Awards, honors, prizes Archive


Congratulations to C. Dessimoz on his new role as joint executive Director of SIB.

Christophe Dessimoz - FBM UNIL

Christophe Dessimoz has been appointed Joint Executive Director of SIB as of 1 April 2022.

The recruitment committee selected his candidacy among a number of very good candidates, after two rounds of interviews with two external candidates and five outstanding internal candidates, and the Foundation Council just ratified this nomination today as proposed by the Board of Directors

For those who do not know him already, Christophe is an internationally recognized scientist based at the DBC of the University of Lausanne as Associate Professor and SIB Group leader. He is as well an elected member of our Board of Directors since 2018.
An election among SIB Group Leaders will shortly take place to identify a successor for Christophe at this Board.  
With expertise in comparative genomics and big data analysis, Christophe Dessimoz leads a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research group, and has published over 100 scientific papers. His group develops the OMA database which relates genomes across the tree of life, and which is part of SIB’s resource portfolio since 2012. Among several distinctions, he was awarded the Overton Prize by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) for his outstanding contributions (2019), and the Optimus Agora Prize of the SNSF for science communication (2021). Among several leadership roles, he is a board member of the ISCB, presides the Life Science Switzerland (LS2) Bioinformatics Intersection, and is a leader of the international Quest for Orthologs consortium. He obtained a Master’s degree in Biology in 2003, a PhD in Computer Science in 2009 at ETH Zurich and pursued a postdoc at the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge (UK).


Congratulations to Dorian Ziegler (LF) on his Bettencourt prize for young researchers!

The CIG is proud to inform you that Dr Dorian Ziegler received in Dec. 2021 the Bettencourt prize for young researchers.

Read the presentation of Dr Ziegler:

Dorian ZIEGLER – Postdoctoral Researcher – Center for Integrative Genomics  (CIG) - UNIL | LinkedIn

Launched in 1990, this prize is one of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation’s first initiatives. It is awarded annually to 14 young doctors of science or medical doctors to enable them to do their postdoctoral internships in the best foreign laboratories.

To date, 279 young researchers have been awarded this prize worth €25,000.
In 2014, the rules for the Young Researchers Bettencourt Prize were amended to strengthen the selection criteria and give special attention to applying medical researchers.


I. Lopez-Mejia and N. Vastenhouw were in “L’Actu” magazine regarding their FBM interdisciplinary Grant, Dec. 2021

Among the 4 interdisciplinary projects selected by the Faculty of Biology and Medicine to get fundings, 2 were proposed by members of the CIG:

List of all awardees on the UNIL web magazine:


I. Lopez-Mejia and R. Regazzi were awarded an FBM interdisciplinary Grant

I. Lopez-Mejia (CIG) together with R. Regazzi (DBS) will investigate Non-coding RNA mediated modulation of thermogenic function and whole-body energy homeostasis. (see diagram bellow)


Congratulations to the UNIL iGEM team coached by Linh Ho for their prize!

Linh (van Leeuwen lab) took part to the iGEM competition (International Genetically Engineered Machine as coach for the UNIL team who presented a project on finding ways to protect apricot plants from spring frost.
To achieve this, the team designed three complementary approaches that aim to tackle the various causes of plant freezing. They envisioned combining the products of each approach in a solution-based treatment that would be sprayed onto plants to safeguard them from frost damage.

Detailed project:

Read the article on the UNIL magazine “L’Actu”:


N.Vastenhouw and T. Schwander were awarded an FBM interdisciplinary Grant

N. Vastenhouw (CIG) together with T. Schwander (DEE) propose to Identify the differences in gametogenesis and embryogenesis between closely related species with different reproductive modes.

Lab of Prof. Tanja Schwander:
Lab of Prof. Nadine Vastenhouw:
Further information about FBM’s interdisciplinary grants (Fr):