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  • You have first to choose one laboratory, see below.
  • Contact thesis directors of interest and if they appreciate your CV, ask them to send you a confirmation by email that she/he agrees to act as your potential thesis director and confirms that you were in contact with her/him before applying.
  • You should mention her/his name in your application form (see STEP 2) to continue your application.

Host Labs


Laboratories  Thesis Directors Subject proposed    
Anesthesiology Suter Marc Understanding the neuro-immune mechanisms of chronic pain. Exploring the pathophysiology of spinal microglia in chronic pain condition.    
Angiology Rosenblatt-Velin Nathalie lnvolvement of the natriuretic peptides in the development of genetically triggered thoracic aortic aneurysm.     
Biomedical Data Science Center Gottardo Raphael

Multiscale spatial data analysis to decipher responses to cancer treatment. Development of computational tools and methods for the analysis of high-dimensional spatial and single-cell data.

Biomedical sciences Amati Francesca

Aging and muscle metabolism

Biomedical sciences Habib Shukry James

Rejuvenating and Repairing Aged Bones. PhD in Regenerative Medicine and Nutrition

Biomedical sciences Langlet Fanny

Plasticity of blood/hypothalamus interface for the regulation of energy balance.
Investigating the impact of microbiota on tanycyte barrier controlling food intake

Biomedical sciences Mansuy-Aubert Virginie

Nutrition and Gut Brain communication. Maternal Gut Microbiota-Embryo Interplay during Pregnancy: Unraveling the Link to Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Risk.

Biomedical sciences Tzanoulinou Stamatina

Brain circuitry and long-term effects of social trauma.

Center for Integrative Genomics Benton Richard

Evolution of neural circuit structure and function


Center for Integrative Genomics

Croizier Sophie

Deciphering the genetic and anatomic complexity of hypothalamic circuits: Sexually dimorphic development of hypothalamic feeding-circuits

Center for Integrative Genomics Fankhauser Christian

Plant responses to their light environment: from transcriptional reprogramming to developmental adaptations

Center for Integrative Genomics Gambetta Maria Cristina

Wiring of regulatory elements to target genes in three dimensions.

This project will investigate how 3D genome folding matures during cell differentiation and enables cell type specific gene expression programs.

Center for Integrative Genomics Van Leeuwen Jolanda

Systematic analysis of genetic interactions : The deleteriousness of a mutation can depend upon the genetic background. For example, two patients carrying the same disease causal mutation may experience differences in disease severity. By mapping the effects of single and double mutants on a large scale, the student will try to understand when and how such genetic interactions occur

Clinical Neurosciences Serino Andrea

Assessment and neurorehabilitation of cognitive functions using gamified activities in immersive virtual reality for patients with acquired brain injury. Conceptual development and scientific validation of therapeutic activities in immersive virtual reality.


Clinical Neurosciences Sokolov Arseny Neurotechnology for cognitive neurorehabilitation. Technology-assisted personalized cognitive assessment and neurorehabilitation.    
Computational Biology Ciriello Giovanni Genetic and non-genetic mechanisms of cancer evolution    



Laboratories   Thesis Directors Subject proposed
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Gouttenoire Jérôme

Molecular virology and pathogenesis of hepatitis C and E. Investigating the host factors required for hepatitis E virus (HEV) life cycle

Geriatrics D'Amelio Patrizia

The main topics of interest are inflammaging and the role of mitochondria and oxidative stress in aging related diseases as bone metabolic disorders, cognitive impairment and sarcopenia.
Maintaining Immune and Mitochondrial functions in Old adults with SAfe nutrition: the MIMOSA study.

Immunobiology Broz Petr

The Broz lab investigates the innate immune signaling pathways that allows cells to detect and respond to the infection with pathogenic microorganisms. A particular focus of the lab is the inflammasome, a multi protein signaling platform that is assembled by pattern recognition receptors upon detection of pathogen- or host-derived danger signals, and which controls the release of cytokines and the induction of pyroptosis, a lytic for of cell death. 

Immunobiology Esser-von Bieren Julia Regulation of type 2 immune responses.
Cyclooxygenase metabolites as regulators of macrophage reprogramming in severe type-2 inflammation
Immunobiology Martinon Fabio Physiological  mechanisms of autoinflammation in health and diseases 

Infectious Diseases

Roger Thierry Harnessing innate immune training to improve sepsis management
Information Systems Villa Alessandro

Mindscope: Bridging the gap between fNIRS and neuronal dynamics during decision making

Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL)

Place Nicolas

Neuromuscular plasticity to exercise / disease: : 
(i) skeletal muscle plasticity with a translational approach (from cell to human) or
(ii) neuromuscular adaptations to exercise

Metabolomics Unit Ivanisevic Julijana Deep annotation of model organism metabolome along with lipidome
Microbiology Ciuffi Angela

Impact of epitranscriptomic modifications on HIV life cycle. Investigation of the role of m5C on HIV translation and investigation of the role of candidate factors, identified in an epitranscriptomic analysis, on HIV replication.

Microbiology Opota Onya

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Drug Resistance and Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing

Obstetrics, Gestational diabetes

Puder Jardena Gestational diabetes, food viewing and metabolic health outcomes. Relationships between eating behavior, brain responses to food viewing, and metabolic health outcomes 
Ophtalmology Ansar Muhammad The discovery of new inherited retinal dystrophy genes and therapeutic interventions. Human genetics.




