Upcoming Seminars and Events

From bench to bedside - a fantastic voyage of drug/device development - Europe and US

Gautam Maitra, AC Immune
Hasnaà Haddouck, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum
Norma Shafer, Steadmed Mediacal
Ary Saaman, Debiotech
Claude Amman, Amman Consulting
Ajit Simh, San Diego
Matthew Scherer, FDA - Europe Office

4-week fully online course (60-70 hours in total) jointly organized by EPFL and the College of Sciences, San Diego State University. Experienced instructors from Europe and the US will introduce you to the fundamentals of drug/device development, and the requirements for regulatory and quality compliance. You will have exposure to the requirements in Europe and the US in terms of the approach, the attitude to risk-taking, and the cultural divide.

Who can participate?

  • Members of Swiss Academic Institutions with a minimum of a Bachelor degree, in a relevant field
  • Members of early Start-ups, linked to a Swiss University, may be eligible; please contact the organizer

Practical information:
  • Starts on September 7, 2020
  • 4-weeks fully online interactive course with a total of 60-70 hours, including lectures, team-work and self-study
  • Jointly organized by EPFL and the College of Sciences, San Diego State University
  • Highly experienced instructors from Europe and US, including member of FDA
  • Pricing: non-EPFL members 400 CHF, EPFL members 200 CHF
  • Limited participants, first come first served

Why should you participate?
Advances in biotechnology, medical technology, and information technology give new hope for treating diseases never imagined before. To bring these advances from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside requires training and experience that are not available in academia, this course is intended to fill that gap.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
  • Describe the major steps of the drug and device development process from bench to bed-side
  • Compare and contrast US and European Union regulatory and quality requirements
  • Discuss the basics of a Quality Management System
  • Develop a Product Profile for a drug/device product or therapy
  • Draft the basic components of a Development Plan for a Phase 1 clinical trial, including a pre-clinical Plan, a Clinical Trial Protocol, and CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls) Plan
  • Work with other life science professionals on a team
  • Feel more confident about job seeking and job interviews
 
More info and registration
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Function-driven design and processing of degradable polyesters

Dr. Tiziana Fuoco, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Adhering to green chemistry’s principles and the sustainability development goals, polyesters are a promising class of polymers in the prospect of overcoming the challenges of conventional plastics. Monomers employed for their synthesis can be derived from renewable feedstock and aliphatic polyesters are able to degrade generating harmless products. Biobased and/or degradable polyesters represent indeed one segment of the bioplastic market. If properly designed, they can find widespread applications such as packaging holding a key role in EU’s strategy for plastics in a circular economy.1
Design issues need to be addressed to broaden the limited range of thermal and mechanical properties, introduce functionalities and program the degradation profile to fit the application scope. In this effort, polyesters with different microstructures have been developed through ring-opening copolymerization to afford structural diversity and tune the material’s properties and degradation rate.2,3 The design of the structure at the macromolecular level, through careful monomer selection and sequence regulation, enabled control over the final properties of the material and the degradation kinetics. To tackle the inability of further chemical manipulation of aliphatic polyesters, thiol functional monomers and biobased, unsaturated macrolactones have also been employed as monomers.5,6 Besides the design of the primary structure, the control of how the structure develops during melt processing is crucial to tune the desired functions, mechanical properties’ profile and degradation rate. This is of outmost importance in view of a large-scale production and real application of polyesters. By regulating the composition of the copolymer and processing parameters at industrial scale, the service lifetime of polyester fibres could be prolonged while ensuring a fast erosion rate. The understanding of the effect of the processing parameters on polyesters’ properties gave also directions on how to overcome the lack of thermal stability and therefore, balance degradability and processability for this class of materials. Building on this knowledge, thermoplastic copolymers, now commercially available, have been designed and proved to exhibit a faster degradation rate than poly(e-caprolactone) and a comparable thermal stability during melt processing.4 To truly advance towards sustainable alternatives, the a priori design, the processing and the overall performance of polyesters should, however, be considered in a broader scope and a circular way. A balance has to be reached between less carbon footprint raw materials, recyclability, degradability and performance.

(1) European Commission, A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy 2018; (2) A. Meduri, T. Fuoco, M. Lamberti, C. Pellecchia, D. Pappalardo, Macromolecules 2014, 47, 534; (3) T. Fuoco, T. Mathisen, A. Finne-Wistrand, Biomacromolecules 2019, 20, 1346; (4) T. Fuoco, A. Finne-Wistrand, Biomacromolecules 2019, 20, 3171; (5) (a) Aliphatic poly(esters) with thiol pendant groups US: Id 15/768347; (b) T. Fuoco, A. Finne-Wistrand, D. Pappalardo, Biomacromolecules 2019, 17, 1383; (c) T. Fuoco, D. Pappalardo, A. Finne-Wistrand, Macromolecules 2017, 50, 7052; (6) T. Fuoco, A. Meduri, M. Lamberti, V. Venditto, C. Pellecchia, D. Pappalardo, Polym. Chem. 2015, 6, 1727; (7) T. Fuoco, T. Mathisen, A. Finne-Wistrand, Polym. Degrad. Stabil. 2019, 163, 43-51.

Bio: Tiziana Fuoco is currently a researcher in Polymer Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
She was born in Salerno, Italy, in 1986. She graduated with honours in Chemistry at University of Salerno in 2012 and received a PhD’s degree in Polymer Chemistry from the same University in 2016. Right after, she held a two-year postdoctoral research position in Polymer Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and in 2018 was appointed as researcher. Her research field is Polymer Science; her activity is focused on the rational design of the degradable polymers, mainly aliphatic polyesters, to endow functionalitiesand performance addressing newapplication needs.Tiziana Fuoco is co-author of 22 peer-reviewed scientific articles and she has been active in technology transfer: she is co-inventor of one granted patent and two patent applications; she is co-owner and co-founder of a start-up that produces and sells degradable, thermoplastic materials for 3D printing.
 


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Deciphering the molecular secrets of the causative agent of the ongoing 7th cholera pandemic

Prof. Melanie Blokesch

Abstract:
Cholera is a devastating diarrheal disease that sickens millions of people each year. Despite incredible progress over the past hundred years in our understanding of the pathogen’s virulence mechanisms, we still lack crucial information related to its transmission. While we know that the route of transmission occurs mostly via contaminated water, it is still not entirely clear why cholera outbreaks in endemic regions often follow seasonal patterns. Indeed, the environmental aspects of the causative agent of the disease, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, have so far been insufficiently studied at the molecular level. In my talk, I will address this knowledge gap and present insights into the pathogen’s environmental lifestyle including its potential to form bacterial communities on biotic surfaces and its evolvability. I will also show how the bacterium actively seeks genetic material from neighbors while defending itself against mobile genetic mobile elements, bacterial competitors, and eukaryotic grazers. I will end my talk with speculations on how these environmental features might prime the pathogen for interbacterial competition and intestinal colonization.
Short Bio:
Melanie Blokesch obtained her doctoral degree in Biology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, where her research focused on metalloenzyme maturation and hydrogen production in bacteria. During a four years postdoctoral stay within the Department of Microbiology & Immunology of Stanford University, USA she switched her research topic towards the study of infectious agents. She joined the faculty of the School of Life Sciences of EPFL in 2009, first as Assistant Professor and later as Associate Professor. While at EPFL, she obtained two consecutive ERC grants, became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar, and was elected as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). As service to the community, she also accepted her election to the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2018.
 
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Programmable Microbial Foundry for a Sustainable Living Materials Technology

Dr. Avinash Manjula Basavanna, MIT, USA

The present-day world showcases remarkable materials that have enabled our way of life, but they rarely account for the anthropogenic effects due to their make-use-dispose practices. In contrast to humans’ heat-beat-treat strategies, biological systems produce materials with exceptional properties at ambient conditions from abundantly available benign components and also provide a template for circular materials economy. Inspired by Nature's elegant designs and living cell’s extraordinary manufacturing capabilities, I have been programming microbes to serve as living factories to make materials that are known as Living Materials, which is an emerging field that integrates synthetic biology, materials engineering and nanotechnology. In addition to the basis and vision of Living Materials Technology, in this talk, I will present my pioneering contributions to the field, wherein I have designed and developed: 1) the world’s first water-processable, biodegradable and coatable bioplastic termed as AquaPlastic; 2) the world’s first programmable microbial Ink for 3D printing of Living Materials and 3) stiff and strong Living Materials that can regenerate itself. Some of these efforts are regarded as a paradigm shift to biomanufacturing technology, which is believed to contribute towards building a sustainable world.

Bio: Avinash obtained his PhD on Bioinspired Molecular and Materials Engineering at JNCASR, Bengaluru, India. He then moved to Harvard University as a Wyss Institute Postdoctoral Fellow to work on Living Materials by Engineering Microbes to produce Sustainable Materials with Integrated Life-like Properties. His research interests are at the interface of Synthetic Biology, Bioinspired Materials Engineering, Nanotechnology, Microbial Factories and Sustainability. In 2020, he was chosen as one of the World’s top 35 Innovators under 35 by Technology Review (TR35) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was the Grand Prize Winner of American National Science Foundation (NSF) Idea Machine (Big Idea) competition and recognized with Deep Tech Pioneer and Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Awards. He was also selected for the Innovation Scholars In-Residence Program by the President of India and Harvard Innovation Lab’s Venture Incubation Program.    
 


