I joined the group of Jean-Louis Reymond at the University of Bern as a PhD student in medicinal chemistry in January 2020. My project in the NCCR TransCure is about specific targeting of astrocytes and their transporters. We aim to further our understanding of the contribution of astrocytic transmitter release in normal and pathological function of the central nervous system. In collaboration with the Volterra lab at the University of Lausanne, we synthesise and test small molecule inhibitors of the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) in astrocytes. The combination of expertise of different scientific disciplines (structural biology and chemistry) in this project makes for successful research, which is in my opinion the biggest strength of the NCCR TransCure.
After earning a MSc in Medical Biology and a PhD in Epidemiology with a specialty in Social Epidemiology, I am currently working as a Research Fellow in the lab of Murielle Bochud at the Unisanté Lausanne. I am involved in multiple research projects using population-based data. In the framework of the NCCR TransCure, I perform multi-OMICS studies related to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and investigate their effects on zinc transport, as well as the role of urea and its transporters in the context of chronic kidney disease and declining kidney function. While using an epidemiology-based approach, I and other members of the Bochud lab aim to provide an epidemiological perspective to membrane transporter research, and to set up multidisciplinary projects linking population-based research with experimental sciences.
Clémence Delalande (Alumni)
After completing my PhD at the University of Bern in the group of Jean-Louis Reymond, I was awarded an Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship from the SNSF to work at the University of Chicago at the interface between medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Currently, I am employed at GDBspace, a company that provides drug discovery services using a unique technology that combines chemical space theory with artificial intelligence to identify molecules of interest in a precise and time-efficient manner. Being part of the NCCR TransCure, I had the chance to work in multidisciplinary and international teams from whom I learned a lot. It was a strong, empowering environment, particularly as a woman in science, and I discovered a lot about myself, learned new skills and expanded my horizon in terms of career prospects.
Ioannis Manolaridis (Alumni)
I was an NCCR Transcure Fellow in Kaspar Locher’s lab at ETH Zurich for five-and-a-half years The main goal of my research was to understand substrate recognition and transport by the human multidrug transporter ABCG2, as well as its specific inhibition by small and large molecules (such as anti-cancer drugs and antibodies). ABCG2 extrudes anti-tumour compounds in cancer cells, thus contributing to multidrug resistance. The NCCR TransCure fostered a collaborative environment, bringing together the expertise of the Locher, Stahlberg and Altmann labs, and resulting in the first ever high-resolution 3D structure of any human multidrug transporter. This unique combination of knowhow created a robust platform that facilitated the in-depth study of ABCG2, produced many high-profile publications and, in the future, could provide a basis for structure-guided design of novel inhibitors and modulators against cancer. Since 2019, I have been working for the Swiss Biotech leadXpro AG, successfully applying my structural biology expertise to a diverse set of pharmacologically relevant membrane proteins.