Host labs

UNIL - EPFL host labs for an MD-PhD thesis

Please find below a non-exhausive list of potential UNIL-EPFL Directors of thesis/host labs able to welcome you for an MD-PhD thesis. This list will be updated once a year.

You also have the opportunity to browse the following link to see the UNIL accredited Directors of thesis.

Don't hesitate to contact one or more of them and ask for an appointment to make up your mind!

A - D

Laboratories  Thesis Directors Subject proposed  

Allergy and Immunology

Perez Laurent

Neutralizing antibodies and host-pathogen interaction for vaccine design against Toxoplasma gondii

Angiology Rosenblatt-Velin Nathalie

Involvement of the natriuretic peptides (C-type natriuretic peptide, CNP) in the development and progression of the cardiovascular alterations developed by Marfan patients

Cardiac surgery (CCV) Tozzi Piergiorgio

- percutaneous treatment of mitral valve regurgitation

- surgical treatment of heart failure

Center for Integrative Genomics Reymond Alexandre

Genetic of autosomal recessive intellectual disability and developmental delay

Center for Integrative Genomics Van Leeuwen Jolanda

Systematic analysis of genetic interactions: “Monogenic” diseases often show diversity in disease severity across patients, which can be due to the presence of modifier mutations. Using genetic screens in cultured human cells, we aim to identify such modifier genes, to better understand differences in disease severity.

Clinical Neurosciences (DNC) Du Pasquier Renaud

Establishment of an autologous in vitro human model of neuro-inflammatory diseases, using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)


Clinical Neurosciences (DNC)

Ryvlin Philippe

Epileptic seizure detection and forecasting using wearable devices and machine learning


Clinical Neurosciences (DNC)

Serino Andrea

Fundamental, Translational, healthy participants, patients, psychophysics, neuropsychology, fMRI, EEG, neural networks / computational modeling, virtual reality: Understanding and quantifying deficits of body representations following brain (stroke) or body (amputees, CRPS) damage, via a multimodal (psychophisics, neuroimaging, computational) approach 

Clinical Neurosciences (DNC) Sokolov Arseny Cognitive neurorehabilitation & neurotechnology: Technology-assisted precision cognitive neurorehabilitation in acquired brain damage  
Dermatology Kuonen François Transcriptional reprogramming / tumor cell plasticity / tumor-stroma interactions: Using high-throughput sequencing technologies, the lab is interested in deciphering the transcriptional reprogramming underlying tumor cell plasticity and/or tumor-stroma interactions governing skin cancer progression   

E - F

Laboratories  Thesis Directors  Subject proposed

Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism

Pitteloud Nelly

Genetics and Pathogenesis of congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) and other disorders of puberty

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Sykiotis Gerasimos

Role of odixative stress in thyroid pathophysiology

Epidemiologie et systèmes de santé (DESS - Unisanté) Pittet Valérie

Modelling of treatment appropriateness in chronic diseases: the example of inflammatory bowel diseases:  Using data collected in the Swiss IBD cohort study for 15 years on therapies and outcomes, the objective would be to model appropriateness of treatment using reinforcement learning techniques


Deplancke Bart

Laboratory of Systems Biology & Genetics: 1) Development of new single cell technologies to study tumor cell heterogeneity 2) Uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying unhealthy fat mass expansion in the context of obesity


Suter David

Protein turnover in human neurons


Aye Yimon

Frontiers in drug discovery & mode-of-action research in disease-subtype-specific targeted therapies;  Innovation and application of bioengineering & chemical biology tools 

EPFL-SV ISREC Brisken Cathrin

Endocrine control mechanisms in breast carcinogenesis

EPFL-SV ISREC Gonczy Pierre

Cell and developmental biology: Modulating centriole assembly in proliferating systems Mechanisms of asymmetric cell division


Herzog Michael

The complexity of schizophrenia: Classically, schizophrenia research focuses on one paradigm, thought to be representative for the disease, in great detail. We have shown that many paradigms are much less representative than thought. We propose to use a plethora of tests and analysis methods to understand the disease rather than single tests.

Epidemiology and Health Systems/Unisanté

Bochud Murielle

Epidemiology of chronic diseases, nutritional epidemiology

Fundamental Microbiology Veening Jan-Willem

Systems and synthetic biology approaches to better understand the biology of Streptococcus pneumoniae with the overal goal to identify new treatment strategies: Development and spread of vaccine evasion and antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae

Fundamental Neurosciences Mameli Manuel

Neuronal circuits and plasticity mechanisms for motivation and related pathologies: Understanding the neuronal dynamics of reward and aversion processing

Fundamental Neurosciences

Neukomm Lukas

Mechanism of neurodegeneration in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

Fundamental Oncology Ho Ping-Chih 

Immunometabolic regulation for modulating anti-tumor immunity


G - O

Laboratories   Thesis Directors Subject proposed

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Moradpour Darius

Molecular virology and pathogenesis of hepatitis C and E

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Velin Dominique

Harnessing the funcions of the gut microbiota to modulate the host immune responses:

1. Role of the gut microbiota in cancer immunotherapies

2. Role of the gut microbiota in Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Geriatric Medicine & Geriatric Rehabilitation

D'Amelio Patrizia

Mechaninsm of aging and age-related diseases: Maintaining Immune and Mitochondrial functions in Old adults with SAfe nutrition: the MIMOSA study


Gynecology, obstetrics and genetics

Baud David Role of genital bacteria in human reproduction

Immunooncology (ION) and Hematology (HEM)

Arber Caroline 

Immunotherapies for hematologic malignancies: Development of engineered T cell therapies for hematologic malignancies. Mored detailed project information is available upon request.

