• Network / Labs

    We strive to build a network of matrix biology enthusiastic researchers in Switzerland.


    Wandrey, Franziska
    Research and Study Manager
    Mibelle Group Biochemistry
    Website: http://mibellebiochemistry.com/
    Research interests: Research collaborations in skin aging for new molecular biology concepts to develop active ingredients for cosmetics. Always looking for new partners involved in cutting edge skin and anti-aging research.
    Expertise: In vitro and clinical testing of cosmetic active ingredients. Skin models, skin biology.


    Imfeld, Dominik
    R&D Skin Care
    DSM Nutritional Products Ltd,

    Website: https://www.dsm.com/corporate/markets-products/markets/personal-care.html
    Research interests: Developing active ingredients for skin care or cosmetic products. Skin aging, skin barrier, extracellular matrix biology.
    Expertise: skin biology, ECM, collagen



    Plodinec, Marija
    Oberassistent in the group of Prof. Dr. Roderick Lim.
    Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, Dept. Structural Biology and Biophsycis, University of Basel

    Lab website: http://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/research/groups-platforms/group/unit/lim/
    Research interests: tissue mechanics, physical aspects of cancer progression, cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions, particularly structural and functional aspects of basement membranes, translational research in cancer mechanics.
    Expertise: quantitative biopsy-wide nanomechanical profiling, clinical application of AFM.


    Asparuhova, Maria
    Laboratory of Oral Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern
    Lab website: https://www.chir.zmk.unibe.ch/ueber_uns/team/personen/dr_asparuhova_maria/index_ger.html
    Research interests: Clinically oriented research in the fields of bone and soft tissue regeneration.
    Expertise: Bone and soft tissue regeneration
    Chiquet, Matthias
    Dept. Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, University of Bern
    Lab website: http://www.ortho.zmk.unibe.ch/ueber_uns/team/personen/prof_dr_chiquet_matthias/
    Research interests: Role of extracellular matrix in cleft palate etiology and repair.
    Expertise: Palate repair, transforming growth factor-beta, bone morphogenetic protein, matrix metalloproteinases, cleft lip/palate, palate morphogenesis, extracellular matrix, wound healing
    Keynote Speaker of the SSMB 2017 Annual Meeting

    Degen, Martin
    Zahnmedizinische Kliniken, University of Bern
    Lab website: http://www.ortho.zmk.unibe.ch/ueber_uns/team/personen/degen_martin/
    Research interests: Epidermal transcription factors linking cleft palate to altered wound healing.
    Expertise: Wound healing, Tenascins, cancer research.
    Gazdhar, Amiq
    Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Bern
    Lab website: http://www.dkf.unibe.ch/services/staff/dr_gazdhar_amiq/index_eng.html​
    Research interests: Lung repair and regeneration.
    Expertise: Stem cells and gene therapy.
    Mercader, Nadia
    Institute of Anatomy, Department of Development and Regeneration, University of Bern
    Lab website: http://www.ana.unibe.ch/research/developmental_biology_and_regeneration/index_eng.html​
    Research interests: We are interested in studying heart regeneration in the zebrafish. In particular we study how fibrosis influences cardiomyocyte regeneration.
    Schittny, Johannes C.
    Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern
    Lab website: http://www.anaweb.ch/ueber_uns/abteilungen/index_ger.php?key=schi#select
    Research interests: Lung development, lung Imaging, pulmonary particle deposition, basement membranes, tenascins, laminins, integrins.
    Expertise: Lung development, extracellular matrix, basement membrane, high resolution 3D lung imaging (X-ray tomographic microscopy and microCT), lung ventilation and ventilation physiology, stereology (quantitative estimations in a 3D-volume on 2D-sections), breading the tenascin-C knockout mouse (Forsberg, E., et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 1996. 93(13):6594-9).