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Blue Brain Seminar - Cell-specific cholinergic modulation of neocortical neurons

Dirk Feldmeyer

Online Event  
Blue Brain is delighted to announce that the next seminar in the series in Neural Computation, will be on ‘Cell-specific cholinergic modulation of neocortical neurons’. The seminar will be given by Dirk Feldmeyer, Professor, University Hospital Medical School Aachen, and Professor and Group Leader, Research Centre Jülich.

Abstract:
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a potent neuromodulator in the brain and is in the neocortex mainly released from afferents of the basal forebrain. The effects of ACh are mediated by both G-protein coupled receptors and ligand-gated ion channels termed muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors (mAChRs and nAChRs). While nAChR activation leads exclusively to an enhancement of neuronal firing and synaptic transmission,  mAChR can inhibit or activate neurons depending on the specific receptor subtype expression.
Using the primary somatosensory barrel cortex as a model system I will present data on how neuronal activity is modulated by the interaction of different types of mAChR subtype but also nAChRs. I will demonstrate that in the different cortical layers ACh can show exclusively excitatory, exclusively inhibitory and a combination of both effects, depending on the neuron type and its axonal projection pattern. In addition, I will also describe how both mAChRs and nAChRs affect the synaptic release probability and how this compares to its effects on neuronal excitability. Our finding support the hypothesis that mAChR effects are mediated already at low extracellular concentration (1-10 µM) while nAChRs are generally activated at significantly higher concentrations (> 100 µM). This is consistent with the view that activation of mAChRs occurs either via volume release of the transmitter or spill-over from cholinergic synapses. In contrast, nAChRs are mainly activated by direct synaptic release; however, some presynaptic nAChRs may also be activated via spill-over. Thus, the action of ACh in the neocortex is complex, highly neuron-specific, and depends on the type of synaptic connection.


Bio:
Dirk Feldmeyer is professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital Medical School, Aachen and professor and group leader at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine 10, Research Centre Jülich, Germany.
Dirk is also an Associate Editor for Frontiers and an elected Fellow of the Physiological Society.
He began his career in 1988 as a Post-doc at the Dept of Cell Physiology (Director Prof. Hans Lüttgau), Ruhr-University Bochum before moving to University College London for four years as a Postdoc and Research Fellow at the Dept of Pharmacology followed by a year in the Dept of Neuroscience, University of Tokyo as a Research Fellow. In 1995, he became the Post-doc and Group Leader at Dept. of Cell Physiology, Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research (Director Prof. B. Sakmann, Noble Prize Laureate); Head of ‘Cortical microcircuits’ Group. Since 2004, he has been the Group Leader and Principal Investigator at the Institute of Medicine, Research Centre Jülich where he also held the role of Head of the FZJ Animal Facility, Research Centre Jülich for four years. Dirk was appointed Professor at the Dept. of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University Hospital Medical School, Aachen in 2008.
 
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Living materials – sustainable technologies of the future from forms of the past?

Prof. Fiorenzo Omenetto, Tufts School of Engineering, USA

Natural materials offer new avenues for innovation across fields, bringing together, like never before, natural sciences and high technology.
Significant opportunity exists in reinventing naturally-derived materials, such as structural proteins, and applying advanced material processing, prototyping, and manufacturing techniques to these ubiquitously present substances.  This approach help us imagine and realize sustainable, carbon-neutral strategies that operate seamlessly at the interface between the biological and the technological worlds.
 
Some of these opportunities include biomaterials-based applications in edible and implantable electronics, food preservation, packaging, energy harvesting, wearable sensors, compostable technology, distributed environmental sensing, medical devices and therapeutics, biospecimen stabilization, advanced medical diagnostics, and will be outlined in this talk.
Bio: Fiorenzo G. Omenetto is the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. He also holds appointments in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical Engineering. His research interests are in the convergence of technology, biologically inspired materials and the natural sciences with an emphasis on new transformative approaches for sustainable materials for high-technology applications. Prof. Omenetto was formerly a J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratories, a Guggenheim Fellow.  He is a 2017 Tällberg Foundation Global Leader,  a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the American Physical Society. His research has been featured extensively in the press with coverage in the most important media outlets worldwide. 
 


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From Stimuli-Responsive to Renewable Materials

Dr. Céline Calvino, University of Chicago, USA

Responsive materials, which change their properties in response to an external stimulus (e.g. temperature, light, chemical changes) in a predictable manner, allow accomplishing complex tasks such as actuation, switchable wettability, and sensing. The incorporation of dynamic bonds, which can rely on either non-covalent or covalent interactions, into polymers have been widely exploited to impart these new material functionalities. Due to their tunable interaction strength and reversibility, dynamic interactions can enhance the mechanical properties and processability of functional materials, thus making them an attractive alternative to classical covalent linkages. In this presentation, several approaches that exploit supramolecular interactions to prepare polymer materials exhibiting a macroscopic optical response upon mechanical activation are introduced. These so-called mechanochromic systems play an important role for the detection of excessive stress experienced by a material and can thus prevent catastrophic failure. As another example, dynamic covalent chemistry was employed to functionalize the surface of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) under melt processing conditions as a sustainable route for the preparation of homogeneous and mechanically enhanced bio-based polymer composites. While CNCs have shown outstanding reinforcement capabilities when used as a filler in a range of polymer matrices, their dispersion remains one of the biggest obstacles for the technological exploitation of such composites. It is shown that the thermal dissociation of dynamic covalent motifs under melt processing conditions and reaction of the resulting products with the hydroxyl groups present on the surface of CNCs can be used to functionalize such nanoparticles in situ with molecules of choice. This process was used to modify the surface of the CNCs with small molecules and polymeric species, leading to a significant mechanical reinforcement of composites materials thus produced. This concept potentially opens the door to an industrially scalable sustainable approach towards the development of nanocellulose bio-composites.

Bio: Céline was born and grew up in La Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland. She received her MS degree from the department of Chemistry at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, with a focus in organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, and materials science. She completed her master’s thesis at Asulab, a division of The Swatch Group R&D Ltd, investigating the formation of homogeneous and resistant anchor layers on the surface of watch components, and on the introduction of the epilam (anti-spreading agent) effect using controlled polymerization processes via “grafting from” and “grafting to” methods. Céline stayed in Fribourg to pursue her PhD in polymer chemistry and materials at Adolphe Merkle Institute under the supervision of Prof. Christoph Weder. Her thesis focused on the design of chromogenic systems relying on supramolecular interactions and on their incorporation into polymeric materials to create new functional mechanoresponsive materials. Céline joined the group of Stuart Rowan at Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, at the University of Chicago, as a postdoctoral fellow with a SNFS Mobility Fellowship seeking to enhance her knowledge on the preparation and the use of cellulose nanocrystals, dynamic covalent bonds and materials engineering. Her ongoing research focuses on the use of dynamic covalent chemistry to functionalize cellulose nanocrystals and on the development of appropriate engineering melt processes for the preparation of mechanically reinforced and sustainable nanocomposite materials.

 


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Packaging grown to function: New barrier materials inspired by nature

Dr. Tiffany Abitbol, RI.SE, Stockholm

Highly sophisticated “packages” exist in nature to protect and regulate a variety of internal environments that have different barrier needs. Examples include fruit and vegetable peels, the papery husks that encase gooseberries, our skin, and more fundamentally, the cell membranes that envelope the basic units of all living things. These natural barriers are composed of different elements – polysaccharides, protein, lipids, waxes, aromas, chromophores, etc. – that are functionally assembled and optimized through millennia of evolution for diverse functionality, including mass transport, temperature regulation, light management (harvesting, blocking, color effects), structural properties, pest control, and scent. Recreating this level of sophistication in the laboratory or assembly line is not a simple task but we can take inspiration from natural systems to create new materials using the bottom-up self-assembly of key components into bio-based macrostructures that begin to meet the demands of modern packaging. In this public talk, two emerging forest-based materials, mycelium and nanocellulose, will be discussed in the context of naturally grown materials with promising properties and the potential to impact how we envision, produce, use, and dispose of packaging.

Bio: Tiffany Abitbol is a research scientist at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Sweden’s foremost research and innovation partner. Tiffany obtained her PhD in Chemistry in 2011 from McGill University and has post-doctoral experience from McMaster University in the Chemical Engineering department (2012-2014) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Plant Sciences department (2014-2016). Supported by a Marie-Curie fellowship, Tiffany moved to Stockholm in 2017 to pursue a nanocellulose-themed research program at RISE in collaboration with academic and industrial partners. Tiffany is motivated toward the development of healthy and sustainable solutions to address new opportunities in the field of materials using a cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach.


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CIS - "Get to know your neighbors" Seminar series - Prof. Simone Deparis

Prof. Simone Deparis

Modeling and simulations of vascular flows: reduced order modeling and physics based neural networks.

Abstract:
We are interested in the approximation of vascular flows modeled by parametrized partial differential equations, when the value of the physical parameters is unknown or difficult to be directly measured. We aim at estimating the flows field or other quantities of clinical interest by combining reduced order modeling with neural networks. The reduced order model accounts for the underlying physical phenomenon and allows for generating a large test set for the training of the neural network. The snapshots are obtained from randomly selected values of the physical parameters during an expensive offline phase. The chosen DNN architecture resembles an asymmetric autoencoder in which the decoder is the reduced orde model solver and it does not contain trainable parameters.
We present few examples of our method in applications related to vascular flows and electrophysiology, where the neural network is able to approximately identify the physical parameters or clinical indices.

Bio:
Simone Deparis is Adjunct Professor in Mathematics and deputy director of the Section of Mathematics. His research  focuses on scientific computing and numerical analysis applied to haemodynamics, but he also studies reduced order models for the Navier-Stokes equations and blood flow. Recently he has begun to investigate the interplay between reduced basis and neural network approaches for parametrised PDEs.  The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, and STI that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems.
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The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration between IC, SB, STI and ENAC that brings together researchers working on different aspects of intelligent systems.
In order to promote exchanges among researchers and encourage the creation of new, collaborative projects, CIS is organizing a "Get to know your neighbors" series. Each seminar will consist of 1-2 short overview presentations geared to the general public at EPFL.
 
Our second seminar will take place live on Zoom: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/95904377229
 
Monday, 5th October 2020 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm


NB: Video recordings of the seminars will be made available on our website and published on our social media pages


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EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Oncogenic Activation of Dihydroceramide Desaturase (DEGS1) Promotes Anchorage-Independent Survival in Breast Cancer"

Prof. Christopher J. Clarke, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY (USA)

WEEKLY EPFL BIOE TALKS SERIES


Abstract:
Survival rates for metastatic breast cancer (BC) remain poor and there is a critical need to identify novel druggable targets for treatment of metastatic disease. Resistance to anoikis – cell death following detachment from the extracellular matrix (ECM) – is central to metastasis and has recently emerged as a target biology of interest. Sphingolipids (SL) are well-established mediators of cell death and SL metabolism is dysregulated in BC. However, connections between oncogenic signaling, deregulation of SL metabolism, and the acquisition of anoikis resistance have not been explored. Culture of non-transformed MCF10A breast epithelial cells in ECM-detached conditions resulted in initiation of cell death pathways and accumulation of ceramide (Cer), dihydroceramide (dhCer) and sphingosine (Sph) but not in anoikis-resistant HER2+ BC cells. Overexpression of oncogenic HER2 (NeuT) and PI3K in MCF10A cells – two commonly mutated pathways in BC –promoted cell survival in ECM-detached conditions. Surprisingly, this was associated with suppression of dhCer but not Cer or Sph suggesting increased dhCer metabolism is linked with anoikis resistance. Consistent with this, activity of DEGS1, the major dhCer metabolizing enzyme – was decreased in ECM-detached MCF10A cells but was maintained in HER2+ BC cells in a HER2 and PI3K-dependent manner. Moreover, oncogenic NeuT and PI3K expression was sufficient to promote DESGS1 activity in ECM-detached MCF10A cells. Functionally, loss of DEGS1 activity through pharmacological inhibitors, siRNA, or by Crispr-mediated knockout results in dhCer accumulation, decreased cell viability in ECM-detached conditions, and decreased colony formation in HER2+ BC cells. Conversely, overexpression of DEGS1 but not DEGS2 was able to promote anchorage-independent survival in MCF10A cells and enhance colony formation in HER2+ BC cells. Finally, analysis of public datasets linked high levels of DEGS1 to worse relapse-free survival and distant metastasis free survival in HER2+ BC. Taken together, these results demonstrate the oncogenic reprogramming of SL metabolism through DEGS1 activation is important for promoting anchorage-independent survival – a key biology for BC metastasis – and suggest that this could be exploited as a novel therapy for metastatic tumors.

Co-authorship in this research: Ryan W. Linzer, Gabrielle Khalife, Jonathan Aminov, Justin M. Snider, A. Burak Buyukbayraktar, Pule Wang, Chun-Hao Pan, Prajna Shanbhogue, Jihui Ren, Janet J. Allopenna, and Christopher J. Clarke


Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks


IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 situation, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, following prior one-time registration through the link above.
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EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "GOLPH3 Coordinates Glycosphingolipid Metabolism at the Golgi Complex"

Prof. Giovanni D'Angelo, Institute of Bioengineering, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)

WEEKLY EPFL BIOE TALKS SERIES


Abstract:
The Golgi apparatus is a hub for several metabolic pathways including those involving glycan and lipid syntheses. These metabolisms rely on competing reactions catalysed by Golgi-resident enzymes during the passage of substrates through the Golgi cisternae. While the relative position of the enzymes within the Golgi stack determines the reaction sequence and the metabolic output, the mechanisms that coordinate the intra-Golgi localization of the enzymes are poorly understood. Here, we studied GOLPH3, an oncoprotein with a reported role in Golgi enzymes localization. We found that GOLPH3 binds to and regulates multiple sequentially-acting enzymes of the glycosphingolipid synthesis. GOLPH3 drives their dynamic localisation at the trans Golgi, counteracts their transport to lysosomes and consequent degradation. Through these effects, increased GOLPH3 levels, as those observed in solid tumours, foster glycosphingolipid production and exposure at the external leaflet of the plasma membrane. Here, glycosphingolipids promote mitogenic signalling and cell proliferation. Our findings unravel the mechanisms by which Golgi recycling drives the localization of specific enzymes in the appropriate cisternae, their degradation rate, and their organization into functional modules that impact distinctive metabolic pathways. Moreover, our data have medical implications as they outline a novel oncogenic mechanism of action for GOLPH3 based on glycosphingolipid metabolism.


Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks


IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 situation, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, following prior one-time registration through the link above.
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Growing sustainable materials – Modulating the bottom-up assembly of bio-based building blocks

Dr. Blaise Tardy, Aalto University, Finland

The wide-scaled use of materials combining a short service-life and poor end-of-life is a growing problem that requires imminent solution. The most notorious example is single use synthetic packages, where increasingly stringent policies and customer demands further drives the need for the development of sustainable materials. Alongside advances in colloidal science, bio-based colloids have emerged as promising building blocks for the fabrication of sustainable materials. For instance, the nano-scaled crystals of cellulose are stronger than steel, they can easily reintegrate the ecosphere, and their biosynthesis involve a high inherent carbon capture. In this talk, the dynamics of consolidation of bio-based colloids into multi-scaled materials are highlighted across various assembly configurations. For each configuration, new classes of materials and the replacement of hazardous and environmentally unfriendly counterparts can be envisioned. Importantly, insights into the development of self-cohesion and interfacial adhesion of biopolymers are put forward as tools to further enable their engineering. This is expected to significantly facilitate the implementation of such bio-based materials in industries that are reconverting their manufacturing towards more sustainable materials as well as the growing bio-based industries.

Bio: After graduating from EPFL (Bioengineering, 2009), Blaise Tardy obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from The University of Melbourne, Australia, with Frank Caruso (2015). He is currently a research fellow in the team of Orlando Rojas at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University, Finland. His research interests include interfacial assembly and the formation of structured materials from nano- and microparticles obtained from renewable sources. His research aims to establish the physico-chemical principles underlying the assembly of biopolymers and bio-colloids in order to facilitate their wide-spread implementation into high performance sustainable materials.
 


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The impact of sex hormones on breast cancer: humanizing mice to personalize prevention and treatment

Dr Cathrin Brisken, SV / ISREC / UPBRI

Abstract :
A woman’s risk to get breast cancer and the course of her disease are affected by her reproductive history and exposures to exogenous hormone and endocrine disruptors. Therapeutics targeting estrogen receptor signalling have had a major impact on breast cancer survival and a key question is how additional pathways can be harnessed to personalize breast cancer therapy and prevention. Combining mouse genetics with innovative tissue recombination techniques, we established the sequential mode of action of reproductive hormones in breast development, with paracrine and cell-intrinsic mechanisms impinging on cell fate determination and oncogenic potential. However, substantial differences in mammary carcinogenesis between mice and humans and the lack of adequate models for the human disease hampered progress. We have overcome this hurdle by demonstrating that by grafting human breast cancer cells to the milk ducts of immunocompromised mice the cells recapitulate the disease process and conserve their hormone and drug sensitivities. Studies have been expanded to the human population level using breast tissue derived from a large cohort of women with different levels of circulating sex hormones exposure to discern factors determining hormone response with topology-based algorithms that we have developed. The implications for new preventive and therapeutic strategies will be discussed.

Short Bio :
Cathrin Brisken obtained MD and PhD in Biophysics from the University of Göttingen, Germany, did postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute, MIT, Cambridge, USA, and held appointments at the Whitehead Institute, the Cancer Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research. She was Dean of the EPFL Doctoral School and cofounded the International Cancer Prevention Institute. She has served on many international committees and advisory boards, currently including AACR Women in Cancer Research Council, International Breast Cancer Study Group Biological Protocol Working Group, Pezcoller Symposia Scientific Committee.
 
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IGM Colloquium: Nanophotonics: Enabling Technology for Next-Generation Biosensors

Prof. Hatice Altug, Bionanophotonic Systems Laboratory, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Interschool Institute of Bioengineering (IBI-STI)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
New health initiatives with global healthcare, precision medicine and point-of-care diagnostics are demanding breakthrough developments in biosensing and bioanalytical tools. Current biosensors are lacking precision, bulky, and costly, as well as they require long detection times, sophisticated infrastructure and trained personnel, which limit their application areas. My laboratory is focused on to address these challenges by exploiting novel optical phenomena at nanoscale and engineering toolkits such as nanophotonics, nanofabrication, microfluidics and data science. In particular, we use photonic nanostructures based on plasmonics and dielectric metasurfaces that can confine light below the fundamental diffraction limit and generate strong electromagnetic fields in nanometric volumes. In this talk I will present how we exploit nanophotonics and combine it with imaging, biology, chemistry and data science techniques to achieve high performance biosensors. I will introduce ultra-sensitive Mid-IR biosensors based on surface enhanced infrared spectroscopy for chemical specific detection of molecules, large-area chemical imaging and real-time monitoring of protein conformations in aqueous environment. Next, I will describe our effort to develop ultra-compact, portable, rapid and low-cost microarrays and their use for early disease diagnostics in real-world settings. Finally, I will highlight label-free optofluidic biosensors that can perform one-of-a-kind measurements on live cells down to the single cell level, and provide their prospects in biomedical and clinical applications.

