10th Conference of the International PhD Program in Life Sciences

January 31st - February 2nd, 2018, Leukerbad


Key Dates

Registration deadline
October 30th, 2017
Abstract submission deadline
November 13th, 2017
Cancelation deadline (no refund after)
December 9th, 2017
Conference Dates
31st January - 2nd February
10th anniversary logo

Keynote Speakers

Costas Bekas

Costas Bekas

Costas Bekas is managing the Foundations of Cognitive Computing group at IBM Research-Zurich. Costas's main research interests span High Performance Computing, massive scale analytics and cognitive computing, energy aware algorithms and architectures.

Costas received B. Eng., Msc and PhD diplomas, all from the Computer Engineering & Informatics Department, University of Patras, Greece, in 1998, 2001 and 2003 respectively. Between 2003-2005, he worked as a postdoctoral associate with prof. Yousef Saad at the Computer Science & Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, USA. He has been with IBM since September 2005.

Costas received best papers awards at key venues such as IPDPS and NIPS, he is also a recipient of the PRACE 2012 award and the ACM Gordon Bell 2013 and 2015 prizes

Daniel Ramón

Daniel Ramòn

Daniel Ramón obtained his PhD degree working at the Department of Molecular Genetics of the pharmaceutical company Antibióticos S.A. Then he moved to the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands as a post-doc. He was Professor of Food Technology at both the National Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Valencia. Currently he is vice president of R&D on Human Nutrition at Archers Daniel Midland (ADM) and Chief Scientific Officer of Biopolis, a microbial biotech company subsidiary of ADM. He is author of 150 articles in peer reviewed journals and co-author of more than 100 patents, most of them transferred as products in the market.

José Silva

Ksenia Tugay

José received his first degree in Biology from the University of Porto, in Portugal. He joined the GABBA graduate program from University of Porto and then went on to do his PhD studies at Imperial College under the supervision of Professor Neil Brockdorff on heritable silencing mechanisms during mouse development. In 2003 and following his PhD, José moved to Professor Austin Smith's laboratory at the University of Edinburgh as an EMBO post-doctoral fellow to investigate factors involved in nuclear reprogramming. This work has led to the identification of Nanog as the first defined gene with nuclear reprogramming capacity in the conversion of a somatic cell into pluripotency. In 2008 José started his own lab at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute investigating mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming. Currently, José is a Wellcome-Trust Senior Research Fellow. His work has defined roles and mechanisms by which the key drivers of nuclear reprogramming work. He is also applying this novel knowledge into other biological contexts such as X-chromosome-inactivation and stem cell potency.

Lab website
External Lab website

Ksenia Tugay

Ksenia Tugay

Ksenia Tugay is originally from Russia, Moscow. She has done her PhD at the University of Lausanne. For the past 2 years Ksenia has been working for the organisations supporting startup creation, development and innovation such as Inartis Foundation, MassChallenge Switzerland, Impact Hub Geneva and Swiss EdTech Collider as well as freelancing as a consultant in business development and digital marketing. Today, Ksenia is the Director of Professional Development at EasyCare Academy. She is also a founder of a non-for profit project BioMonki that empowers transitioning academics through storytelling.


Conference Overview

The 10th International PhD Conference in Life Sciences aims to bring together PhD students from different fields offering a chance to present their research in front of a miscellaneous audience and promoting communication and open discussions among participants. The conference is organized by students participating in the International PhD program in Life Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Geneva. The program offers an outstanding research environment for studies in the biomedical and life science fields. All students in the program take part in a common curriculum creating a team spirit and facilitating exchange of ideas and experiences.

This year, more than 70 students, their group leaders and four internationally recognized invited speakers will meet at the conference. The three-day event is split into six sessions chaired by the organizers. About one student per group will give a talk while other participants will present their work in one of the two poster sessions.

Thirty-four laboratories spread across all departments of the Section of Biology participate in the International PhD program in Life Sciences.

Participating Laboratories

  • Biochemistry

    Marcos González-Gaitán, Jean Gruenberg, Marko Kaksonen (co-chair of the PhD program), Howard Riezman, Aurélien Roux, Thierry Soldati
  • Cell biology

    Sandra Citi, Paul Guichard, Jean-Claude Martinou, Didier Picard, Françoise Stutz
  • Genetics and Evolution

    Denis Duboule, Brigitte Galliot, François Karch, Michel Milinkovitch, Juan Montoya, Jan Pawlowski, Ivan Rodriguez, Emi Nagoshi (co-chair of the PhD program)
  • Molecular biology

    Thanos Halazonetis, Robbie Loewith, Jean-Marc Matter, Ramesh Pillai, Thomas Schalch, David Shore, Florian Steiner
  • Plant biology

    Teresa Fitzpatrick, Michel Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michael Hothorn, Luis Lopez-Molina, Xavier Perret, Roman Ulm
  • NovImmune

    Amanda Proudfoot, Nicolas Fisher

Organising Committee

Sagar Khavnekar: Sagar.Khavnekar@unige.ch
Mateusz Mendel: Mateusz.Mendel@unige.ch
Marta Pesquera: Marta.Pesquera@unige.ch
Priscille Steensma: Priscille.Steensma@unige.ch
Alessandro Stirpe: Alessandro.Stirpe@unige.ch
Ekaterina Vasileva: Ekaterina.Vasileva@unige.ch


For any enquiries please email to: retreat-biophd2018@unige.ch