Infectious Diseases Roger Thierry

Harnessing innate immune training to improve sepsis management.

Information Systems Villa Alessandro

Mindscope: Bridging the gap between functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) and neuronal dynamics during decision making

Institute of Sport Sciences (ISSUL) Place Nicolas

Neuromuscular plasticity to exercise: We use various techniques to investigate muscle plasticity in response to exercise and disease, from cell culture to non-invasive (e.g. evoked force, surface electromyography) measurements in exercising humans / patients. The specific topic for a potential MD/PhD will be discussed with the candidate. Potential projects : - Muscle adaptations to high intensity exercise in clinical populations - Adaptations to neuromuscular electrical stimulation - Mechanisms of muscle fatigue - ...

Internal medicine Marques-Vidal Pedro

Cardiovascular epidemiology: Research on cardiovascular epidemiology, focusing on the associations between polygenic risk scores, metabolomics, diet, physical activity and the development of cardiovascular disease. Also research on quality of management of cardiovascular risk factors and the association between psychiatric and cardiovascular diseases. For more details contact the PIs at the website.

Médecine de laboratoire et pathologie

Bhuiyan Zahurul Alam

Unit of Cardiogenetics Research, SGM: Genetics of Inherited Cardiac Arrhythmias

Medical radiology Prior John

Molecular imaging & therapy using PET/CT or SPECT/CT in oncological, cardiovascular or neurological pathologies, also in collaboration with the Translationnal Radiopharma-ceutical Science Laboratory of Prof. M. Schottelius

Microbiology Fumeaux Coralie 

Study of the cell envelope in Gram negative bacteria and the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance

Neonatal research laboratory

Tolsa Jean-François

Vascular reactivity in physiological and pathological conditions: Investigation of alterations in the human umbilical circulation in case of intrauterine growth restriction

Neonatology Giannoni Eric

Neonatal innate immunity and sepsis: Host-pathogen interactions in group B streptococcal sepsis

Occupational and Environmental Health Guseva Canu Irina

Burden of occupational cancers in Switzerland: Burden of asbestos-related cancers in Switzerland (BARCS)

Oncology Michielin Olivier

Precision oncology: Discovery of prognostic and predictive biomarkers for precision oncology

Oto-rhino-laryngology Tolstonog Genrich

Head and neck cancer research: Assessing clonal evolution in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and its contribution to tumor progression and treatment resistance


P - Z

Laboratories  Thesis Directors  Subject proposed

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit / Division of Pediatrics 

Renella Raffaele

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology: investigation of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer and inherited blood disorders in children

Physiology Amati Francesca

Aging and muscle metabolism from the whole organism to organelle contact sites. Translational and mechanistic studies understanding cellular metabolism underpinning insulin resistance and aging. 

Pneumonology Von Garnier Christophe

Impact of the pulmonary microbiome and host-gene interactions on respiratory function post-COVID19 infection

Psychiatry Stoop Ron

Neurobiology of Anxiety and Fear: The role of the basolateral amygdala - prefrontal cortex axis in social cognition, hierarchy and collaboration: a cross species approach

Psychiatry - Psychiatric Neuroscience Toni Nicolas

Adult neurogenesis and depression: The goal of this project is to study the role of blood-cirvulating molceules on the regulation of adult hippocampal neuroegensis and its role in depression

Oncology Herrera Fernanda

Immuno-radiation Therapy in Gynecological Cancers


Hügle Thomas

1. We recently discovered that in rheumatoid arthritis, fibrin deposition on cartilage is a direct trigger of cartilage damage. Fibrin seems to trigger joint stiffness by chondro-synovial adhesion, direct catabolic processes and enhanced calcification. Similar to atherosclerosis, fibrin plaques trigger degeneration in chronic inflammation. In this project we aim to target fibrin-associated mechanisms in vitro and in animal models to prevent secondary cartilage damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  

2. Digital therapeutics and biomarker is a new field in rheumatology. In previous projects we have developed algorithms for disease prediction and clustering in rheumatoid arthritis be deep learning. We also developed (and patented) a digital biomarker to monitor joint swelling using automated recognition of dorsal finger folds of the hands. In this project we aim to test the new digital biomarker (DETECTRA) in a larger patient cohort, to further develop the algorithm and to deploy the biomarker in form of an app.

Swiss BioMotion Lab Favre Julien

Movement biomechanics and imaging: The Swiss BioMotion Laboratory runs various projects aiming at improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of joint pathologies

Swiss BioMotion Lab Jolles-Haeberli Brigitte

Biomechanics of the joints, prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis with intelligent systems, conservative or arthroplasty: The Swiss BioMotion Laboratory runs various projects aiming at improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of joint pathologies

Transplantation Immunopathology Service

Golshayan Déla

Role of T- and B-cell subsets in rejection and tolerance after solid organ transplantation: Immune profiling of rejection episodes and outcome after kidney transplantation


Derré Laurent

Understanding tumor immunity in bladder cancer patients to develop new treatment

Visceral surgery Dormond Olivier

Modulating oxidative stress as a strategy in the treatment hepatocellular carcinoma

Vulnerabilities and social medicine- Unisanté

Bodenmann Patrick

Research aiming to decrease health iniquities among populations with vulnerabiities (e.g., homeless individuals, migrant populations, frequent users of emergency departement, Dead and hard of hearing populations). 

Secretariat MD-PhD - Bureau 304 - Amphipôle - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 40 06
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)