Bio:
Hatice Altug is professor in the Institute of Bioengineering at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland since 2013. She is also director of EPFL Doctoral School in Photonics. Between 2007 and 2013 she has been professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boston University, U.S. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University (U.S.) in 2007 and her B.S. in Physics from Bilkent University (Turkey) in 2000. Prof. Altug is the recipient of European Physical Society Emmy Noether Distinction, Optical Society of America Adolph Lomb Medal, and U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in their early career. She received European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant, ERC Proof of Concept Grant, U.S. Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Massachusetts Life Science Center New Investigator Award, IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award. She is the winner of the Inventors’ Challenge competition of Silicon Valley in 2005. She has been named to Popular Science Magazine’s "Brilliant 10" list in 2011.


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Biologically Programmed Living Materials for Advanced Sustainable Applications

Dr. Anna Duraj-Thatte, Harvard, USA

Over the last few decades, living cells have been employed as factories to make organic molecules, polymers, drugs and fuels. Lately, living cells are being engineered to make materials and/or to modulate its properties, giving rise to an exciting field of Living Materials. Built on the able foundations of synthetic biology, materials engineering and nanotechnology, Living Materials provides an unprecedented platform to build a sustainable environment.
In this talk, I will present some of my recent works, which demonstrates the very first biomedical and environmental applications of Living Materials. I have developed the world’s first microbial ink for 3D printing of living materials. This unique microbial ink is produced from engineered bacteria and can also be embedded with desired microbes to enable printing of complex 3D architectures having various functions. Further, in an effort to mitigate the menace of plastic pollution, I have engineered bacteria to develop AquaPlastic, world’s first water-processable and biodegradable bioplastic. AquaPlastic is aqua-healable, aqua-weldable, aqua-moldable, imprintable, coatable and also resistant to chemicals. Finally, I will also present how Living Materials can be employed to generate sustainable materials for biomedical applications. By harnessing synthetic biology, I have designed and developed mucoadhesive and anti-inflammatory hydrogels that can be sprayed directly in the gut serving as an innovative wound healing strategy for the gut lumen.
I will conclude by presenting my vision on Living Materials for Advanced Sustainable Applications that effectively utilizes the living characteristics such as programmability, intelligence, specificity, responsiveness and manufacturability.

Bio: Anna Duraj-Thatte received her Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology, wherein she worked on protein engineering and directed evolution. Then she pursued her postdoctoral research at Wyss Institute, Harvard University. During which, her research focused on developing engineered living materials for various applications, including the first demonstration of therapeutic and self-regenerating functionalities of living materials. Her research interests also include protein-based materials for environmental applications and actively working towards commercialization of her research innovations. She was the Grand Prize Winner of American National Science Foundation (NSF) Idea Machine competition. She was also selected as a Deep Tech Pioneer and member of Harvard Innovation Lab’s Venture Incubation Program.   
 


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SWITZERLAND & ITALY JOINT IEEE DAY ONLINE CELEBRATION

Luc-Olivier Bauer, Marshall Wilder, Bruno Murari

We have the pleasure to invite you to join us in celebrating IEEE Day.

In this occasion Italy and Switzerland Section together with the organization unit prepared for you a program bridging the past and the future.
The Zoom Session details will be provided to the registered attendees.
The program is as follow :

18:00-18:10 Opening Session
The chair of Switzerland and Italy Section will introduce the session

18:10-19:10 : The microchip revolution
Representatives of the Life Members and History activities of Switzerland and Italy brought up a session around the theme of The microchip revolution.
    - It is our great pleasure to convey a meeting with the participation of
         1. Luc-Olivier Bauer and Marshall Wilder authors of the book 
            "The Microchip Revolution: A brief history".

The Book is available online and we encourage you to read. The book was dedicated to the memory of Dr.Jean Amédée Hoerni (1924-1997), a Swiss Geneva born Scientist expatriated first to Cambridge, then Caltech, hired by Bill Shockley at his Mountain View Labs, who become the only non-American partner of the “traitorous eight engineers“ founders in 1957 of Fairchild Semiconductors in Palo Alto.

He filed the fundamental patent on the Planar Process there in 1959.
And subsequently together with Bob Noyce the patent on silicon integrated circuits.
Also know as as silicon chips, e.g. microchips. The rest is history!
       
  2. Bruno Murari of ST-Microelectronics
          Will present a contribution on BCD technology entitled Multiple Silicon Technologies on a Chip.
          From research to a successful industry standard
 
The session will be interactive and moderated by Hugo Wyss From the Swiss Life Members Section.
Together With Mathier Coustans & Taekwang Jang From the Solid State chapter Switzerland   
     
  
19:15-20:15 : My research in 5 minutes.
Bridging the past and the future.
The student branch and Young Professional are arranging short pitch presenting ongoing research.

Speaker 1 – Zurich1 (CH-Z) - 
Speaker 2 – Elisabetta (IT) - 
Speaker 3 – Chiara (CH-L) -
Speaker 4 – Vittoria (IT) -
Speaker 5 – Zurich2 (CH-Z) -
Speaker 6 – (IT) -
Speaker 7 – Raffaele (CH-L) -
Speaker 8 – (IT) -
Speaker 9 – (CH) -
Speaker 10 – (IT) -


20.15-20.20 Closing Session

The Zoom Session details will be provided to the registered attendees.

Registration

  • Starts 15 September 2020 10:00 PM
  • Ends 06 October 2020 05:50 PM
  • All times are Europe/Zurich
  • No Admission Charge

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Plant-Based Nanomaterials: From Fundamentals to Function

Dr. Michael S. Reid, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Sustainable nanomaterials have the potential to play a transformative role in reshaping numerous industries including automobiles & transportation, food & drugs, bio-medical devices, packaging and electronics, by improving the recyclability, biodegradability and sustainability of the materials we interact with every day. For more than a century the pulp and paper industry has utilized sustainable materials from the forest, however, to expand and more effectively use our natural resources we must develop new innovative materials and processes. One such innovation comes in the form of nanocellulose as cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs). Extracted from trees, these high aspect ratio, plant-based nanomaterials offer tremendous potential as reinforcing agents, barriers, rheological modifiers, emulsifiers, structural supports and coatings, just to name a few. However, to fully harness their potential, we must develop a deep understanding of their chemistry, properties and behaviour.          In this talk we will discuss the extraction, characterization and application of nanocelluloses. We will use a variety of surface sensitive techniques and our knowledge of colloidal chemistry to better understand nanocellulose behaviour in dispersions, thin films and hybrid-composite materials. Controlling assembly and using aqueous-based processes we can develop polymeric and all-cellulose composites along with advanced functional materials such as supercapacitors and smart filters. By developing a thorough understanding of our natural resources, we will be able to tackle emerging environmental challenges and create a more sustainable future.

Bio: Dr. Michael S. Reid is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Polymer and Fibre Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. His research focuses on the extraction, characterization and application of sustainable plant-based nanomaterials for fundamental studies and emerging engineering applications such as paper & packaging, hybrid-composite materials, energy devices and filtration. Prior to his postdoctoral work, he received a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Guelph, Canada, a M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University, Canada. He is the recipient of the NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship as well as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship.
 


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Transient Electronics for Sustainable Packaging Platform

Dr. Yeonsik Choi, Northwestern University, USA

A remarkable feature of modern integrated circuit technology is its ability to operate in a stable fashion, with almost perfect reliability, without physical or chemical change. Recently developed classes of electronic materials create an opportunity to engineer the opposite outcome, in the form of “transient” devices that dissolve, disintegrate, or otherwise disappear at triggered times or with controlled rates. In my talk, I will describe the foundational concepts in chemistry, materials science, and assembly processes for water-soluble transient electronics. Then, I will present the system level embodiments of this idea that have the potential to address unmet clinical needs. I will terminate with a discussion of application opportunities of transient electronics, especially utilization for sustainable packaging platform. 

Bio: Dr. Yeonsik Choi obtained his BS (2009) and MS (2011) degrees from Yonsei University, Korea in Materials Science and Engineering. He spent 2011-2015 as a senior researcher in the Advanced Materials Development Team at LG Chem. Ltd. R&D Center, Korea, working on polymer nanocomposite for electronic devices. In 2019, he received a PhD under the guidance of Prof. Sohini Kar-Narayan, in Materials Science from University of Cambridge, UK, with support from the Cambridge Trust Scholarship. Currently, he works under Prof. John A. Rogers as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics at Northwestern University, USA.
 


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Virtual MEchanics GAthering -MEGA- Seminar: Talk1 - Granular hydrogels as novel bioinks for 3D printing of artificial soft tissues; Talk2 - Immobilizing different types of drops in microfluidic trapping devices

Matteo Hirsch & Michael Kessler (SMaL, EPFL)

Granular hydrogels as novel bioinks for 3D printing of artificial soft tissues, by Matteo Hirsch (SMaL, EPFL)
Hydrogels are among the first biomaterials expressly designed for their use in biomedicine. However, state-of-the-art applications of hydrogels are severely limited because they are typically either too soft or too brittle such that they cannot be used for load-bearing applications. At present, synthetic hydrogels are still far from reaching mechanical performances similar to that of their biological counterparts. One of the main reasons behind this difference is their poor internal arrangement. Indeed, nature is able to fabricate soft biological tissues encompassing highly ordered, hierarchical structures with locally varying compositions. Inspired by nature, we propose to use microgels as building blocks for the fabrication of 3D printed granular materials. Moreover, we investigate the effect of different processing parameters on the rheological behavior of jammed microgel solutions and on the mechanical performance of granular hydrogels.

Immobilizing different types of drops in microfluidic trapping devices, by Michael Kessler (SMaL, EPFL)
Many natural materials display unique mechanical properties that are, at least in parts, a result of the locally varying compositions of these materials. Bio-inspired materials usually cannot reach similar sets of mechanical properties than their natural counterparts. A contributing reason for this difference is that they typically possess homogeneous compositions. A possibility to fabricate soft, structured materials with locally varying compositions is the use of reagent-loaded drops as building blocks. In my talk, I will present a microfluidic device that allows immobilization of drops loaded with different reagents at well-defined positions using capillary trapping. I will show how we can vary the trapping force of traps to achieve a selective immobilization of only one type of drops. I will further present a mathematical model that predicts the trapping strength of traps depending on their geometry, which facilitates the design of such devices. To conclude, I will demonstrate an example of how immobilized drops can be transformed into soft materials with locally varying composition. This technology likely opens up new possibilities for the design of structured, load-bearing hydrogels, as well as for the next generation of soft actuators and sensors.
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Copying Brain

Prof. Dr. Donhee Ham,
Harvard University


Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Due to the covid-19 restrictions currently in place, the lecture will take place remotely by zoom only.

Zoom Live Stream: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/934241343

Abstract: Massively parallel, intracellular recording of a large number of mammalian neurons across a network has been a great technological pursuit in neurobiology, but it has not been achieved until our recent breakthrough [1]. For example, the intracellular recording by the patch clamp revolutionized neurobiology with its unparalleled sensitivity that can measure down to subthreshold synaptic activities, but it is too bulky to scale into a dense array, and only ~10 parallel patch recordings have so far been possible. For another example, the microelectrode array (MEA) can record from many more neurons, but this extracellular technique has too low a sensitivity to tap into synaptic events. In this talk, I will share the recent breakthrough of ours [1], a CMOS nanoelectrode array that massively parallelizes the intracellular recording from thousands of connected mammalian neurons. I will also explore the applications of this unprecedented tool in fundamental and applied neurobiology, in particular, functional connectome mapping, high-throughput drug screening for neurological disorder, and copying biological neuronal networks as a possible new synthesis of machine intelligence.

[1] J. Abbott et al, “A nanoelectrode array for obtaining intracellular recordings from thousands of connected neurons,”  Nature Biomed. Eng., doi: 10.1038/s41551-019-0455-7 (2019)

Bio: Donhee Ham is Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and EE at Harvard and Samsung Fellow. He earned a BS in physics from Seoul National University. Following a military service, he went to Caltech for graduate training, where he worked in LIGO under Prof. Barry Barish in physics, and later obtained a PhD in EE winning the Wilts Prize for the best EE thesis. His experiences/recognitions include IBM T. J. Watson Research, distinguished visiting professorship at Seoul National University, IEEE conference committees (e.g., ISSCC), distinguished lecturer for IEEE SSC Society, associate editor for IEEE TBioCAS, IBM faculty fellowship, and MIT TR35. His intellectual focus includes neuro-electronic interface, neuromorphic processor, low-dimensional and quantum devices, NMR technology, and integrated circuits.


Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program


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IMX Seminar Series - Novel approaches for electron tomography to investigate the structure and stability of nanomaterials in 3 dimensions

Prof. Sara Bals, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Nanomaterials are important for a wide range of applications because of their unique properties, which are strongly connected to their three-dimensional (3D) structure. Electron tomography has therefore been used in an increasing number of studies. Most of these investigations resulted in 3D reconstructions with a resolution at the nanometer scale, but also atomic resolution was achieved in 3D. However, the increasing complexity of nanomaterials has driven the development of even more advanced 3D characterization techniques. 
 
Moreover, in order to preserve the carefully designed morphologies and functionalities, understanding the stability of nanomaterials during application is of equal importance. It is hereby important to note that most electron tomography investigations have been performed at the conventional conditions of an electron microscope. An emerging challenge is therefore  to fully understand the connection between the 3D structure and properties under realistic conditions, including high temperatures as well as in the presence of liquids and gases. Therefore, innovative methodologies are required to track the fast 3D changes of nanomaterials that occur under such conditions.
 


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IGM Colloquium: Knots: from reality to mathematics and back

Prof. John Maddocks, Laboratory for Computation and Visualization in Mathematics and Mechanics, EPFL School of Basic Sciences (SB), Institute of Mathematics (MATH)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Knots have an extremely long history. In current times most people interested in knots are either sailors or climbers or knitters or surgeons or mathematicians. The classic mathematical theory of knots is to do with the topology of closed loops, so that shape is unimportant. More recently a small literature on the geometric theory of knots has arisen, where understanding certain idealised optimal shapes is everything. In parallel there is a (small) literature concerning the mechanics of real knots, where friction is everything. I will present some results of my own work on knots starting with simple mathematical models of the mechanics of knots, then passing to rather abstract mathematics of idealised optimal geometric shapes, and then returning to the reality of experimental data obtained by the group of Prof. P. Reis.

Bio:
Bachelor in Mathematics, University of Glasgow 1974-78, D.Phil. Balliol College, Oxford 1978-81, since 1997 Chair of Applied Analysis, EPFL, 2018-2022 Einstein Foundation Berlin Visiting Fellow.

Research interests are generally in computational and applied mathematics, including physical knot theory, but primarily in the multi-scale mathematical modelling of DNA.


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IMX Seminar Series - Operando and insitu experiments at large xray and neutron facilities

Prof. Elsa A. Olivetti, MIT, USA

Thanks to the increased brightness of xray and neutron beams at large facilities and to the enormous progress made in detector technology, insitu and operando experiments have become possible, adding the timescale to microstructural and mechanical characterization techniques. Compared to traditional post-mortem studies, such experiments enable an easier interpretation of processes occurring in materials under service or synthesis, allowing pinning down the chronological sequence between events and providing accurate input for computational modeling.
This lecture will illustrate recent insitu and operando experiments that NXMM/PEM carried out at the Swiss large facilities SLS and SINQ using scattering/diffraction and imaging techniques. Topics such as laser based additive manufacturing of net-shaped metal and ceramic components, phase transformations under multiaxial loading and precipitation mechanism in gold alloys will be addressed.
 


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IGM Colloquium: The Physics and Applications of high Q optical microcavities: Cavity Quantum Optomechanics

Prof. Tobias Kippenberg, Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEL) and EPFL School of Basic Sciences (SB), Institute of Physics (IPHYS)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
The mutual coupling of optical and mechanical degrees of freedom via radiation pressure has been a subject of interest in the context of quantum limited displacements measurements for Gravity Wave detection for many decades(1, 2). The pioneering work of Braginsky predicted that radiation pressure can give rise to dynamical backaction, which allows cooling and amplification of the internal mechanical modes of a mirror coupled to an optical cavity and moreover establishes a fundamental measurement limit via radiation pressure quantum fluctuations. Experimentally these phenomena remained however inaccessible many decades due to the faint nature of the radiation pressure force. A decade ago, it was discovered that optical microresonators with ultra high Q, not only possess ultra high Q optical modes, but moreover mechanical modes that are mutually coupled via radiation pressure(3). The high Q of the microresonators, not only enhances nonlinear phenomena – which enables for instance optical frequency comb generation(4, 5) as well as temporal soliton formation(6, 7)– but also enhances the radiation pressure interaction. This has allowed the observation of radiation pressure phenomena in an experimental setting and is an underlying principle of the research field of cavity quantum optomechanics(8, 9).

In this talk, I will describe a range of optomechanical phenomena that we observed using high Q optical microresonators. Radiation pressure back-action of photons is shown to lead to effective cooling(1, 2, 10, 11) of the mechanical oscillator mode using dynamical backaction. Sideband resolved cooling, combined with cryogenic precooling enables cooling the oscillators such that it resides in the quantum ground state more than 1/3 of its time(12). Increasing the mutual coupling further, it is possible to observe quantum coherent coupling(12) in which the mechanical and optical mode hybridize and the coupling rate exceeds the mechanical and optical decoherence rate (7). This regime enables a range of quantum optical experiments, including state transfer from light to mechanics using the phenomenon of optomechanically induced transparency(13). Moreover, the optomechanical coupling can be exploited for measuring the position of a nanomechanical oscillator in the timescale of its thermal decoherence(14), a basic requirement for preparing its ground-state using feedback as well as (Markovian) quantum feedback. This regime moreover enables to explore quantum effects due to the radiation pressure interaction, notably quantum correlations in the light field that give rise to optical squeezing or sideband asymmetry(15).