    Dengjel, Joern
    Dep. of Biology, University of Fribourg
    Lab website: http://www.unifr.ch/biology/research/dengjel/
    Research interests: Role of collagen VII in cell homeostasis.
    collagen VII, proteomics, mass spectrometry, autophagy
    Expertise: proteomics

    Jazwinska, Anna
    Dep. of Biology, University of Fribourg
    Lab website: http://www.unifr.ch/biology/research/jazwinska/
    Research interests: Organ regeneration in zebrafish. How and why organs can or cannot regenerate after injury are important questions. Humans are not able to regenerate their damaged heart and limbs, but certain vertebrates possess such capabilities. The zebrafish is the ideal model for investigation of regeneration, due to its power to restore complex organs and the existence of molecular genetic tools. Conceptual understanding of the natural mechanisms of regeneration will pave the way for novel medical strategies for treatment of injuries in people. In our laboratory, we are exploring the molecular and cellular triggers of heart and fin regeneration in zebrafish, and have made some intriguing discoveries.
    Expertise: regeneration, cell differentiation and plasticity, organ homeostasis, wound healing upon injury.


    Wehrle-Haller, Bernhard

    Wehrle-Haller Lab, Cell Physiology and Metabolism, University of Geneva, Switzerland
    Lab website: http://www.unige.ch/medecine/phym/fr/groupes/645wehrle-haller/

    Research interests: Integrins, cell-matrix adhesion and remodeling.
    Expertise: live-cell imaging, integrins, talin, cell adhesion, cell migration, c-kit, stem cells, and metabolism.

    Keynote Speaker of the SSMB 2019 Annual Meeting


    Feige, Jerome N
    Group Leader and Adjunct lecturer
    Skeletal muscle & Aging Lab, Nestlé Institute of Heath Sciences
    Lab website: https://www.nestleinstitutehealthsciences.com/scienceandtechnology/brainhealth#topic02
    Research interests: We study the molecular, cellular and nutritional mechanisms leading to the dysfunction of skeletal muscle during ageing, particularly the condition of sarcopenia, in which muscle mass and muscle function decline due to age. Sarcopenia involves multiple pathophysiological processes such as impaired neuro-muscular transition, altered excitation/contraction coupling, impaired regenerative capacity linked to stem cell exhaustion, defects of mitochondrial and energy metabolism in myofibers, and finally marbling of skeletal muscle with fat and fibrosis.
    Our recent work has demonstrated that neuromuscular dysfunction is a major driver of sarcopenia (Pannerec et al, Aging 2016) and that remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) during muscle regeneration is blunted in the aged muscle stem cell niche and can be targeted therapeutically (Lukjanenko et al., Nature Medicine 2016).
    Expertise: Muscle biology, aging, exercise, molecular control of rodent physiology.



    Lütolf, Matthias

    Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering, Institute of Bioengineering, School of Life Sciences (SV) and School of Engineering (STI), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne.
    Lab website: https://lscb.epfl.ch

    Research interests: By interfacing advanced biomaterials engineering, microtechnology and stem cell biology, the overarching goal of the Lutolf Laboratory is to uncover mechanisms of stem cell fate regulation; knowledge that will contribute to better ways to grow stem cells in culture and use them for various applications. A major current focus of the lab is on coaxing stem cells in vitro into miniature, organ-mimicking constructs, termed ‘organoids’, by exposing them to well-controlled artificial signaling microenvironments.
    Expertise: Bioengineering, Stem Cells, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, Microfluidics, Single Cell Analysis, High-Throughput Screening.

    Keynote Speaker of the joint Swiss and German Matrix Biology 2018 Meeting

    St. Gallen

    Maniura, Katharina
    Biointerfaces, Materials meet Life, Empa
    Lab website: https://www.empa.ch/web/empa/biointerfaces​
    Twitter: @Biointerfaces2
    CV: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katharina-maniura-9a16a9b4/​
    Research interests: The Biointerface team is active in research and development of novel materials-based healthcare solutions. We thrive to understand, characterise, and steer interactions of biomolecules, bacteria and human cells at materials surfaces. We study biointerfaces which encompass natural interfaces between biomolecules, their assemblies and water, between cells and extracellular matrix, between populations of bacteria and human cells and their surroundings and those between the biological environment and materials for medical applications.
    Expertise: Biomaterials, Regenerative Medicine, Infection of (Implant)Materials, Antimicrobial Resistance, Extra Cellular Matrix, Mechanobiology
    Rottmar, Markus
    Group Leaser
    Cells at surfaces group, Biointerfaces, Materials meet Life, Empa
    Lab website: https://www.empa.ch/web/s404/cells-at-surfaces
    CV: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markus-rottmar-3ba5031/​
    Research interests: The cells at surfaces group aims to understand the mechanisms of how human cells and tissues interact with materials/material surfaces and, in close collaboration with clinics and industry, to use this knowledge for the development of novel materials for unmet clinical needs.
    Expertise: Osseointegration, blood-material interaction, skin wound healing, 2D/3D cell culture models, biomaterials, fluorescence microscopy


