Meet the team

Our Amazing Team

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Prof. Dr. Emma Wetter Slack

Group Leader

Emma is a British/Swiss scientist who trained in Cambridge, London, Hamilton (Onatario) and Bern before joining the ETH Zürich. She is now a Professor of Mucosal Immunology at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology. She is fascinated by how the immune system works in the context of complex microbial communities, and in applying both wet-lab and computational biology approaches to these problems.

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Dr. Elisabetta Cacace

Postdoctoral Researcher

Elisabetta Cacace is a shared postdoctoral fellow between the groups of Emma Slack and Shinichi Sunagawa at ETH Zurich since 2023. She obtained her MD and MSc from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, and her PhD from EMBL Heidelberg. She currently focuses on host-commensal interactions, using a combination of computational and experimental approaches to study nitrogen metabolism in the human gut microbiome.

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Dr. Noëmi Rebecca Meier

Project Manager

Noëmi is a scientist who has worked in infectious disease research in Switzerland and abroad before joining ETH Zürich as a project manager. In her current role she is supporting the Microbiota Engineering project to facilitate research activities across this multi-investigator project.

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Elisa Cappio Barazzone

PhD Student

Elisa obtained her BSc degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Turin and her MSc degree in Molecular Biosciences from the University of Heidelberg. She then joined Emma's group for her PhD, working on a Botnar Research Centre for Child Health project aimed at developing microbiota engineering tools for the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism.

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Kateryna Vershynina

Intern

Kateryna Vershynina studied at the National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" (Industrial biotechnology) and is now an intern, working with Dr. Tim Keys on the purification of glycopolysaccharides.

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Suwannee Ganguillet

PhD Student

After completing a Bachelor in Biology at the University of Lausanne, Suwannee continued her studies at ETH Zurich, where she joined the Mucosal Immunology group for her Master's Thesis. After briefly exploring the industry-side of research on the microbiota in a pharmaceutical company, she is now back in the lab to conduct her Ph.D.

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Dr. Alice de Wouters d'Oplinter

Research Associate

Alice completed her PhD in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in Belgium, focusing on the effects of the gut microbiota on the host metabolism. She recently joined Emma Slack’s lab as a research associate, working in collaboration with the start-up PharmaBiome to elucidate the pharmacology, safety and dosing of a novel bacterial drug candidate for reversal of dysbiosis in acute graft-versus-host disease.

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Selma Aslani

Technical Specialist

Selma studied Health Sciences and Technology and joined the Mucosal Immunology group for her 2nd Research Project & Master's Thesis. After her graduation she worked as a research associate in the pharmaceutical industry. Now she re-joined the lab as a technical specialist for oral vaccine production.

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Dr. Markus Arnoldini

Senior Assistant

Markus wants to understand how the ecology of the gut microbiota and host physiology influence each other, and how we can use this understanding to improve health outcomes. He trained at ETH Zürich and UC San Diego in evolutionary microbiology/quantitative biology.

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Dr. Tim Keys

Junior Group Leader

Tim studied in Brisbane and worked at the Institute for Glycomics on the Gold Coast (Australia) and the Hannover Medical School (Germany) before joining the Institute of Microbiology at the ETH Zürich. His research projects cover the intersections of protein biochemistry, enzyme engineering, microbial glycan biosynthesis and synthetic biology. In 2020, Tim joined the Mucosal Immunology lab as junior group leader.

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Niina Ruoho

Technician

Before joining the mucosal immunology group, Niina studied environmental sciences and worked as a research technician at the University of Helsinki. She enjoys the international & collegial atmosphere of the group and is fascinated by the connection between microbiomes and health. In her freetime Niina enjoys exploring the great Swiss outdoors (as long as it’s safe) and filling her apartment with succulents.

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Tom Kloter

PhD Student

Tom is a swiss PhD student who completed his Bachelor and Master degree at ETH Zurich. After a year of brain tumor research at the Children's Hospital Zurich, he returned to ETH to pursue his doctoral studies in the mucosal immunology group. His project focuses on elucidating the mechanism behind surface antigen focusing in bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract and the lung.

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Ronja Rappold

PhD Student

Ronja is a doctoral student at ETH Zürich and works at the interplay of biomechanics and gastrointestinal physiology. She is applying state of the art imaging techniques to investigate the influence of gastrointestinal diseases on the mechanical properties of the surrounding gut tissue.

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Dr. Milad Radiom

Senior assistant

Milad received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and thereafter was working as a researcher in University of Geneva, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Université de Paris. He has now joined the Laboratory for Mucosal Immunology to investigate the biophysics of antibody-bacterial glycan interactions. His research interests are in soft condensed matter, interfaces and biophysics with particular attention to mechanical forces and surface interactions in synthetic and biological systems.

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Claudia Moresi

Research Technician

Claudia rejoined the group again after a break working as a technician.

