Marco Osterwalder_Image Uni_Bern_Medienm

Marco Osterwalder, PhD


Group Leader

Marco is a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Assistant Professor at the Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR) at the University of Bern. Before joining the DBMR, he performed his postdoc in the Mammalian Functional Genomics Laboratory of Len Pennacchio, Axel Visel and Diane Dickel at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (California, USA). Prior to this, Marco received a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Basel while working on novel genome engineering methods and transcription factor networks in the Developmental Genetics Lab of Rolf Zeller.

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Julie Gamart, PhD


Lab Manager & Technician

Julie grew up in between the Sea and the city of Lille in the picturesque North of France. She received an M.Sc degree following research stays in New York and Paris. Julie then obtained her Ph.D. degree in the Zeller-Zuniga Lab at the Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel where she used embryonic stem cell aggregation and CRISPR/Cas9 technology to study interactions of developmental signaling pathways. Julie also is very talented in drawing and has created all the artwork found on our lab website.

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Virginia Roland Victor, MSc


PhD Student

Born in Washington D.C. Virginia grew up in Barcelona and Frankfurt am Main. She received her MSc in Molecular Medicine and a BSc in Life Sciences from Goethe University in Frankfurt including a major in Biochemistry from Universidad de Granada (Spain). During her Master studies she worked at the Paul Ehrlich Institute near Frankfurt, at the Frazer laboratory of the University of California San Diego as a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) fellow and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Barcelona and completed her Master Thesis on the RNA-interactome in T-cell leukemia (T-ALL) in response to HDAC inhibition treatment at the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU of the EMBL and Heidelberg University Hospital). Her research interest lies at the intersection of genetics, stem cell-developmental and genome biology. The main focus of her doctoral research is on cis-regulatory interactions and functions of cardiac transcription factor enhancers during mouse heart morphogenesis.


Matteo Zoia, MSc


PhD Student

Matteo grew up in Comano, a small town located in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland (Ticino). He received an M.Sc degree at the Anatomy Department of the University of Fribourg. This project was focused on Malaria, an illness caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, with particular emphasis on the metabo-immunological cerebral complications resulting from the infection. His research emphasized Microglial transcriptome modifications as a result of cell-cell interactions with pathogenic metabolites. Matteo’s passion for genetic research is driven by the undiscovered latent regulatory potential of specific DNA segments in our genomes, a potentially precious aid in the prospect of empowered clinical therapeutics.


Vincent Rapp, MSc


PhD Student

Vincent grew up in Uffheim, a small village in France next to the border of Switzerland and Germany. He obtained his M.Sc in Biomedical Sciences and his B.Sc in Biology at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). Vincent conducted his Master Thesis in the lab of Thierry Pedrazzini (CHUV) working on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) associated with cardiac fibroblast function and heart regeneration. He previously also worked in the Ocampo Lab (UNIL) and gained experience in the study of age-associated phenotypes by Oct4-mediated cellular reprogramming. His research interest is centred on epigenetics, stem cells, development and heart disease. The main focus of his PhD project is to dissect the genomic cis-regulatory logic controlling expression of Tbx5 and Mef2c genes, critical regulators of various cardiac compartments and involved in heart disease.