    Bordoli, Mattia
    Research Unit of Prof. Sabine Werner, Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH
    Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich
    Lab website: http://www.mhs.biol.ethz.ch/research/werner/group-members-werner/bordoli.html
    Research interests: Regulation of extracellular matrix remodeling in health and disease.
    Expertise: Secreted kinases, extracellular phosphorylation, fibrosis, tumor invasion, regeneration, wound healing

    Ewald, Collin
    Assistant Professor
    Extracellular Matrix Regeneration Laboratory, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://ewaldlab.com
    CV on LinkedIn, Twitter: @CollinEwald
    Research interests: Our recent work has shown that many health- and longevity-promoting interventions re-activate the expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) genes during aging (Ewald et al., Nature 2015, PMID:25517099). This ECM enhancement is required and sufficient for extending the lifespan of C. elegans. Our research efforts are focusing on exploring the mechanism(s) of how prolonged ECM homeostasis promotes healthy aging.
    Expertise: C. elegans ECM, aging, protein aggregation, neurodegeneration (Alzheimer's disease), Insulin/IGF-1 signaling, NADPH oxidases, ROS, oxidative stress.

    Giunta, Cecilia
    Research interests: Improve the understanding of the pathomorphogenesis of the inherited connective tissue disorders Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Role of collagen folding, secretion, assembly and extracellular matrix homeostasis in health and disease.
    Expertise: Collagen, ER-stress, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Osteogenesis imperfecta, disease variants.

    Mazza, Edoardo
    Institute for Mechanical System, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://www.zfm.ethz.ch/e/biomechanics/
    CV: http://www.imes.ethz.ch/people/Prof-Dr-Edoardo-Mazza.html​

    Research interests: Experimental continuum mechanics, applied for the solution of challenging problems in engineering and medicine. The deformation mechanisms of soft biological tissues in human organs is characterized at all relevant length scales and is described with appropriate mathematical models. Knowledge of tissues properties is used for diagnosis, and for biomedical simulations. Tissue engineered and synthetic biomedical materials, mesh implants, and cardiovascular prosthetic devices are evaluated in terms of “mechanical biocompatibility”. See also: www.hochschulmedizin.uzh.ch/zurichheart, www.hochschulmedizin.ch/skintegrity.

    Expertise: Multiaxial in-situ and in-vivo biomechanical testing, traction force microscopy, cell-matrix interaction, chemo-mechanical coupling, fracture mechanics of soft collagenous tissues, multiphase continuum models, discrete fiber network models.

    Moeller, Jens
    Research Unit of Prof. Viola Vogel, Laboratory of Applied Mechanobiology, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://www.appliedmechanobio.ethz.ch/the-laboratory/people/scientific-assistants/Jens0.html
    CV on LinkedIn
    Research interests: We develop advanced 2D/3D culture platforms to study how the biochemical and physical properties of the cellular microenvironment affect cell and microtissue function, with particular focus on the mechanical aspects of immune cells/tissue - bacteria interactions.
    Mechanotransduction, biophysics, surface functionalization, biomaterials.
    Expertise: microfabrication, in vitro 2D/3D cell culture systems, advanced light microscopy, AFM, microfluidics, image analysis.