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Giorgia Greter

PhD Student

Giorgia is a Swiss/Italian PhD student who completed her studies in New York and Zurich before beginning her doctoral studies at ETH Zürich. She is interested in microbial population dynamics and metabolism in the gut, and is working on developing lab and model-based techniques to evaluate these complex relationships.

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Dr. Yagmur George Turgay

Senior Scientist

Yagmur studied biochemistry in Frankfurt, Germany, before completing his PhD at the Institute of Biochemistry at ETH Zürich. After having worked in a biotech company developing glycodesigned antibodies, he joined Emma’s lab as a senior scientist. In his current role he is interested in modalities of antibody-glycan interactions for the development of oral vaccines.

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Louise Larsson

PhD Student

Louise completed her M.Sc. in Biotechnology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden before moving to Switzerland in September 2020 to pursue her PhD. As a part of the Microbiota Engineering Project, she aims to develop tools for precise engineering of the gut microflora.

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Swapan Preet

PhD Student

Swapan studied Biotechnology at the University of Milan-Bicocca and did her ERASMUS internship at the Centre for Misfolding Diseases, University of Cambridge, where she worked as a research assistant before joining Emma Slack's lab as a PhD student. She is working on a NCCR project where she will investigate the role of intestinal antibodies in controlling the non-E.coli components of simplified microbiota.

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Cheickna Diawara

PhD Student

Cheickna is a Malian/German PhD student who trained at Goethe-University Frankfurt (BSc) and at ETH Zurich (MSc). His background is in microbiology, immunology and biochemistry. He is passionate about public health in low-income countries and investigates the role of secretory IgA in combating bacterial gut infections.

Alumni

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Dr. Kathrin Moor (PhD Student)

Regulatory Affairs Specialist, University Hospital Zurich

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    Sara Berent (Master Student)

    PhD Student, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne

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    Naomi Dünki (Master Student)

    Medical Science Liaison, Novartis (Japan)

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    Tobias Geiser (Bachelor Student)

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    Dr. Corina Matthew (Postdoc)

    Felllow in Clinical Development, Novartis (Switzerland)

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    Basak Corak (Master Student)

    PhD Student, Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich

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    Daria Künzli (Master Student)

    Research Assistant, Igis

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    Alicia Halbach (Intern)

    Bachelor Student, University College London

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    Katja Sommer (Intern)

    Master Student, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

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    Helena Schmitt (Master Student)

    Research Intern, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich (Mathys Group)

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    Ioana Domocos (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zurich

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    Elena Melgarejo Ros (Semester Project Student)

    Intern, Institute of Microbiology, ETH Zurich (Hardt Group)

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    Julien Huttman (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Nina Zuber (Intern)

    Medical Student, ETH Zurich

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    Raffael Schumann (Research Assistant)

    Research Assistant, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, England)

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    Lucas Piech (Master Student)

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    Ursina Enz (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Gianna La Regina (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Julien Chabbey (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Daniel Hoces Burga (PhD Student)

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University (USA)

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    Joelle Kägi (Master Student)

    CMC Development Associate, LimmaTech Biologics AG (Schlieren)

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    Till Germerdonk (Intern)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Erica Faccin (Research Technician & Laboratory Manager)

    Radio Oncology Research Technician, University Hospital Zurich

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    Michael Berger (Semester Project Student)

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    Stefanie Oswald (Master Student, Intern)

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    Tea Sonicki (Intern)

    PhD Student, University of Sorbonne

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    Ali Ahmed (Master Student)

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    Florian Stückelberger (Master Student)

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    Benjamin Meier (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Kai Hofmänner (Master Student)

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    Patrizia Burkhard (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Caroline Xu (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Nina Maire (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Jens Scheidegger

    Biomedical Scientist, University Hospital Balgrist

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    Valentina Monnerat (Master Student)

    Intern, EPFL

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    Johanna Zehnder (Master Student)

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    Isabella Aigner (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Jasmine Kaur (Semester Project Student)

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    Paula Düllmann (Master Student)

    Intern, Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office

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    Sofia Sponda (Master Student)

    Intern, Nestlé

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    Sandra Garibay (Semester Project Student)

    Lab Assistant, ETH Zurich

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    Shirin de Viragh (Intern)

    Medical Student, ETH Zurich

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    Jana Näf (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Jacqueline Rehner (PhD Exchange Student)

    PhD Student, Saarland University

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    Nadia Yorke (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Nicola Realini (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Eva Rigendinger (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Michelle Knecht (Semester Project Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Despoina Dimakou (Semester Student)

    Master Student, ETH Zurich

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    Paula Wagner (Semester Project Student)

    Bachelor Student, ETH Zurich

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    Jackie Raïssa Ndem (PhD Student)

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    Dr. Verena Lentsch (PhD Student)

    Postdoc, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford