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Current Members

Osterwalder Lab 230825

from left to right:
Yasmine Lydia Tschuy (Master Student BMS), Vincent Rapp (PhD Student), Matteo Zoia (PhD Student), Virginie Tissières (Lab Manager & Research Technician), Christian Zuppinger (Collaborator NRP79 HeartX), Virginia Roland (PhD Student), Marco Osterwalder (Group Leader), Ekapaksi Wisnurmurti (Master Student MLS)

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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Virginie Tissières, PhD


Lab Manager & Research Technician

Virginie grew up in Chermignon, a small village in the Swiss alps. She received her BSc and MSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Basel. Virginie then obtained her Ph.D degree from the university of Basel, working in the laboratory of Dr. Javier Lopez-Rios first in the Department of Biomedicine in Basel and then since 2018, in the Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo in Seville, Spain. She used CRISPR/Cas9 to dissect the regulation of the gene Ptch1 during mouse limb development and evolution. She then went on to do a postdoc in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Juanma Vaquerizas, first in the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, Germany and since October 2021 in the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences in London, United-Kingdom. There, she worked on the function of evolutionary conserved 3D genome architecture in the context of neural gene regulation.  

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Lisa Conrad, PhD


Postdoc (NRP79 HeartX project)

Lisa joined the Osterwalder lab in May 2023 as a postdoc, investigating the temporal and cell type specific control of heart chamber formation by cis-regulatory elements relevant to human development and disease. She is excited to use a novel in vitro 3D cardioid model of the left ventricle in combination with state-of-the-art tools to screen for active enhancer elements and to functionally test them in the context of the human heart. Her PhD research in the group of Prof Iber at ETH Zurich focused on the live imaging-based study of morphogenesis in the developing lung and kidney. Before that, Lisa studied biology and molecular medicine at the University of Freiburg and the Charité Berlin (Germany), and at Uppsala University (Sweden). Outside of the lab, Lisa enjoys spending time with family and friends, diving, and the beautiful Swiss nature.

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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 is from Uffheim, a village in the Alsace (France) next to the borders to 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.

Past Members

Julie Gamart, PhD   Lab Manager & Research Technician   (06.20-09.22)

Yasmina El Fata   Master Student (UniBE, Biomedical Sciences)   (08.22-01.23)

Chiara Weltert   Master Student (UniBE, Human Medicine)   (10.22-12.22)

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