRESPO_CASAJUS_Isaac-crop1800x1778.jpg (CRESPO... Bioinformatician
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Research interest

I currently work on data analysis and bioinformatics support within the Hi-TIDe.

Background

I undertook a Master's in Veterinary Medicine and Bioinformatics, followed by a PhD in Computational Biology at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) in network analysis, computational models and cellular reprogramming, and a postdoc at the Vital-IT-SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Since 2014, I have been providing bioinformatic support to multiple cancer research projects in Lausanne for both academic institutions namely the Ludwig Cancer Research Lausanne Branch, and for the private sector (F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Boehringer Ingelheim).

Mathieu DESBUISSON
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Laboratory technician (also in Dangaj Lab)
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Alizée J. GRIMM
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Postdoctoral researcher (also in Dangaj Lab)
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Research interest

I am currently investigating selective mechanisms of immuno-suppression in ovarian cancer, aiming to counteract them in order to enhance efficacy of immunotherapies within the Hi-TIDe.

Background

I received a Master’s in Bioengineering and Biotechnology from EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. I then completed my PhD in immuno-engineering at the University of Chicago in 2016, where I worked on the development of a technology to reverse auto-immunity and induce antigen-specific immunological tolerance.

Cristina JIMENEZ
Irving Lab Cristina Jimenez-Luna-crop336x396.jpg Postdoctoral researcher
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Research interest

My research focuses on understanding how the tumor and its microenvironment negatively affect the immune system in order to use this knowledge to find therapeutic strategies capable of overcoming these limitations.

Background

I studied biological sciences at the University of Córdoba. I then joined the Master’s program in Regenerative Medicine of the University of Granada, where I continued my doctoral studies. During my PhD, my research focused on cancer molecular biology, investigating potential tumor biomarkers detectable in liquid biopsy and mechanisms of resistance and tumor promotion in different types of cancer. In October 2018, I joined the Hi-TIDe as a postdoctoral researcher.

Aspram MINASYAN
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Postdoctoral researcher (also in Dangaj Lab)
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Research interest

I am a postdoctoral clinical scientist in the Hi-TIDe. Currently, my research interest lies in understanding molecular mechanisms of immune cell dysfunction within the tumor microenvironment.

Background

I have a background in biology, physics and mathematics having always liked looking at the questions from different points of view. Using systems biology approaches, I have studied cancer metabolism and its implication in DNA copy number alterations.

Matteo MOROTTI
Dangaj Lab Matteo Morotti.jpg Postdoctoral researcher (also in Dangaj Lab)
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Research interest

I am a postdoctoral clinical scientist within the Hi-TIDe. My main research interests focus on surgical and fundamental cancer immunology of ovarian cancer, with a particular focus on mechanisms of immune evasion and T cell exhaustion. 

Background

I graduated from the University of Genoa and completed my PhD and gynaecological and surgical training between the University of Genoa and the University of Oxford.

Tania MULLER
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Research interest

In our group, I am involved in the development of T cells that have been gene-modified to support their activity against solid tumors. We engineer T cells to express combinations of molecules to re-program the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, to strengthen the persistency and cytotoxicity of T cells, we are exploring various gene knock-down strategies. My research interest is to participate to the development of promising novel immunotherapies to cure patients and to diversify my knowledge and broaden my technical skills.

Background

I received my a PhD in Physiology in 2017 from the University of Burgundy exploring the role of the endocannabinoid system in the deregulation of the metabolism during obesity and type 2 diabetes in the team Pathophysiology of dyslipidaemia, INSERM UMR1231, Dijon. As part of an innovation project, I then worked for two years as an engineer in the same group on the characterization of a patented drug for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In 2019, I joined the Hi-TIDe.

Yaquelin ORTIZ MIRANDA
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Research interest

The focus of my research is to optimize T cell differentiation, metabolic reprogramming and cell death resistance in order to enhance T cell fitness and anti-tumor properties for adoptive cell therapy. I am passionate about understanding the transcriptomic and epigenomic regulation of T cell differentiation/metabolic states and how can we translate this knowledge into potent anti-tumor therapies.

