Rufer Lab members

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Rufer Lab Hebeisen Michael-crop771x731.jpg Research associate

Research interest

Our work focuses on understanding the impact of TCR affinity on T cell responsiveness through molecular and structural dissection of TCR-pMHC interactions. We aim at maximizing the function of effector CD8+ T cells by redirecting them with highly potent, tumor-specific TCRs selected and engineered for high reactivity, but low self-reactivity. Careful analysis and selection of those therapeutic TCRs is crucial and will help improve the efficacy of adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy.


I am a passionate researcher and experienced mentor, specialized in T cell-based cancer immunotherapy. I studied biology at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), where I obtained a Master’s in Developmental Biology (control of Hox genes) in 2001. In 2008, I obtained a PhD in Genetics at McGill University, working on the developmental control of the cell cycle in C. elegans. In 2009, I joined the laboratory of Dr Nathalie Rufer as a postdoctoral fellow, then becoming research associate. Since 2018, I am also a qualified part-time teacher working to spark genuine interest in the next generation of biology students and researchers.

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Postdoctoral researcher

Research interest

Immunotherapies can induce long-term persisting responses in a fraction of cancer patients. I am particularly interested in deepening our understanding in how cancer cells interact with and reshape immune cells to further improve these therapies.


After a Master’s in Molecular Chemistry at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille, France and a master’s in life sciences at EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne  I undertook a PhD in the laboratory of Pr Radtke at EPFL. During my thesis, I studied the role of Notch1 in the initiation and development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia using a mouse model.


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Nathalie RUFER
Associate professor
Ludwig adjunct scientist

Laboratory N. Rufer

Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne

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UNIL +41 21 692 59 77
CHUV +41 79 556 95 45


The Rufer Lab is based at:

Ch. des Boveresses 155
CH-1066 Epalinges


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