    Raghunath, Michael
    Cell Biology & Tissue Engineering, Institute for Chemistry and Biotechnology (ICBT), Zurich University of Applied Sciences
    Lab websites: www.tissuemodulation.com; www.zhaw.ch
    CV on LinkedIn
    Research interests: Applied matrix biology using macromolecular crowding.
    Collagen, fibrillin, heritable connective tissue disorders, stem cell microenvironment, brown fat differntiation, mesenchymal progenitor cells.
    adult stem cell differentiation, dermatology, matrix biology

    Snedeker, Jess
    University and ETH Zürich
    Lab website: www.biomechanics.ch
    Research interests: Collagen, Tendon, Advanced Glycation Endproducts.
    Expertise: Biomechanics, Biophysics, Collagen, Tendon, Musculoskeletal Science, Biomedical Engineering.
    Stockmann, Christian
    Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich
    Lab website: https://www.anatomy.uzh.ch/en/research/stockmann.html​
    Twitter: @LabUzh
    Research interests: The interplay of Immunity and the vasculature during tissue Remodeling. The infiltration of inflammatory cells into hypoxic tissue microenvironments and subsequent formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) or remodeling of the existing vasculature are central features of physiological wound healing responses as well as the pathophysiological processes of fibrosis both. Immune cells are able to release large amounts of angiogenic factors in response to hypoxia. By using in vivo models with conditional knockouts in different immune cell subsets, we investigate the effect of inflammatory angiogenesis in various physiological and pathophysiological processes. Current projects focus on the hypoxic response in Innate Lymphoid Cells during tissue regeneration and organ fibrosis after injury.
    Expertise: In-vivo models of fibrosis and tissue regeneration, Flow cytometry, imaging of vascular remodeling, hypoxia, immunology.
    Werner, Sabine
    Institute for Molecular Health Sciences, Department of Biology, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://www.mhs.biol.ethz.ch/research/werner/research-werner.html​
    Research interests: Tissue injury initiates a series of events, which lead to at least partial reconstruction of the affected body site. Many conditions are associated with impaired tissue repair, including old age, steroid treatment and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. A prerequisite for the improvement of impaired healing is a thorough understanding of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Our laboratory studies these mechanisms, focusing on the roles of growth factors and reactive oxygen species in the repair process. One of the most exciting aspects of our work is the analysis of the parallels between tissue repair and cancer. We use state-of-the art approaches, including functional genomics and proteomics, 2D and 3D primary cell culture systems, and genetically modified mice for our research. Through collaboration with clinical partners we determine the importance of our findings for the human situation (see also SKINTEGRITY - a flagship project of "Hochschulmedizin Zurich", which is chaired by Sabine Werner - www.hochschulmedizin.ch/skintegrity).
    Keynote Speaker of the SSMB 2019 Annual Meeting
    Wolfrum, Christian
    Translational Nutrition Biology, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Research interests: Adipocyte formation and function. Adipocyte Biology, brown adipocyte, white adipocyte, metabolism.
    Expertise: molecular biology, physiology.

    Wuetz-Kozak, Karin
    Immunoengineering & Regenerative Medicine, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Research interests: Understanding pathobiological processes; modulating inflammation and inducing regeneration in various tissues; mechanotransduction, TRP channels; inflammation; tissue degeneration and remodeling; interaction between resident cells and bacteria; smart biomaterials.
    Expertise: electrospinning; immunomodulation; cell/molecular biology; inflammatory pathways; mechanical stimulation; TRP channels; biodrug.

    Vogel, Viola
    Laboratory of Applied Mechanobiology, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://www.appliedmechanobio.ethz.ch/
    Research interests: Mechanobiology of the extracellular matrix. Exploiting nanotechnology tools to decipher how bacteria and mammalian cells and micro-tissues exploit mechanical forces to recognize and respond to material properties and to their native environments.
    Expertise: Applied mechanobiology, nanotechnology, molecular dynamics simulations, molecular tension probes, super-resolution microscopy, electron microscopy, traction force microscopy, and substrate patterning and functionalization.
    Keynote Speaker of the SSMB 2017 Annual Meeting
    Yalak, Garif

    Research Unit of Prof. Viola Vogel, Laboratory of Applied Mechanobiology, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
    Lab website: http://www.appliedmechanobio.ethz.ch/
    Research interests: Secreted kinases and extracellular phosphorylation.
    Expertise: bioinformatics, computational biology, personalized health


    Zenobi-Wong, Marcy


    Tissue Engineering and Biofabrication, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich

    Lab website: www.biofabrication.ethz.ch

    Twitter: @ZenobiWongLab

    Research interests: Cartilage tissue engineering and regeneration.

    Expertise: Cartilage matrix, scaffolds, tissue engineering, inflammation, biomaterials, bioprinting, growth factors.