The optomechanical toolbox developed in the past decades enables to extend quantum control, first developed for atoms, and recently for superconducting quantum circuits, to be extended to solid state mechanical oscillators. New frontiers that are now possible include for example the generation of non-classical states of motion via post-selection(16), mechanical quantum squeezing, or interfaces from radio-frequency to the optical domain(17). Time, permitting, recent experiments that probe cavity optomechanics reserved dissipation regime in a microwave opto-mechanical system will be discussed, which provide a means to realize a cold dissipative reservoir for microwave light(18) a building block for non-reciprocal devices(19).

References:
1. V. B. Braginsky, S. P. Vyatchanin, Low quantum noise tranquilizer for Fabry-Perot interferometer. Physics Letters A 293, 228 (Feb 4, 2002).
2. V. B. Braginsky, Measurement of Weak Forces in Physics Experiments. (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1977).
3. T. J. Kippenberg, H. Rokhsari, T. Carmon, A. Scherer, K. J. Vahala, Analysis of Radiation-Pressure Induced Mechanical Oscillation of an Optical Microcavity. Physical Review Letters 95, 033901 (2005).
4. T. J. Kippenberg, R. Holzwarth, S. A. Diddams, Microresonator-based optical frequency combs. Science 332, 555 (Apr 29, 2011).
5. P. Del'Haye et al., Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator. Nature 450, 1214 (Dec 20, 2007).
6. T. Herr et al., Temporal solitons in optical microresonators. Nature Photonics 8, 145 (2013).
7. V. Brasch et al., Photonic chip–based optical frequency comb using soliton Cherenkov radiation. Science 351, 357 (2016).
8. M. Aspelmeyer, T. J. Kippenberg, F. Marquardt, Cavity optomechanics. Reviews of Modern Physics 86, 1391 (2014).
9. T. J. Kippenberg, K. J. Vahala, Cavity optomechanics: back-action at the mesoscale. Science 321, 1172 (Aug 29, 2008).
10. A. Schliesser, P. Del'Haye, N. Nooshi, K. J. Vahala, T. J. Kippenberg, Radiation pressure cooling of a micromechanical oscillator using dynamical backaction. Physical Review Letters 97, 243905 (Dec 15, 2006).
11. A. Schliesser, R. Rivière, G. Anetsberger, O. Arcizet, T. J. Kippenberg, Resolved-sideband cooling of a micromechanical oscillator. Nature Physics 4, 415 (2008).


Bio:
Tobias J. Kippenberg is Full Professor in the Institute of Physics and Electrical Engineering at EPFL in Switzerland since 2013 and joined EPFL in 2008 as Tenure Track Assistant Professor. Prior to EPFL, he was Independent Max Planck Junior Research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany. While at the MPQ he demonstrated radiation pressure cooling of optical micro-resonators, and developed techniques with which mechanical oscillators can be cooled, measured and manipulated in the quantum regime that are now part of the research field of Cavity Quantum Optomechanics. Moreover, his group discovered the generation of optical frequency combs using high Q micro-resonators, a principle known now as micro-combs or Kerr combs.
For his early contributions in these two research fields, he has been recipient of the EFTF Award for Young Scientists (2011), The Helmholtz Prize in Metrology (2009), the EPS Fresnel Prize (2009), ICO Award (2014), Swiss Latsis Prize (2015), as well as the Wilhelmy Klung Research Prize in Physics (2015) and the 2018 ZEISS Research Award. Moreover, he is 1st prize recipient of the "8th European Union Contest for Young Scientists" in 1996 and is listed in the Highly Cited Researchers List of 1% most cited Physicists in 2014-2019. He is founder of the startup LIGENTEC SA, an integrated photonics foundry.


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IMX Seminar Series - TBD

Prof. Ralph Claessen, Würzburg University, Germany


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CIS - Colloquium: Global Governance of AI – more important than ever by Ms Kay Firth-Butterfield

Madame Kay Firth-Butterfield

Ms. Kay Firth-Butterfield is currently the Head of AI and Machine Learning and Member of the Executive Committee at World Economic Forum.

Abstract: In 2019 we saw the beginnings of tech last. Perhaps unfairly, as it was not always at the heart of what was being protested, AI took centre stage. In 2020, we have seen this come back, despite the pandemic, in objections to COVID apps, A level announcements and the new documentary on Netflix, The Social Dilemma, is bound to fuel the fire. So, how do we secure the use of AI for Good to avoid losing its benefits? Can we achieve global governance for AI and if not what can we do?

The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, and STI that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems. In June 2020, CIS has launched its CIS Colloquia featuring invited notable speakers.
More info https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/cis/center-for-intelligent-systems-cis/events/colloquia/
 


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IGM Colloquium: Prof. Sabine Süsstrunk

Prof. Sabine Süsstrunk, Image and Visual Representation Laboratory, EPFL School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC), Institute of Computer and Communication Sciences (IINFCOM)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Coming soon...

Bio:
Coming soon...


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Information and Light in Complex Media

Prof. Dr. Allard Mosk,
Utrecht University


Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Campus Lausanne BM 5202 (live)
Campus Microcity MC B0 302 (video)
Zoom Live Stream: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/119888136

Abstract: Random scattering of light, which takes place in paper, paint and biological tissue is an obstacle to imaging and focusing of light and thus hampers applications ranging from laser ablation to precision measurements. At the same time scattering is a phenomenon of basic physical interest as it allows the study of fascinating interference effects such as open transport channels [1,2], which enable lossless transport of waves through strongly scattering materials. The frequency bandwidth of these channels [3] is critical to their usefulness as it determines their ability to carry pulses and their information-carrying capacity. After a broad overview of the field, we present new measurements of the frequency bandwidth and intensity fluctuations in these channels. Moreover, we show that  optimizing the incident light wave is essential to  extract precise information about the position of any scatterer. The information we retrieve turns out to be limited by our knowledge of the position of the other scatterers and the local density of states [5].

Bio: Allard Mosk (1970) started his physics career in ultracold atomic gases with work in Amsterdam (Ph.D. 1994), Heidelberg, and Paris, performing the first observation of a Feshbach resonance in Li, and of photoassociation of H. In 2003 he joined the Complex Photonic Systems group at the University of Twente. where he pioneered wavefront shaping methods to focus and image through strongly scattering media. Since 2015 he holds a chair at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, where he studies statistical properties of light in complex scattering media with a view on imaging and optical precision measurements.

Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program

Note: After the lecture, there will be time for discussion and interaction with the distinguished speaker, sandwich lunch and refreshments sponsored by the Institute of Microengineering will be provided for attendees in front of the lecture hall (BM 5104, ca. 13h15)

References:

  1. A. P. Mosk, A. Lagendijk, G. Lerosey, and M. Fink, Controlling waves in space and time for imaging and focusing in complex media, Nat. Photon., 6, 283 (2012).
  2. I.M. Vellekoop and A.P. Mosk, Universal optimal transmission of light through disordered materials, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 120601 (2008).
  3. Jeroen Bosch, Sebastianus A. Goorden, and Allard P. Mosk, Frequency width of open channels in multiple scattering media, Opt. Expr. 24, 26472-26478 (2016)
  4. X. Xu, X. Xie, A. Thendiyammal, H. Zhuang, J. Xie, Y. Liu, J. Zhou, and A. P. Mosk, Imaging of objects through a thin scattering layer using a spectrally and spatially separated reference, Opt. Express 26 (12), 15073–15083 (2018).
  5. D. F. Bouchet, R. Carminati, and A. P. Mosk, Influence of the local density of states on the localization precision of single particles in scattering environments, arXiv. org 1909.02501 (2019).

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IMX Seminar Series - Excitons and Phonons in 2D perovskites

Prof. Paulina Plochocka, CNRS Toulouse, France

High environmental stability and surprisingly high efficiency of solar cells based on 2D perovskites have renewed interest in these materials. These natural quantum wells consist of planes of metal-halide octahedra, separated by organic spacers.  Remarkably the organic spacers play crucial role in optoelectronic properties of these compounds.The characteristic for ionic crystal coupling of excitonic species to lattice vibration became particularly important in case of soft perovskite lattice. The nontrivial mutual dependencies between lattice dynamics, organic spacers and electronic excitation manifest in a complex absorption and emission spectrum which detailed origin is subject of ongoing controversy. First, I will discuss electronic properties of 2D perovskites with different thicknesses of the octahedral layers and two types of organic spacer.  I will demonstrate that the energy spacing of excitonic features depends on organic spacer but very weakly depends on octahedral layer thickness. This indicates the vibrionic progression scenario which is confirmed by high magnetic fields studies up to 67T. Finally, I will show that in 2D perovskites, the distortion imposed by the organic spacers governs the effective mass of the carriers.  As a result, and unlike in any other semiconductor, the effective mass in 2D perovskites can be easily tailored.  
 


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2030 Showcase



Join us for an exciting evening that brings together different actors of the EPFL sustainable tech ecosystem - from leading researchers, professors, students, partners, investors and impact-driven startups - all to show the power of technology for the advancement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Tentative Programme

The 2030 Showcase will kick-off with a high-level keynote speech that will be followed by insightful discussions of current use cases on how disruptive technological solutions can be used to address the most pressing global challenges of our time.

The event will also include an interactive startup exhibition that showcases EPFL spinoffs addressing different SDGs and will conclude with a networking apéro involving various stakeholders of the Swiss sustainable tech ecosystem.

The event is free of charge and is open to everyone - but registration is mandatory (click here). Be sure to register quickly as spots are limited.

Full programme coming soon.


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IGM Colloquium: Radiant indoors – daylight for building occupants

Prof. Marilyne Andersen, Laboratory of Integrated Performance in Design, EPFL School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Institute of Architecture (IA)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Natural light greatly impacts how a building is experienced by its occupants. It affects their well-being, notably from their health and biological clock perspectives, but also their perceived visual and thermal comfort, or their emotional response. If we want to support the design of places of delightful – and daylightful – living, we must bring these multifaceted considerations to become integral drivers of the creative process.

This lecture will explore current research efforts aiming towards a deeper integration of daylighting performance and indoor comfort in design, by reaching out to various fields of science, from chronobiology and neuroscience to psychophysics and computer graphics.

Bio:
Marilyne Andersen is Full Professor at EPFL where she heads the Laboratory of Integrated Performance in Design (LIPID). Her research activities focus on the integration of building performance in design with an emphasis on daylighting around the themes of health, perception, comfort and energy. She is co-founder of the start-up OCULIGHT dynamics and Academic Director of the Smart Living Lab. She was Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at EPFL from 2013 to 2018 and sits on the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.
She holds a MSc in Physics and a PhD in Building Physics, and was tenure-track Professor at MIT before joining EPFL, where she founded the MIT Daylighting Lab in 2004. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and a Visiting Professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Author of over 150 refereed scientific papers with several distinctions, she was the first laureate of the Daylight Research Award in 2016 and led the winning Swiss team for the US Solar Decathlon 2017 competition.


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IMX Seminar Series - Polymer Brushes on Gels: Imitating the Lubricious Properties of Cartilage

Prof. Nic Spencer, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Cartilage is an extraordinary material, both in terms of its impressive lubricious properties and the
fact that it continues to function, without a blood supply, for many decades, providing very low friction coefficients. In the simplest terms, cartilage consists of a hydrogel material with a stiffness gradient that interfaces to bone, attached, at the outer edge, to loose polysaccharide chains, which are thought to provide a lubricating function. Polymer brushes, which bear a resemblance to these loose chains, are well known for their lubricious properties, but when coating hard-hard contacts, minor disturbances in tribological conditions or the inclusion of foreign bodies, can rapidly lead to catastrophic failure, as asperities on one hard countersurface encouter the opposing brush. This problem is significantly reduced when the underlying substrate is soft, as in the cartilage case. When imitating cartilage, elastomers can provide this soft base layer, but an even more effective substrate for brushes in tribological applications is a gel. These can be readily tailored to ensure compatibility with the brush, and provide a number of cushioning functions, including elastic, viscoelastic, and porelastic, depending on the loading conditions. In our laboratory, we have explored a variety of systems for imitating cartilage, some of which have actually reached comparable friction coefficients to those observed in cartilage, as well as toughness values and wear resistance that render them of interest for medical and industrial applications.
 


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IGM Colloquium: Identifying the most valuable market opportunities for technologies

Prof. Mark Gruber, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization, EPFL College of Management of Technology (CDM), Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute (MTEI)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
A key challenge in the commercialization of science is the identification of market opportunities for new technologies. The history of technological progress is rife with examples where the most valuable opportunities were only discovered years, or even decades, after the scientific breakthroughs were made. In this talk, Marc Gruber, will review existing research on opportunity identification and introduce a practical framework that supports inventors in this all-important step in the commercialization and start-up process.

Bio:
Marc Gruber is Vice President for Innovation at EPFL and full professor at the College of Management of Technology at EPFL where he holds the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization (ENTC). Marc also acted as Associate (2013-2016) and as Deputy Editor (2017-2020) at the Academy of Management Journal (AMJ), the highest ranked empirical research journal in the management domain.
Marc Gruber joined EPFL in the fall of 2005 coming from the Munich School of Management, University of Munich (LMU), where he held the position as vice-director of the Institute of Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNOtec) and established the LMU’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He has held several visiting scholar posts at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he conducts research on technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. He is also a visiting professor at the Business School of Imperial College, London.
Marc has published his research on innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship in several leading journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of Business Venturing. In an independent research study on the most impactful entrepreneurship scholars (Gupta et al., 2016), Marc was ranked as the worldwide #1 researcher in entrepreneurship for the 2005-2015 period (shared #1 spot), and among the worldwide top 5 for the 2000-2015 period. Beyond his research work, he is currently authoring a textbook on technology commercialization and was the co-editor of a textbook on entrepreneurship as well as a regular contributor to a weekly column on entrepreneurship in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”.
Marc Gruber received a doctorate from the University of St. Gallen (UNISG) in 2000. In spring 2005, he received a venia legendi from the Munich School of Management (LMU) for his habilitation thesis on marketing in new ventures.


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IMX Seminar Series - Adaptive polymer assemblies with life-like features

Prof. Jan van Hest, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Compartmentalization is generally regarded as one of the key prerequisites for life. To better understand the role of compartmentalization, there is a clear need for model systems that can be adapted in a highly controlled fashion, and in which life-like properties can be installed. Polymer-based compartments are robust and chemically versatile, and as such are a useful platform for the development of life-like compartments. In this lecture we discuss polymer vesicles, which are modified in shape and function to show life-like features as catalytic activity, motility and transient behavior.  A second platform technology is based on complex coacervates, stabilized by a biodegradable block copolymer. The specific feature of the polymer membrane is its semipermeable character.  Enzymes inside the protocell can therefore still be reached by their substrates, and small molecule products can be excreted. This allows protocell communication with this robust synthetic platform.


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IGM Colloquium: Modeling adhesive wear across scales

Prof. Jean-François Molinari, Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory, EPFL School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Civil Engineering Institute (IIC)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Coming soon...

Bio:
Professor J.F. Molinari is the director of the Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory (http://lsms.epfl.ch) at EPFL, Switzerland. He holds an appointment in the Civil Engineering institute, which he directed from 2013 to 2017, and a joint appointment in the Materials Science institute. He started his tenure at EPFL in 2007, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012. 
 
 J.F. Molinari graduated from Caltech, USA, in 2001, with a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics. He held professorships in several countries besides Switzerland, including the United States with a position in Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University (2000-2006), and France at Ecole Normale Supérieure Cachan in Mechanics (2005-2007), as well as a Teaching Associate position at the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris (2006-2009). 
 
 The work conducted by Prof. Molinari and his collaborators takes place at the frontier between traditional disciplines and covers several length scales from atomistic to macroscopic scales. Over the years, Professor Molinari and his group have been developing novel multiscale approaches for a seamless coupling across scales. The activities of the laboratory span the domains of damage mechanics of materials and structures, nano- and microstructural mechanical properties, and tribology. Prof. Molinari was a recipient of an ERC Starting Grant award in 2009.


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Polymer-based artificial synapses: Using protons and electrons to impart plasticity to semiconductors

Prof. Dr. Alberto Salleo,
Stanford University


Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Campus Lausanne BM 5202 (live)
Campus Microcity MC B0 302 (video)
Zoom Live Stream: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/843927942

Abstract: Organic semiconductors have been traditionally developed for making low-cost and flexible transistors, solar cells and light-emitting diodes. In the last few years, emerging applications in health case and bioelectronics have been proposed. A particularly interesting class of materials in this application area takes advantage of mixed ionic and electronic conduction in certain semiconducting polymers. Indeed, the ability to transduce ionic fluxes into electrical currents is useful when interacting with living matter or bodily fluids. My presentation will first discuss the fundamental aspects of how mixed conduction works in polymeric materials and show some applications in biosensing. The bulk of my talk will focus on polymer-based artificial synapses.
The brain can perform massively parallel information processing while consuming only ~1- 100 fJ per synaptic event. I will describe a novel electrochemical neuromorphic device that switches at record-low energy (<0.1 fJ projected, <10 pJ measured) and voltage (< 1mV, measured), displays >500 distinct, non-volatile conductance states within a ~1 V operating range. Furthermore, it achieves record classification accuracy when implemented in neural network simulations. Our organic neuromorphic device works by combining ionic (protonic) and electronic conduction and is essentially similar to a concentration battery. The main advantage of this device is that the barrier for state retention is decoupled from the barrier for changing states, allowing for the extremely low switching voltages while maintaining non-volatility. Our synapses display outstanding speed (<20 ns) and endurance achieving over 109 switching events with very little degradation all the way to high temperature (up to 120°C). These properties, which are unheard of in the realm of organic semiconcuctors, are very promising in terms of the ability to integrate with Si electronics to demonstrate online learning and inference. When connected to an appropriate access device our device exhibits excellent linearity, which is an important consideration for neural networks that learn with blind updates.

Bio: Alberto Salleo is currently Full Professor of Materials Science and Department Chair at Stanford University. Alberto Salleo holds a Laurea degree in Chemistry from La Sapienza and graduated as a Fulbright Fellow with a PhD in Materials Science from UC Berkeley in 2001. From 2001 to 2005 Salleo was first post-doctoral research fellow and successively member of research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. In 2005 Salleo joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Stanford as an Assistant Professor in 2006. Salleo is a Principal Editor of MRS Communications since 2011.While at Stanford, Salleo won the NSF Career Award, the 3M Untenured Faculty Award, the SPIE Early Career Award, the Tau Beta Pi Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, Stanford’s highest teaching award. He has been a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher since 2015, recognizing that he ranks in the top 1% cited researchers in his field.

Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program

Note: After the lecture, there will be time for discussion and interaction with the distinguished speaker, sandwich lunch and refreshments sponsored by the Institute of Microengineering will be provided for attendees in front of the lecture hall (BM 5104, ca. 13h15)


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IMX Seminar Series - TBD

Prof. Alex Hoffmann, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA


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IGM Colloquium: Prof. Stéphanie Lacour

Prof. Stéphanie Lacour, Laboratory for Soft BioElectronic Interface, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Microengineering (IMT)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Coming soon...

Bio:
Coming soon...


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IGM Colloquium: Performing art improvisation techniques for mechanical engineering design teaching and learning

Prof. Simon Henein, Patek Philippe Chair in Micromechanical and Horological Design, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Microengineering (IMT)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
In 2017 Prof. Henein initiated a new course bridging the Engineering and Humanities faculties at EPFL: Collective Creation: Improvised Arts and Engineering (Improgineering). This year-long course, is part of EPFL’s Social and Human Sciences (SHS) program. It is open to all first-year Master’s students, with classes held once a week throughout the academic year. The course is hosted and supported by the Centre d’art scénique contemporain (ARSENIC) in Lausanne, a well-known incubator of contemporary performing arts. The course examines the creative processes in science, engineering and the performing
arts (dance, music, theatre) and put them in perspective with the design approaches used in engineering.

In 2018, the Improgineering course has been selected as a subject of study by researchers from the Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Neuchâtel (Prof. Kloetzer’s team) who launched the Performing Arts as Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education (ASCOPET) project, in collaboration with Prof. Henein. The observation and analysis of the pedagogical setting of this course covered the entire 2018-2019 academic year. The results of this study show that the use of performing arts in higher education has the potential to transform not only the relationship of the students to themselves, to the others, and to the topic under study, but also to transform the relationship between teachers and students, the relations between artistic and academic institutions, as well as the understanding of the central role of the body in collaborative activities, collective creation, and in particular in mechanical engineering design.

Bio:
Since obtaining his Ph.D. in Microengineering in 2000 from EPFL, Simon Henein has become a recognised leader in the design of novel mechanisms with sophisticated dynamic properties, dedicated to mechanical watches, surgical instruments, and aerospace applications. His related undergraduate and graduate teaching focuses on micromechanical design, with an emphasis on the creative process. In parallel, he developed a strong interest in improvised arts, particularly in dance instant composition. He participated in numerous workshops led by internationally renowned improvisers, developed his own artistic practice and founded a dance company in 2013. His experience in these two creative disciplines allowed him to identify a powerful synergy: improvisation as an efficient technique for developing collective work approaches, reflexivity, situated knowledge and embodied cognition. Simon Henein is currently Visiting Professor at the Centre for Theatre Studies (CET), Faculty of Arts, University of Lausanne and Associate Professor at EPFL, Head of the
Micromechanical and Horological Design Laboratory INSTANT-LAB, Institute of Microengineering.


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IMX Seminar Series - Injectable synthetic building blocks to regenerate soft anisotropic tissues

Prof. Laura De Laporte, Leibniz Institute / RWTH Aachen, Germany

We apply polymeric molecular and nano- to micron-scale building blocks to assemble soft 3D biomaterials with anisotropic and dynamic properties. Microgels and fibers are produced by technologies based on fiber spinning, microfluidics, and in-mold polymerization. To arrange the building blocks in a spatially controlled manner, self-assembly mechanisms and assembly by external magnetic fields are employed. For example, the Anisogel technology offers a solution to regenerate sensitive tissues with an oriented architecture, which requires a low invasive therapy. It can be injected as a liquid and structured in situ in a controlled manner with defined biochemical, mechanical, and structural parameters. Magnetoceptive, anisometric microgels or short fibers are incorporated to create a unidirectional structure. Cells and nerves grow in a linear manner and the fibronectin produced by fibroblasts is aligned. Regenerated nerves are functional with spontaneous activity and electrical signals propagating along the anisotropy axis of the material. Another developed platform is a thermoresponsive hydrogel system, encapsulated with plasmonic gold-nanorods, which actuates by oscillating light. This system elucidates how rapid hydrogel beating leads to a reduction in cell migration, while enhancing focal adhesions, native production of extracellular matrix, and nuclear translocation of mechanosensitive proteins, depending on the amplitude and frequency of actuation.


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CIS - Colloquium by Prof. Bin Yu

Prof. Bin YU

Prof. Bin YU is currently Chancellor's Professor in the Departments of Statistics and of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.
Abstract:



The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, and STI that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems. In June 2020, CIS has launched its CIS Colloquia featuring invited notable speakers.
More info https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/cis/center-for-intelligent-systems-cis/events/colloquia/
 


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IGM Colloquium: Prof. Francesco Stellacci

Prof. Francesco Stellacci, Supramolecular Nanomaterials and Interfaces Laboratory, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Materials (IMX)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Coming soon...

Bio:
Coming soon...


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IMT Distinguished Lecture - Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenbrunner

Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenbrunner
Johannes Kepler University Linz


Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Campus Lausanne BM 5202 (live)
Campus Microcity MC B0 302 (video)
Zoom Live Stream:

Abstract:

Bio:

Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program

Note: After the lecture, there will be time for discussion and interaction with the distinguished speaker, sandwich lunch and refreshments sponsored by the Institute of Microengineering will be provided for attendees in front of the lecture hall (BM 5104, ca. 13h15)


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IMX Seminar Series - The challenges and opportunities of sustainable materials

Prof. Fiorenzo Omenetto, Tufts University, USA

Natural materials offer new avenues for innovation across fields, bringing together, like never before, natural sciences and high technology. Significant opportunity exists in reinventing naturally-derived materials, such as structural proteins, and applying advanced material processing, prototyping, and manufacturing techniques to these ubiquitously present substances.  This approach help us imagine and realize sustainable, carbon-neutral strategies that operate seamlessly at the interface between the biological and the technological worlds. Some of these opportunities include biomaterials-based applications in edible and implantable electronics, food preservation, functional packaging, energy harvesting, wearable sensors, compostable technology, distributed environmental sensing, medical devices and therapeutics, biospecimen stabilization, advanced medical diagnostics, and will be outlined in this talk.
Bio: Fiorenzo G. Omenetto is the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. He also holds appointments in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical Engineering. His research interests are in the convergence of technology, biologically inspired materials and the natural sciences with an emphasis on new transformative approaches for sustainable materials for high-technology applications. Prof. Omenetto was formerly a J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratories, a Guggenheim Fellow.  He is a 2017 Tällberg Foundation Global Leader,  a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the National Academy of Inventors, and of the American Physical Society. His research has been featured extensively in the press with coverage in the most important media outlets worldwide. 


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CIS - "Get to know your neighbors" Seminar series - Prof. Mackenzie Mathis

Prof. Mackenzie Mathis
 

The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, and STI that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems.
 
In order to promote exchanges among researchers and encourage the creation of new, collaborative projects, CIS is organizing a "Get to know your neighbors" series. Each seminar will consist of 1-2 short overview presentations geared to the general public at EPFL.
 
Our second seminar will take place live on Zoom: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/92425058558

 
Monday, 14th December 2020 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm


NB: Video recordings of the seminars will be made available on our website and published on our social media pages


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IGM Colloquium: Prof. Herbert Shea

Prof. Herbert Shea, Soft Transducers Laboratory, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Microengineering (IMT)

If you would like to attend the talk in BM 5202, please register here (on a first-come, first-served basis). This allows us to limit the number of people in the room and to satisfy contact tracing requirements.

For remote attendance: Zoom link


Abstract:
Coming soon...

Bio:
Coming soon...


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Innate immune sensing of DNA through the cGAS-STING pathway

Dr Andrea Ablasser, SV / GHI / UPABLASSER

Abstract
The life of any organism depends on the ability of its cells to recognize and respond to pathogenic microbes. To accomplish this vital task cells rely on intricate signaling pathways that couple sensing of pathogen-associated danger signals to the execution of antimicrobial immune responses. The cGAS-(cGAMP)-STING signaling pathway is at the core of a highly conserved innate immune strategy that originated in bacteria to protect from phage infection. In mammals, the pathway detects intracellular DNA to promote an antiviral and inflammatory state. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the cGAS-STING pathway plays a critical role in regulating a number of (patho-)physiological processes that fall outside its traditional function in host defense. As such, the cGAS-STING pathway is implicated in a number of inflammatory disease states where homeostasis is compromised and out-of-context self DNA accumulates, including autoimmunity, cancer, and neurodegeneration.
In this talk I will present advances in our understanding of the activation and regulation of the cGAS-STING pathway. I will also discuss how aberrant cGAS-STING signaling contributes to inflammatory phenotypes and highlight opportunities for pharmacologically targeting cGAS-STING pathway activity.

Biosketch
Andrea Ablasser obtained her MD at the University of Munich. After her post-doc at the University of Bonn, she joined EPFL as an assistant professor. Her research focuses on mechanisms of innate immunity. She played a major role in deciphering how cells respond to DNA as a signal of infection via the so-called cGAS-STING pathway - a fundamental discovery, which paved the way for promising new immunotherapies. Amongst several distinctions, Andrea Ablasser is recipient of the Coley Award, the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, the  National Latsis Prize, the ACTERIA Prize, and the Eppendorf Award, and she was elected member of EMBO. She is the founding scientist of IFM Due, a biopharmaceutical company developing cGAS-STING antagonists for the treatment of inflammatory disorders.
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