Laboratories  Thesis Directors  Subject proposed
Dermatology Kuonen François

Characterization and targeting of skin cancer plasticity to prevent progression and resistance to therapy

Ecology and Evolution Chapuisat Michel

Social evolution in ants. Potential subjects: Variation in social organization, social supergene evolution, population genomics

Ecology and Evolution Kawecki Tadeusz Using experimental evolution with Drosophila to understand adaptation and sexual selection. Various experimental projects using Drosophila as the study system to address evolutionary questions are possible. In particular, we study (1) adaptation to chronic juvenile undernutrition and (2) sexual selection and conflict. 
Ecology and Evolution  Pannell John

Evolution and ecology of plant range margins and sexual systems

Ecology and Evolution Robinson-Rechavi Marc

Evolutionary bioinformatics: Bioinformatics of animal evo-devo, specific subject to determine with the candidate

Ecology and Evolution Schwander Tanja

Evolution of reproductive and genetic systems

Ecology and Evolution Wedekind Claus

Evolutionary Conservation Biology

Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism Sykiotis Gerasimos

Roles of the antioxidant response system in the thyroid gland.

Forensic Genetics Units Hall Diana

Development of novel genetic markers and data analysis for inferring biogeographic ancestry in humans.
Follow-up to this study: "Inferring biogeographic ancestry with compound markers of slow and fast evolving polymorphisms." Moriot A, Santos C, Freire-Aradas A, Phillips C, Hall D. Eur J Hum Genet. 2018.

Fundamental Microbiology Collier Justine

Regulation of the bacterial cell cycle. 

2 potential topics:
- Charaterization of restriction-modification systems in Caulobacter crescentus (DNA methylation/cleavage, phage defense systems, impact on horizontal gene transfers).
- Epigenetic regulation in the Agrobacterium tumefaciens plant pathogen (DNA methylation, transcriptional regulation, genome replication).

Fundamental Microbiology Mitri Sara

Artificial selection of small bacterial communities

Fundamental Microbiology Schaerli Yolanda 

Bacterial Synthetic Biology.Diverse projects in bacterial synthetic biology, including:
- CRISPR-based circuits
- Engineered living materials
- Engineering the honey bee gut microbiome
- Circuits for spatiotemporal pattern formation

Fundamental Microbiology Veening Jan-Willem

Pneumococcal cell biology

Fundamental Microbiology Vonaesch Pascale

Phage therapy to control human Streptococcus salivarius associated with inflammation in the intestinal tract of stunted children.

Fundamental Neurosciences Bezzi Paola

Investigating the role of astrocytes in behavioural impairments associated with Phelan McDermid syndrome

Fundamental Neurosciences Bagni Claudia Mechanisms and Therapies for Autism and Fragile X Syndrome. Unlocking the Secrets of the Mind: Unraveling the Mysteries of Human Brain Organoids
Fundamental Neurosciences Nikoletopoulou Vassiliki Autophagic pathways of brain homeostasis
Fundamental Neurosciences Puyal Julien Autophagy, cell death and neuroprotection in perinatal brain injuries. Investigating the role of autophagy in oligodendrocytes in perinatal cerebral hypoxia-ischemia.
Fundamental Oncology Ho Ping-Chih Immunometabolic modulation controlling gender-biased immunity against infection and tumor
Fundamental Oncology Petrova Tatiana

PhD in cancer and vascular biology. Immune-vascular communications in development and cancer

Fundamental Oncology Verdeil Gregory

Regulation of immune dysfunction in cancer. Decipher the resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced bladder cancer to develop new immunotherapeutic strategies.




Laboratories  Thesis Directors  Subject proposed
Plant Molecular Biology Soyk Sebastian

Dissecting the genetic and molecular mechanisms of stem cell control. The aim of this PhD project will be to investigate genetic networks that control the activity of stem cell and were selected during domestication.

Psychiatric Neurosciences Toni Nicolas

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and its implication in psychiatric diseases. Study the role of the mechanisms of regulation of adult neurogenesis by the neurogenic niche in the context of anxiety disorders or cognitive impairment.

Psychiatry Chabane Nadia

Sensorimotor development in Autism. A longitudinal assessment of first signs, the emergence of core symptoms and the role of early intervention.

Radiology Murray Micah

Multisensory processes across the lifespan and development of human brain imaging and brain mapping methods


Richiardi Jonas

Machine learning on medical images and -omics data for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment planning. Deep learning for imaging genetics

Transplantation Centre &
Service of Immunology

Golshayan Déla

Innate and adaptative immune determinants of graft outcome after solid organ transplantation. Immune profiling of rejection episodes and outcome after kidney transplantation

Unisanté - Epidemiology and health systems Avendano Mauricio

The impact of public policies and health systems on population health, both in Swtizerland and globally, particularly on mental health and cognition. The impact of mental health policies

Unisanté - Epidemiology and health systems Kutalik Zoltan Statistical human genetics. Multi-layered evidence for gene expression optimality
Unisanté - Occupational and environmental epidemiology Guseva Canu Irina

Ethiology of breast cancer: 
Cancer du Sein et Travail de Nuit (CaSeTraN)
Burden of occupational cancers in Switzerland: Burden of asbestos-related cancers in Switzerland (BARCS)

Unisanté - Vulnerabilities and social medicine Bodenmann Patrick

Improving health equity among populations in vulnerable situations

Urology Derré Laurent

Immune regulation in urological malignancies.

Vascular surgery Allagnat Florent Dietary intervention and hydrogen sulfide to protect against vascular diseases
Women - Mother - Child Stojanov Milos

Characterisation of seminal microbiota and its impact on human sperm.
This ambitious PhD project has three main goals:
- Characterise human seminal microbiota using next generation sequencing.
- Isolate and identify bacteria from human semen to establish a collection of seminal bacteria.
- Study the impact of beneficial/deleterious bacteria on spermatozoa physiology.



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