People Archive


Génopode Retreat 2021: souvenirs

Do not hesitate to share / exchange your pictures on the following switchdrives:


Welcome to Valentin!

After a Master in Medical Biology at the University of Lausanne, Valentin Zufferey performed high-content microscopy and live-imaging analysis in the search of novel biomarker for neurodegerative diseases in Pr. Nicolas Toni’s group.
He then worked for a time as lab-manager in Tatiana Petrova’s laboratory at UNIL’s department of Oncology before joining the Vjestica lab to investigate how fission yeast zygotes can prevent their refertilization.


Welcome to Bastien

Bastien Vallat joint the DBC starting from September 2021.

“Hi, I’m your new IT assistant, I’m going to help Laurian in his tasks to reduce the number of screens thrown out of the window in this building.

I have always had a passion for science and technology and with my bachelor’s degree in Biology from UNIL I started a master’s degree in molecular life sciences while working at the Helpdesk of the UNIL Computer Center to finance my studies. So I have a deep attachment to our beautiful campus.

During my master thesis, I decided to leave the world of fundamental research for something more “applied”. I got interested in urban agronomy by working in the association “Légumes Perchés” managing an experimental greenhouse in aquaponics, project that allowed me to be selected and to win a grant from the “HEC UNIL startup accelerator”. During 6 months I followed entrepreneurship courses and worked on a low-tech water treatment project for crops and fish farms. This project has proven to be successful on a small scale and I hope to continue it in the near future. I also worked as a teacher of chemistry, physics and biology at the pre-university level in a private school.

Today I am happy to join your team and to participate in the life of this building. I am rediscovering the world of the laboratory, from a more technical side this time, while having the opportunity to see the evolution of several projects at the same time and to meet many of you with different backgrounds. (I warn you, I talk a lot) 

Apart from my work at the Genopode and the UNIL Helpdesk, I really enjoy history and crafts. I share a workshop in Vevey with an art restorer in which I have been doing blacksmithing, jewelry and leather work for 3 years now.

Looking forward to meeting you


Congratulations to Chiara!

Chiara Auwerx (AR) received an Early Career Award at the European Society of Human Genetics’ annual conference held Aug. 28-31, 2021.

She received the Lodewijk Sandkuijl Award, which is bestowed since 2004 to the author of the best presentation within the field of complex disease genetics and statistical genetics. Her presentation, entitled “The impact of copy number variants on complex human traits”, highlighted how copy number variants shape traits in healthy populations.

Note that she will give you an overview of her findings at the upcoming retreat of the Genopode building.

Further information about the event:


Farewell Joan!

Joan Justiniano, who started working at the CIG in 2010, is leaving the CIG at the end of September to move back to Bolivia where he is from.

Eager worker, he always had his heart set on providing the best service to the CIG members. Him and his 5 stars work will be missed very much!

A farewell letter is available in Julie’s office room 2026.3.

All the best to him!


Welcome to Enes !

I am Enes Salih Arpa, from Turkey. I am a medical doctor who graduated from Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine in July 2021.

By the beginning of my medical school years, I was very passionate to add a research angle on my clinical knowledge. Therefore I decided to do summer internships in order to improve my research skills. In 2017, I did an internship in Prof. Marie-Catherine Vozenin’s lab in the Radiation Oncology Department of CHUV. Following that year, I spent my summer in Prof. Hans Acha-Orbea’s lab in the Biochemistry Department of UNIL. After these two experiences, I did my third and fourth internships in Prof. Johan Auwerx’s lab in the Life Sciences Department of EPFL. 

These internship experiences helped me to be involved in various molecular biology projects and enlarge my scientific perspective. That’s why I decided to do an MD-PhD following my graduation. I wanted to focus on RNA biology, in particular the role of some pathways linked to cancer development, during my PhD that could help me to combine my PhD project with clinics in the future. 

Now, I am very pleased to join Prof. David Gatfield’s lab as an MD-PhD student. I will work on the positive-negative effects of nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) inhibition on cancer formation.