Background

I joined the Hi-TIDe in 2018 for one year as a Swiss Government Scholarship of Excellence fellow before starting the PhD program in 2019. My background is in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Havana. For my Master’s I focused on immunology and joined industry laboratories focusing on protein engineering for cancer immunotherapy. Initially, I joined Pr Kalet Leon’s Laboratory at the Centre for molecular immunology, Havana and focused on understanding and modulating regulatory T cells’ suppressive function to enhance endogenous CD8+T cell response against murine solid tumors. I then collaborated with Pr Mario Pablo Estrada’s Laboratory at the Centre for genetic engineering and biotechnology, Havana to develop next-generation fusion proteins (antibody-cytokines) as immunomodulatory agents for immunotherapy. Overall, I have gained work experience in the fields of immunology, cancer, adoptive cell therapy, protein engineering, recombinant protein expression systems and genetic engineering of bacterial and mammalian cells.

Khaoula OUCHEN
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PhD student
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Research interest

My research is currently focusing on studying and manipulating the systems biology of engineered T cells to improve cancer immunotherapy using combinatorial approaches.

Background

For my Bachelor’s degree I studied biology with specialization in biochemistry-genetics and microbiology at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FST) of Settat in Morocco (2012-2015). I  performed my bachelor’s thesis at the laboratory of cellular immunology at the National Institute of Hygiène, Rabat where I investigated the immune cell compartment in immunodeficient children diagnosed with tuberculosis. I then pursued my Master’s studies in bioengineering, including a one-year ERASMUS exchange at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, during which  I performed a six-month internship studying innate immune responses upon leishmania infection as well as my Master’s thesis focusing on colorectal cancer (2015- 2017). I joined the Hi-TIDe as a Swiss Government Scholarship of Excellence PhD fellow in August 2018.

Catherine RONET
Irving Lab Catherine Ronet.jpg Research associate
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Research interest

Our main research interest is to identify mechanisms that suppress intratumoral T cell immunity and develop gene-engineered T cell based immunotherapies to reprogram their function as well as the tumor microenvironment.

Background

After obtaining a master’s and PhD in Immunology at the Pasteur Institute/University Paris VI, I joined the WHO-IRTC team in University of Lausanne to decipher how Leishmania parasites modulate the host immune response. In 2010, I was promoted as Maître Assistant in Pr Fasel’s lab in the Department of biochemistry at the University of Lausanne. There, I investigated the role played by a dsRNA virus present in some leishmania strains, the so-called Leishmaniavirus. This endosymbiotic virus can act as an independent immunogenic entity resulting in an exacerbation of the host’s inflammatory response, ending in more severe form of the disease in patients.g In 2017, I joined the Hi-TIDe as Senior research associate to develop new antitumoral immunointerventions.

Ioanna ROTA
Oncology Lausanne Irving Lab Ioanna Rota-crop512x504.jpg Postdoctoral researcher
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Research interest

Harnessing the anti-tumour potential of synthetic CD8 T cells generated upon adoptive cell therapy of genetically engineered effector cells.

Background

I am originally from Athens where I studied biology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. I further specialised in immunology by completing an MSc in Integrated Immunology at the University of Oxford and then went on to do a PhD in Developmental Immunology at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and the University of Oxford. My experience in immunology research was strengthened further while working in Immunology labs in Tübingen (Germany) and Stanford (USA).

Aodrenn SPILL
Irving Lab Aodrenn SPILL-crop1069x1175.jpg Technician (also in Irving Lab)
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Research interest

My expertise is in in-vivo, cellular and molecular biology. I am interested in the identification and validation of novel cancer immunotherapies and analysing immune infiltrate upon treatment of  different tumor models.

Background

I previously worked for the Centre Georges-François Leclerc, Dijon and joined the Hi-TIDe in 2018 as a laboratory technician.

Evangelos STEFANIDIS
Irving Lab Evangelos Stefanidis_4800-crop2187x2399.jpg Research associate
CONTACT ME

Research interest

The focus of my current work is the generation of tumor-specific armored T cells for improving adoptive T cell transfer strategies, using advanced cell engineering tools. These armored T cells have been equipped with membrane-bound and/or soluble therapeutic agents, and endowed with improved immuno-stimulatory properties and superior anti-tumor activity.

Background

I completed my undergraduate studies in molecular biology and genetics at the Democritus University of Thrace before joining the Hi-TIDe for my postgraduate studies. I am currently completing my PhD in the field of cancer immunotherapy at the University of Lausanne, under the supervision of Dr Melita Irving.

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CONTACT

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George COUKOS
Full Professor
Ludwig member

- Director of Hi-TIDe - Human integrated tumor immunology discovery engine
- Head of the Department of oncology
- Director of Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne

Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne

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Phone +41 21 314 0627
E-mail

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Ch. des Boveresses 155 - CH-1066 Epalinges
Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 692 59 92
Fax +41 21 692 59 95
Ludwig Cancer ResearchUniversité de LausanneCentre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV)