Nicola Aceto, Ph.D.

Nicola is a Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professor of Oncology and the Group Leader of the Cancer Metastasis lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Haber lab at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, MA, USA, where he identified circulating tumor cell clusters as metastatic precursors (see Aceto et al., Cell, 2014, Sarioglu and Aceto et al., Nature Methods 2015, Aceto et al., Trends in Cancer, 2015). He has also been an active member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA, USA, and a visiting scientist in the Clevers lab at the Hubrecht institute, the Netherlands. Nicola received a PhD from the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) in Basel, Switzerland with a thesis on protein tyrosine phosphatases and their role in breast cancer (see Aceto et al., Nature Medicine, 2012; Sun, Aceto et al., Cell, 2011). He has authored several peer-reviewed publications in leading journals in the cancer field (including Cell, Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Methods, etc.) and he is an inventor on 4 patents related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Upon starting the Cancer Metastasis lab, Nicola has been awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship, an ERC-Starting Grant, as well as grants from the Swiss Cancer League, the ETH Zurich Personalized Medicine Initiative, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Basel Cancer League and the University of Basel. For his previous work, Nicola has been awarded postdoctoral fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation, EMBO, the American-Italian Cancer foundation, and the Human Frontiers Science Program. He received an Ed Fischer Outstanding Thesis Award, a Bruno Speck Award from the Basel Stem Cell Network, an abstract award from Harvard/MGH Cancer Center, and an honorable mention from AAAS/Science Translational Medicine.

Nicola has been an invited speaker in a number of congresses, academic and industrial organizations, including the ETH Zurich, the Annual CTC and Liquid Biopsy Meeting in San Francisco, the Swiss Re Forum on Cancer Diagnostics, the University of California Berkeley, Google[x] Life sciences, the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, the World Circulating Tumor Cells Summit and the Gordon Conference in Mammary Gland Biology.

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Ilona Krol, M.Sc.

Ilona is the Lab Manager of the Cancer Metastasis lab. Prior to joining the lab, Ilona has been a technician in the Heim lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland studying the signaling networks involved in hepatitis C and hepatitis B virus infection (see Terczyจฝska-Dyla et al., Nature Commun., 2014, Duong et al., J. Exp. Med., 2014). Previously, Ilona has been a member of the Filipowicz lab at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland where she worked on the role of micro RNAs in retina development and function (see Krol J. et al. Nature Commun., 2015, Krol J. et al., Cell, 2010, Sarasin-Filipowicz et al., Nature Medicine, 2009). Ilona received a M.Sc. degree from the University N. Copernicus in Poland.



Francesc Castro Giner, Ph.D.

Francesc is a Senior Postdoctoral researcher in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Previously, he worked as a bioinformatics scientist at the Functional Genomics Centre of University of Zurich, Switzerland, and as a Postdoctoral researcher in cancer genomics at the Molecular and Population Genetics Laboratory of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, UK (see Findlay et al. Nature Communications, 2016, Castro-Giner et al. Nature Review Cancer, 2015, Davis et al. Nature Medicine, 2015). He has also been member of the National Centre for Genomic Analysis based on Barcelona, Spain (see Alioto et al. Nature Communications, 2015, Balbás-Martínez, Nature Genetics, 2013). Francesc earned his PhD from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, with a thesis focused on gene and environment interactions in complex disease.


Sofia Gkountela, Ph.D.

Sofia is a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Previously, Sofia has been a postdoctoral researcher in the Clark lab at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), CA, USA, doing some pioneering work on the molecular characterization at single cell resolution of human germ cells (see Gkountela et al., Cell, 2015, Gkountela et al., Cell Stem Cell, 2014, Gkountela et al., Nature Cell Biology, 2013). Prior to that, Sofia has been part of the University of Uppsala, Sweden, working on adenoviral micro RNAs (see Xu et al., Nucleic Acids Res., 2009). Sofia received her Ph.D. from the University of Athens, Greece studying human fungal pathogens.



Cinzia Donato, M.Sc.

Cinzia is a Ph.D. student in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Prior to joining the lab, Cinzia received a M.Sc. degree at the Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology program of Utrecht University where she mainly worked at the Hubrecht Institute, the Netherlands. There, in van Rheenen's lab, she adopted multiphoton imaging techniques and three-dimensional organoid cultures to study mechanisms of cancer cells migration. Previously, Cinzia received a B.Sc. degree in Biotechnology at University of Palermo, Italy.


Manuel Scheidmann M.Sc.

Manuel is a Ph.D. student in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Before joining the lab, he has been working at the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland on CRISPR-mediated genome-wide phenotypic screens for the elucidation of drug-protein interactions. Manuel holds a M.Sc. degree in synthetic biology from the École Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, France and a second M.Sc. degree in biotechnology from the University of Strasbourg, France. Previously, Manuel has been working on light-inducible transcription regulation in human cells in the Weber lab at the BIOSS Center for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, Germany (see Agne et al., ACS Synth. Biol., 2014). Before that, he received a B.Sc. degree in molecular biology from the University of Freiburg, Germany.


Barbara Maria Szczerba, M.Sc.

Barbara is a Ph.D. student in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Before joining the lab, she has been working in the Skoda lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland on mutational events leading to hematological malignancies. Previously, Barbara received a B.Sc and M.Sc. in Molecular Biology from the University of Gdańsk, Poland. During her studies, Barbara has been a visiting graduate student for two years at the Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA working on Sjögren’s syndrome (see Szczerba et al., Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 2015).



Ramona Scherrer, M.Sc.

Ramona is a laboratory technician in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Before joining the lab, Ramona has been working as a technician in Wälchli`s group at the Division of Neurosurgery of the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland where she mainly focused on angiogenesis in glioblastoma. Previously, Ramona conducted her Master`s Thesis in Baumgartner`s Neuro-Oncology group of the Children`s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland where she investigated the regulation of cell dissemination underlying the most aggressive subtypes of pediatric medulloblastoma. Ramona received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Human Biology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland.



Till Ryser, B.Sc.

Till is a master student in the Cancer Metastasis lab.  He received his B.Sc. degree in Nanoscience from the University of Basel, Switzerland. Before joining the lab, Till did an internship at the University of Lund, Sweden, studying the migration of breast cancer cells on nanowires. Recently, Till was doing an internship at the University of Basel, establishing a microfluidic device for a more controlled observation of the type VI secretion system in bacteria.



Edward Richards, B.Sc.

Edward was an intern in the Cancer Metastasis lab. Preceding this position, Edward received his B.Sc. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. During his studies, he gained experience in bioinformatics and biostatistics while studying the significance of somatic mutation rate variation in human cancer. He endeavors to further his studies by fulfilling a M.Sc. in Computational Biology.