Awards, honors, prizes Archive


Congratulations to Christophe Dessimoz on his Optimus Agora prize!

Prof . Christophe Dessimoz’s lab will receive in September 2021 the prize Optimus Agora during the ScienceComm’2021 in Fribourg.

Further information on the UNIL’s “L’actu” magazine:


Congratulations to Marieke Hoekstra (former PF lab) on her Amicitia Excellence Prize 2021!

The Amicitia Association awards an Excellence Prize in recognition of outstanding scientific research in all areas of neuroscience.
Its aim is to support graduates from the neuroscience doctoral programs in the Lemanic area who are continuing their scientific career in an international academic institution.

This year, the  award ceremony will be held on May 7 between 16h30 – 17h during the Annual Meeting of our NeuroLeman Network and Doctoral Schools (on zoom:

Home - Dr Marieke Hoekstra

Further information on this prize:

Further information on Dr Hoekstra:

I am studying the mechanisms underlying the association between dementia and sleep/circadian disturbances, using several techniques to follow (e.g. in vivo imaging) and/or to manipulate (viral, pharmaceutical) these processes. I joined the group of Marco Brancaccio at the Dementia Research Institute Imperial as a research associate in May 2019.

Prior to joining Marco’s lab, I conducted my PhD studies in the lab of Paul Franken at the University of Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland, 2013-2018). My studies showed that the sleep-wake distribution is an important contributor to daily changes in clock gene expression, and that a temperature sensitive protein called CIRBP conveys some, but not all, of the sleep-deprivation incurred changes in clock gene expression.


Congratulations to B.Thorens on his Roger Assan prize !

Le Prix Roger Assan, doté d’une bourse de 10’000 €, récompense un·e clinicien·ne ou chercheur·euse de réputation internationale ayant effectué l’essentiel de sa carrière dans des pays francophones, et dont les travaux ont amené à des avancées majeures et ouvert de nouvelles voies dans la compréhension ou le traitement du diabète et des maladies métaboliques.

Lire l’article complet:
Informations sur la société Francophone du Diabète:


Congratulations to A.Stasiak on the success of his lab’s publication listed as “Best of Biophysical Journal 2020”.

The lab of Prof. A. Stasiak’s paper “Chromatin is frequently unknotted at the megabase scale” was among the 12 most read papers of the Biophysical Journal in 2020.

Read the article:

Download the Best of 2020 of the Biophysical journal:

Welcome to the Best of Biophysical Journal 2020. 
This collection of articles comes from Biophysical Journal published in the last year, and it includes some of the most highly cited papers, as well as the Paper of the Year and the papers that were selected for the inaugural “Best of BJ Symposium” at the 2021 BPS Annual Meeting. 

This collection provides an excellent cross-section of the contributions to Biophysical Journal. The primary criterion for acceptance of a paper in Biophysical Journal is a clear quantitative emphasis and mechanistic interpretation of relevance to biological problems. For review, submissions to the journal are roughly divided according to general areas of interest, which range from molecular details of proteins and nucleic acids, through membranes, channels, and molecular machines, to the behavior of cells and whole organisms and systems. All of these areas are represented in the current Best of Biophysical Journal edition. 

We hope that you will enjoy reading this special collection. 
– Differential local stability governs the metamorphic fold-switch of bacterial virulence factor RfaH
– Confinement-free wide-field ratiometric tracking of single fluorescent molecules
Chromatin is frequently unknotted at the megabase scale
– Molecular insights from conformational ensembles using Machine Learning
– The interplay between phase-separation and gene-enhancer communication: a theoretical study
– DHHC20 palmitoyl-transferase reshapes the membrane to foster catalysis
– Different Vinculin Binding Sites Use the Same Mechanism to Regulate Directional Force Transduction 
– X-ray structural analysis of single adult cardiomyocytes: tomographic imaging and micro-diffraction
– Dynamic crowding regulates transcription
– Spontaneous curvature, differential stress, and bending modulus of asymmetric lipid membranes
– Zebrafish spinal cord repair is accompanied by transient tissue stiffening
– Amoeboid Swimming is propelled by molecular paddling in Lymphocytes

Congratulations to Liliane Michalik, new UNIL Vice-Rector from Aug. 2021 !

Prof. Liliane Michalik, Vice-Rector-elect. of the University of Lausanne

« Je me sens en phase avec le programme et les valeurs que Frédéric Herman défend », esquisse la biologiste, arrivée comme première assistante à l’UNIL en 1994. Elle deviendra maître assistante à l’Institut de biologie animale, qui sera intégré en 2003 au nouveau Centre intégratif de génomique (CIG). Liliane Michalik est alors MER, puis privat-docent en 2008 et professeure associée en 2018. Elle a aujourd’hui 55 ans.

Arrivée initialement pour une période de deux ans, elle a été séduite par l’UNIL au point de développer une triple carrière de chercheuse, d’enseignante et de cadre au service de l’institution. Nommée vice-directrice de l’École de biologie en 2011, elle en prend la tête en 2019 et apprécie particulièrement ce poste où elle travaille à élargir les horizons des futurs diplômées et diplômés : « Biologiste n’est pas en soi un métier, souligne-t-elle, mais un tremplin pour des carrières très diverses dans l’enseignement, la recherche académique, l’administration, l’édition, l’industrie pharmaceutique, ou encore la médiation scientifique… ».

Read the complete interview:


Congratulations to Sophie Croizier on her Cloëtta Medical Research position!

S.Croizier (previously Ambizione in BT’s lab) was awarded a Cloëtta funding of her position for 5 years as junior Group Leader at the CIG.
The CIG warmly congratulates her and wish her all the best in this new project!

Further information on the research S.Croizier will lead in her lab:

The overweight and obesity pandemics and associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes, are major public health concerns. Whereas a small proportion of obesity is explained by genetics, we are now facing a dramatic increase of cases of obesity inherent to environmental alteration. Among those, access to palatable food and daily anxiety play an indisputable role in the development of obesity, particularly in women. In this context, the prevalence of obese women of childbearing age dramatically increased. Alarmingly, epidemiological and rodent studies pointed out a role of the maternal environment alteration in the development of metabolic diseases in children and offspring. Surprisingly, while our knowledge on the control of feeding has largely expanded over the last decades, our anatomical and functional understanding of how alteration of maternal environment affects this behavior and leads to obesity remains elusive.

As the hypothalamus is a key region controlling feeding behaviors, we seek to further characterize the factors orchestrating the hypothalamic feeding-circuit wiring. The formation of functional neuronal networks relies on axon growth and synaptogenesis developmental processes mainly driven by members of four guidance protein families. In the laboratory, we are focusing our interests in identifying molecules underlying the excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation and plasticity on key hypothalamic neurons, and in deciphering how alteration of maternal environment impairs these developmental processes.

To accomplish this innovative research program, we employ cutting-edge techniques such as optogenetics, calcium imaging and super-resolution microscopy in parallel with physiological, behavioral and neurodevelopmental approaches.

Further information on the Max Cloëtta grants: