Personalized Health Technologies and Translational Research Conference 2018

A conference on personalized health tools & technologies, addressing the community providing services to biomedical and translational researchers and the translational research for health care in and around Switzerland

When? June 18 to 21, 2018

Where? ETH Zurich, Switzerland


The registration for the conference has been extended. There will be the opportunity to register for the conference on site. Please go to the conference office to register and collect your badge in that case.

Registration deadline: extended
Poster abstract deadline: closed
Contributed talk abstract deadline: closed
Subsidized accommodation deadline: closed


The next steps in personalized health. This conference brings together experts from multiple disciplines to explore present and future directions in the field of personalized health technologies and translational research. The goal is to tackle challenges in chemical hit identification, lead development, molecular circuit analyses, clinical bioinformatics, and multivariate statistics, as well as their application in innovative clinical personalized health approaches in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, neurology, and cardiology.

From patient samples to molecular read outs. Progress in the laboratory representation of clinical material has enabled novel possibilities for discovery and diagnostics with thus far unrivaled proximity to the patient. Advanced cell systems such as organoids allow for in-depth molecular profiling and functional studies as well as investigation of responses to chemical and therapeutic agents. Combined with high-throughput screening and chemical biology, empirical projects of very large scope have not only become conceivable but also present themselves with feasible turnaround time.

Integration of molecular modalities and global knowledge. The continuous development of next-generation sequencing and mass spectrometry measurements allow for high-resolution characterization of biomolecules derived from patient samples or mouse models of disease. While early challenges of storage and compute capacity have largely been addressed, present ones are the integration and combined analysis of multifaceted data, including public online resources.

The future of translation — together. Research and development for personalized health show the greatest promise when all stakeholders collaborate closely. This includes the academic and clinical institutions, core facilities and medical labs, as well as hospitals and ultimately the patients.

Speakers for Tools & Technologies

Calvin Kuo
Stanford University
Olivier Elemento
Weill Cornell Medicine
Lillian L. Siu
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Nikolaus Schultz
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Speakers for Translational Research

Spiros Denaxas
University College London
Rebecca Kristeleit
University College London
Giusi Moffa
University Hospital Basel
Carl H. June
University of Pennsylvania
Mikael Pittet
Massachusetts General Hospital
Antonio Lanzavecchia
Università della Svizzera italiana

Sergio Quezada
University College London Cancer Institute
Francesco Paneni
University Hospital Zurich
Alessandra Curioni
University Hospital Zurich
Adrian Ochsenbein
University Hospital Bern
Michael Huber
University of Zurich
Jacques Schrenzel
University of Geneva Hospitals
Zlatko Trajanoski
Medical University of Innsbruck
Roger Kouyos
University Hospital Zurich
Andreas Lutterotti
University Hospital Zurich
Rebecca Burkholz
ETH Zurich
Ivo Strebel
University Hospital Basel
Isabelle Mansuy
University Hospital and ETH Zurich
Philip Gribbon
Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology

Main Sponsors

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. Roche Diagnostics is the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

The biotechnet Switzerland helps you access a wide variety of competencies in biotechnology of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences, Universities and Research and Technology Organizations. Many industrial partners have relied on our proven support and services in research and development. We can help you too. Have a look at what we offer.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. We strive to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead's portfolio of products and pipeline of investigational drugs includes treatments for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular conditions.

