Seminars & Workshops Archive


Mon June 28, 2021 CIG Sem. S. Manley

CIG Seminars Spring 2021

Monday 12:15, Génopode, auditorium B (or online, will be decided in due time)

Free entrance

Download the poster

Monday June 28, 2021
Suliana Manley, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Host: Maria C. Gambetta


DNF Seminar: Prof. Alexandre Reymond will give a talk on Feb. 18,2021

This event will take place on a virtual space on 
Thursday, February 18th at 12:15 through the following Zoom link:

Alexandre Reymond, CIG – UNIL
 “Genome architecture and disease: the 16p11.2 paradigm” 


The recurrent 600 kbp deletions and duplications at human chromosome 16p11.2 are among the most frequent genetic causes of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, as they are found in 1% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. These rearrangements cause reciprocal defects in head size, body weight and as described below age of menarche (AaM).

These rearrangements are mediated by human-specific duplications that appeared at the beginning of the modern human lineage, suggesting that their expansion has a possible evolutionary advantage that outweighs the accompanying chromosomal instability. These duplications include BOLA2, a gene involved in the maturation of cytosolic iron-sulfur proteins. To investigate the potential advantage provided by its rapid expansion, we assessed hematological traits in individuals who have lost or gained copies of BOLA2. The 16p11.2 deletion is strongly associated with anemia (P=4e-7, OR=5) and upon stratification by BOLA2 copy number, we found an association between low BOLA2 dosage and anemia (P=2e-3). Consistent with human data, the 16p11.2 deletion mouse model and Bola2-deficient mice showed early evidence of iron deficiency. The rapid expansion of BOLA2 might have evolved to protect humans against iron deficiency as our species successfully expanded its ecological range at the cost of increased predisposition to rearrangements associated with autism.

We leveraged biobank-scale phenotype data, Mendelian randomization and animal modeling to identify causative genes in a GWAS locus for AaM. The dosage of the 16p11.2 interval is correlated with AaM and an increase in reproductive tract disorders. Likewise, 16p11.2 mouse models display perturbed pubertal onset and structurally altered reproductive organs. Further, we report a negative correlation between the 16p11.2 dosage and relative hypothalamic volume in both humans and mice, intimating a perturbation in the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) axis. Two independent assays identified candidate causal genes for AaM; Mendelian randomization and agnostic dosage modulation of each 16p11.2 gene in zebrafish gnrh3:egfp models. ASPHD1, expressed predominantly in brain and pituitary gland, emerged as a major phenotype driver; and it is subject to modulation by KCTD13 to exacerbate GnRH neuron phenotype. Together, our data highlight the power of an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate disease etiologies underlying complex traits.


Postdoc Funding chats, an event dedicated to specific grants every month until May 2021

If you’re looking to apply for a postdoc fellowship, you’re having difficulties navigating the jungle of possibilities, or you’re looking for someone to exchange experiences with, this is your chance!

Jeudi 4 février 2021 (17h30 – 19h30) – ZOOM –

While we probably all had hoped for a slightly faster return to “normality” in this new year 2021, reality is showing its grim face and telling us to continue our adapted attempts at social interaction. As the APNS continue to be highly motivated and fully committed to support you with as many interesting events as possible, we have decided to continue our series of:



We would like to invite you all to join us for our Spring series on ZOOM:

  • > Feb 4: EMBO Special <
  • March 4: PRIMA & Ambizione
  • April 8: to be announced
  • May 6: to be announced

starting at 5.30 pm on ZOOM

In these virtual chats, you will have the opportunity to hear 2-3 postdocs each share their unique experience and tips & tricks obtaining specific funding. After their talks, you can then ask all and any questions you may have in an informal chat round.

We are proud to kick off this season with an EMBO Fellowship SPECIAL (next EMBO long-term fellowship evaluation deadline coming up: February 12th), with 3 postdocs who recently successfully obtained EMBO fellowships:

  • Marta JORDAO (DO/FBM)
  • Leire Bejarano BOSQUE (DO/FBM)
  • Ángel ÁLVAREZ (DO/FBM)

Please consult our webpage for specific support on postdoc funding opportunities or email


FBM’s Skills for scientists: workshops, events and career counseling for the assistants

Do not miss the skills for scientists’ website on which you ca find information on:
Round tables
CV checks
Career counseling and more.


The workshop program R.E.G.A.R.D 2021 is available.

How the REGARD program works

In 2004, the Equal Opportunities Offices of the Universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, and the USI developped the REGARD workshop program. A couple of years later, the USI left, but then the HES-SO and finally the EPFL jointed the project. Together, the six institutions offer each year more than 20 transversal skills workshops to female PhD candidates, professors, and members of the mid-level faculty.

The REGARD workshops propose concrete tools for career management and supervision. Participants develop necessary transversal skills together with other researchers from different universities. Our workshops create opportunities for discussion and the exchange of experience between women researchers. 

We open a couple of workshops each year to a mixed audience of female and male researchers (see flyer) to increase awareness about gender equality in the academic career. 

For whom, how and what?

  • Target groups: Assistants, PhD candidates, post-docs, maître-assistantes, MER et all other positions of the mid-level faculty, women professors 
  • Workshop topics: Plan your academic career; Project management for research; Communication tools; Personal development
  • Workshops in french and english
  • Free of charge for researchers from associated universities
  • At least 20 workshops each year for approx. 260 participants
  • Gender-mixed audience for certain workhops 


  • Develop generic skills that are essential for your career
  • Get to the grips with the rules of the academic world
  • Meet people who share the same issues and concerns
  • Learn how to keep the essential objectivity to reflect upon your career and options

R.E.G.A.R.D. program and registration:


The Lola & John Grace Distinguished Lectures in Cancer Research: program for the year 2021

In accordance with current EPFL guidelines, the Lola and John Grace Distinguished Lectures in Cancer Research will resume on January 28, 2021 at 12h15 by Zoom only (more details will follow in due time regarding Zoom link – POSTER att.).

We hope we will be able to have the Grace Lecture in Room SV 1717 at EPFL in the coming months. Given the sanitary situation, the plan at the moment is to hold the Grace Lectures via ZOOM ONLY. This plan might be modified depending on the evolution of the pandemic. Thanks for your understanding.