Welcome to the community

We are proud to welcome our new members. Read on to learn about their research expertise, their motivations and what they love about Zurich.

Name and Surname: Isaac Canals
Position: Assistant Professor for Human Translational Stem Cell Research
Institute: Children’s Hospital Zurich, Division of Metabolism and URRP ITINERARE

Research focus: My team’s work is focused on understanding the disease mechanisms of rare neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders affecting children. We use human in vitro models derived from patient-induced pluripotent stem cells. With a better understanding of the alterations occurring in neurons and glia, we aim to contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for children suffering from this devastating disorders.
Last professional stations: Department of Experimental Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden
My motivation to do my research: I really enjoy the opportunity that this job gives me to constantly learn from past experiences and from discussions with collaborators. I am really excited to contribute to a better understanding of the cellular biology of the brain, how different cell types interact with each other and drive pathological processes. And above all, I want to put my grain of sand to help children affected by severe neurological disorders.
My insider tip for Zurich: You can enjoy one of the best chocolate croissants at Hubertus Café. If you have children, you can take them to the WOW museum or to the playground at Sonnenberg, where you can enjoy a great view of the city and the lake.
Contact: isaac.canals@uzh.ch
Website: https://www.kispi.uzh.ch/node/2744

Name and Surname: Tatjana Kleele
Position: Assistant Professor
Institute: Institute of Biochemistry (D-BIOL, ETHZ)
Research focus: My group studyies mitochondria, and we are curious to understand how neurons ensure lifelong adaptation and rejuvenation of their mitochondria pool. Using super-resolution microscopy and -omics approaches, we are exploring the diverse mechanisms regulating mitochondrial biogenesis, remodelling and clearance, which ensure neuronal homeostasis.
Last professional station: I obtained a PhD in Neuroscience (TU Munich) and did my postdoctoral training in Experimental Biophysics at EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland.
My motivation to do my research: I am fascinated by life at all scales – from molecules to human behavior. It intrigues me that a handful of molecules can built complex structures such as the human brain. My work allows me to be creative, interact with many fantastic students and inspiring scientists and to discover new principles about life every day.
My insider tip for Zurich: I am still a newbie in Zürich, so I don’t have much insider information, but I love cycling around Greifensee, walking up the lookout tower at Loorenkopf or visiting the Zoo with my kids.
Contact: https://bc.biol.ethz.ch/research/kleele-group

Name and Surname: Manuel Schröter
Position: Group leader at the Bio Engineering Laboratory
Institute: Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (BSSE), ETH Zurich
Research focus: I study the mechanisms and organizational principles underlying neuronal network development and function in both health and disease. To achieve these goals, my team and I utilize human induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived neuronal cultures, high-density microelectrode arrays, and advanced analytical techniques such as machine learning and graph theory. Our immediate goal is to apply this methodology to gain a deeper understanding of the role of specific genes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.
Last professional station: Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK
My motivation to do my research: I am fascinated by the intricate solutions that nervous systems have developed to interact with the world around us. I am convinced that we can learn a great deal about their astonishing functions by studying neuronal development. I am also interested in more applied, translational research. Today’s stem-cell technology offers exciting new opportunities to study neurological disorders in human cellular models in vitro, to dissect their neuropathological drivers, and to search for urgently needed new therapeutic approaches.
My insider tip for Zurich: As the group is based in Basel, I would encourage making a trip to visit the new BSSE building in Basel. The top floor of the BSSE building is open to the public, and we arguably have the best coffee in town. Besides that, Basel is not only a bio/pharma hotspot but also a cultural hub; it is home to numerous museums, the Art Basel fair, and the Basel Fasnacht.
Contact: https://bsse.ethz.ch/bel