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2017, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.1 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 124,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit


Welcome Apéro


The conference will be structured in nine sessions. The first four sessions (June 18-19) are organized by NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies with a focus on tools & technologies and the last 5 sessions (June 20-21) by the Personalized Health Alliance Zurich-Basel (PH Alliance) with a focus on translation & research:

Monday 18 June 2018
08:30 - 09:00
Arrival & Registration
09:00 - 09:15
Welcome Address
Prof. Dr. Niko Beerenwinkel
Chair NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies
Session 1 - Advanced Cell Systems (G. Schwank, ETH Zurich)
09:15 - 10:15
Calvin Kuo (Stanford University School of Medicine)
Organoid Modeling of Cancer
10:15 - 10:45
Marianna Kruithof-de Julio (University of Bern)
The role of progenitor cells and organoids in the translational research of prostate cancer
Coffee Break

11:15 - 11:45
Hella Bolck (University Hospital Zurich)
Patient-derived renal cancer cell models capture disease heterogeneity and represent an important tool for research and precision medicine
11:45 - 12:15
Jan Lichtenberg (InSphero)
Diseased human 3D microtissues as building blocks for complex metabolic in-vitro systems
Lunch & Poster Session
Session 2 - Variant Interpretation (N. Beerenwinkel, ETH Zurich)
13:45 - 14:45
Olivier Elemento (Weill Cornell Medical College)
A Cancer Precision Medicine Program driven by Multi-omics, Analytics and Modeling
14:45 - 15:15
Marija Buljan (ETH Zurich)
Identifying protein interactions relevant in cancer development
Coffee Break

15:45 - 16:15
Valérie Barbié (Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics)
Swiss Variant Interpretation Platform (SVIP)
16:15 - 16:45
Sylvan Caspar (Foundation for People with Rare Diseases)
Chances and challenges in high-throughput sequencing
16:45 - 18:30
Welcome Apéro & Poster Session
Tuesday 19 June 2018
08:30 - 09:15
Arrival & Registration

Session 3 - Novel Therapeutics (K.H. Altmann, ETH Zurich)
09:15 - 10:15
Lillian Siu (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
The evolution of clinical trials in the era of precision medicine and immunotherapy
10:15 - 10:45
Berend Snijder (ETH Zurich)
Image-based ex-vivo drug screening for patients with aggressive haematological malignancies
Coffee Break

11:15 - 11:45
Jan Kisielow (ETH Zurich)
Unbiased identification of CD4+ T-cell epitopes using novel MHC-based chimeric receptor
11:45 - 12:15
Atul Sethi (University Hospital Basel)
Single cell RNA sequencing reveals heterogeneity and pre-existing chemoresistant cells in breast cancer
Lunch & Poster Session
Session 4 - Integration of Clinical Data (G. Rätsch, ETH Zurich)
13:45 - 14:45
Nikolaus Schultz (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)
Towards Clinical Decision Support in Oncology
14:45 - 15:15
Diana Coman Schmid (ETH Zurich)
Data & computing services for personalized health: a paradigm shift
Coffee Break

15:45 - 16:15
Christian Bock (ETH Zurich)
Association Mapping in Biomedical Time Series via Statistically Significant Shapelet Mining
16:15 - 16:45
Emil Bosshard (University Hospital Basel)
WATCH AF trial - SmartWATCHes for detection of atrial fibrillation
Dinner Apéro

Conference Dinner

Wednesday 20 June 2018
08:00 - 08:45
Arrival & Registration
08:45 - 09:00
Welcome Address
Prof. Dr. Detlef Günther
Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations, ETH Zurich
Session 5 - Infectiology (H. Günthard, University Hospital Zurich)
09:00 - 09:20
Antonio Lanzavecchia (Università della Svizzera italiana)
Lessons from the analysis of the immune response to P. falciparum
09:20 - 09:40
Michael Huber (University of Zurich)
Metagenomic sequencing in virus diagnostics: advances today and in the future
09:40 - 10:00
Jacques Schrenzel (Geneva University Hospitals)
Whole genome sequencing of bacteria in the clinical microbiology lab: where do we stand today and how will it impact patient management patient?
10:00 - 10:20
Roger Kouyos (University of Zurich)
Computational Epidemiology of HIV in Switzerland: From Molecules to Populations
10:20 - 11:00
Panel Discussion
Lunch & Poster Session
Session 6 – Immunology (A. Zippelius, University Hospital Basel)
13:00 - 13:20
Carl H. June (University of Pennsylvania)
CAR T cells
13:20 - 13:40
Zlatko Trajanoski (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Computing and probing cancer immunity
13:40 - 14:00
Sergio Quezada (University College London Cancer Institute)
Targeting Regulatory T cells for Therapeutic Gain: Means and Mechanisms
14:00 - 14:20
Michael Pittet (Massachusetts General Hospital)
Real-Time in vivo Imaging of Immunotherapy
14:20 - 15:00
Panel Discussion
Coffee Break

Session 7 – Oncology (A. Wicki, University Hospital Basel)
15:30 - 15:50
Rebecca Kristeleit (University College London)
Real World Precision Medicine for Gynaecological Cancer
15:50 - 16:10
Giusi Moffa (University of Basel)
Oncology precision medicine: challenges and opportunities in trial design
16:10 - 16:30
Adrian Ochsenbein (University of Bern)
Targeting molecular interactions between leukemia stem cells and immune cells to treat leukemia
16:30 - 16:50
Alessandra Curioni (University Hospital Zurich)
Prolonging the life of patients with metastatic lung cancer through targeted treatments
16:50 - 17:30
Panel Discussion
17:30 - 19:00
Apéro & Poster Session
Thursday 21 June 2018
08:30 - 09:00
Arrival & Registration
Session 8 – Neurology (R. Martin, University Hospital Zurich)
09:00 - 09:20
Mira Katan (University Hospital Zurich)
Improved identification of stroke etiology using blood biomarkers - a step towards precision medicine
09:20 - 09:40
Andreas Lutterotti (University Hospital and University of Zurich)
Approaching personalized medicine in multiple sclerosis care
09:40 - 10:00
Isabelle Mansuy (University Hospital and ETH Zurich)
Transgenerational effects of early life trauma: epigenetic mechanisms involving the germline
10:00 - 10:20
Philip Gribbon (Fraunhofer Inst. for Mol. Biol. and Applied Ecology)
Strategies to improve target validation in personalised medicine
10:20 - 11:00
Panel Discussion
Lunch & Poster Session
Session 9 – Cardiology (F. Ruschitzka, University Hospital Zurich)
13:00 - 13:20
Spiros Denaxas (University College London)
Using Big Biomedical Data for Translational CVD Research
13:20 - 13:40
Rebecca Burkholz (ETH Zurich)
How machines learn cardiology in three examples
13:40 - 14:00
Ivo Strebel (University Hospital Basel)
Incremental diagnostic and prognostic value of the QRS-T angle, a 12-lead ECG marker quantifying heterogeneity of depolarization and repolarization, in patients with suspected non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction
14:00 - 14:20
Francesco Paneni (University of Zurich)
The Emerging Role of Epigenetics in Cardiovascular Precision Medicine
14:20 - 15:00
Panel Discussion
15:05 - 16:00
Summary & Farewell Coffee


NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies

NEXUS is an ETH Technology Platform created to enable and accelerate the execution of translational research projects by providing key technological resources, tools and collaboration opportunities for the personalized health research community.

Niko Beerenwinkel
D-BSSE, ETH Zurich
Markus Stoffel
D-BIOL, ETH Zurich
Daniel Stekhoven
Christian Stirnimann

Personalized Health Alliance Zurich-Basel

The purpose of the PH Alliance is to combine the complementary local strengths into a regional research cluster of scientific excellence in order to form strong research networks between University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, University Hospitals Zurich, University of Basel, and University Hospitals Basel. In a bottom-up approach the Alliance is strengthening the exchange of ideas and collaboration across clinical, scientific, and bioinformatical research groups from both regions.

Margrit Leuthold
ETH Zurich
PH Alliance Zurich
Silke Schneider
ETH Zurich
University of Zurich
PH Alliance Zurich
Thomas Geiger
University of Basel
PH Alliance Basel
Niko Beerenwinkel
D-BSSE, ETH Zurich


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