How fungal infections cause blood poisoning

Blood poisoning caused by a fungal infection is a severe, life-threatening condition. Researchers at the University of Bern have now discovered a mechanism that helps a yeast fungus to spread more easily within the body. The immune system, of all things, plays a major role in this process. These findings could open up new therapeutic avenues for blood poisoning caused by yeast, but also for other invasive fungal infections.

Best Poster Award ELCC 2023

Philipp Zens received the Best Poster Award in the category of pathology/tumor biology during the European Lung Cancer Congress 2023 in Copenhagen. The presented results are the next pieces of the multicentric project (collaboration with Sabina Berezowska, CHUV) focusing on the molecular characterization of paired primary lung carcinoma and brain metastases. In concordance to the genomic characterization the MAPK-pathway popped up as the most differentially methylated pathway. Additionally, we could cluster the cohort in a brain metastasis specific, primary lung cancer specific and mixed group of samples.

Bern led international study will reduce overtherapy in appendiceal NET

Evidence leads to improved patient treatment! An international study led by endocrine surgery of the Inselspital and our Institute challanges a dogma: Contrary to the current concept seem microscopic lymph node metastases of appendiceal NET irrelevant for patients. Therefore there is no indication for right sided hemicolectomy.

Benjamin-Castleman-Preis 2023

Dr. Antonio Rodriguez Calero received the 2023 Benjamin Castleman Award during the USCAP 112th Annual Meeting on March 2023 in New Orleans. This award was granted in recognition of his paper published in Nature Communications, Alterations in homologous recombination repair genes in prostate cancer brain metastases. We congratulate you on this meritorious achievement and wish you continued success in your career.

A computer-assisted diagnostic for efficient lymph node screening of colorectal cancer patients published in Modern Pathology

Detection of lymph node metastases in colorectal cancer has been published in Modern Pathology, the final Ph.D. work of Amjad Khan. It is an excellent example of interdisciplinary research collaboration.

First and third price for best oral presentation at ENETs Annual Conference 2022

Ilaria Marinoni was awarded with the first price for the best oral presentation of her project "(Epi) genetic progression steps in alpha-lineage MEN1-DAXX/ATRX mutated Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PanNET)" at the 1st International NET forum. Simon April was awarded with the third price for the best oral presentation on his PhD project "Patient-derived Tumoroids phenocopy original GEP-NENs & facilitate in vitro drug screening".

Nacht der Forschung

The digital pathology group is at Nacht der Forschung! Join us in doing tissue detective work using artificial intelligence and get a glimpse of the future of pathology!

With a hydrogel against black skin cancer

Researchers at the University of Bern have developed a therapy option that activates the body's own defense system against black skin cancer. Components of a bacterium are embedded in gel and applied directly to the area of the tumor. In the model, the gel was shown to reduce tumor growth, inhibit its spread to other organs and thereby prolong survival. In a next step, the gel will be tested for its efficacy in patients in clinical trials.

Travel Grant Award 10th French Autophagy Meeting (CFATG) 2022

French Autophagy Meeting (CFATG), 2022, Besançon Jun Xu won a travel grant award to attend the annual meeting of the French Autophagy Society CFATG for his short oral presentation entitled "BNIP3L/NIX, a downstream effector of oncogene-induced cancer cell autophagy and invasion". His work describes how the oncogenic splice variant of the transcription factor DMTF1 activates autophagy in cancer cells paralleled by increased cellular migration.

PhD Thesis

Elham Kashani successfully defended her PhD Thesis on 17.08.2022. Titel: «Novel therapy resistance mechanisms in Gliomas; a translational and functional investigation»

Graphs for colorectal cancer discovery

Catch this interview with our PhD student Ana Leni Frei and discover what graphs are and why these can be used for colorectal cancer research using histopathology images.

Best presentation award, Blood Research Program, Research Day, 2021

Research Day, "Blood Research Program", November 2021 Sreoshee Rafiq received the best presentation award for her talk entitled "Chaperone-mediated autophagy regulation during acute promyelocytic leukemia differentiation". Her work describes that increased activity of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a subtype of autophagy, has a negative impact on differentiation therapy in acute myeloid leukemia cells.

Bern Cancer Research Cluster (BCRC) Research Retreat, 2021

The third BCRC retreat organized by D. Stroka, T. Marti and myself was a great success. We had eight fantastic summary talks on research success stories during the difficult pandemic situation. A total of 72 cancer researchers, 37 online and 35 onsite, participated in this years edition. We also officially announced the new "Tumor Biology Specialization Program" that initiated from our BCRC meetings. PhD students interested in cancer research can join this program to get the appropriate credit for their additional training in tumor biology. A big thank you to all BCRC members. Looking forward to our 4th BCRC retreat in 2022

Seal of excellence award

Robert Gaultney, PhD, received a Seal of excellence award for his Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship application

Poster Prize 11th Swiss Apoptosis and Autophagy Meeting (SA2M) 2021

Swiss Apoptosis and Autophagy Meeting (SA2M), onsite and online, 2021 Harpreet Mandhair won the poster prize of the French Autophagy Society CFATG for her short oral and poster presentation entitled "ULK complex blockade elicits NF-ҡB activation in GCB-DLBCL whilst augmenting cytotoxicity of Ibrutinib". Her work describes that autophagy inhibition using ULK1 inhibitors enhances Ibrutinib cytotoxicity in this aggressive lymphoma, despite and activation of NF-ҡB activation . This further underlines the complexity of combining autophagy modulating drugs with cytotoxic therapies.

Poster Prize Annual Meeting Life Sciences Switzerland (LS2) 2021

LS2 AM, Online, February 2021 
Nicolas Niklaus won the FEBS poster prize for his short oral and poster presentation entitled "Oncogene-induced autophagy enhances migration and invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells". His work nicely shows how the oncogenic splice variant of the DMTF1 transcription factor, which is highly expressed in aggressive cancer cells, supports cellular migration and invasion via activation of autophagy.

Award for best research project & presentation at 15th Annual Meeting Swiss Stem Cell Network 2020

Featuring this year’s theme of “Organoid & other specialized cell cultures for clinical applications” Simon April-Monn (PhD Candidate, Gruppe Perren/Marinoni) was honored for his project on Patient-derived Islet-like Tumoroids and personalized medicine in PanNETs. The award was generously conferred by the co-hosts Bern Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) & Bern Center for Precision Medicine (BCPM). 11.Dec.2020, Bern.

Increasing the effectiveness of immunotherapy against skin cancer

Researchers at the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism in the body’s own immune system which is responsible for the maturation and activation of immune cells. In the fight against skin cancer, the results have the potential to help immunotherapies succeed, even in patients for whom they have so far been ineffective.

Posterprize of the German Society of Pathology 2020

Antonio Rodriguez (Resident, IFP and Research fellow, Rubin Lab) for the presentation of his research project «The genomic landscape of prostate cancer brain metastases» 104. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Pathologie (DGP), 4.-6. June 2020, Berlin

Prize for the best project by a medical student at the Day of BioMedical Research 2019

Philipp Zens has received the prize for the best project by a medical student, for his medical dissertation project "Effect of neoadjuvant (radio)chemotherapy on PD-L1 expression in resected non-small cell lung cancers". Day of BioMedical Research 2019, Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR), 13.11.19, Bern.

Posterprize of the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland

Tereza Losmanová, for the presentation of her medical dissertation "Chaperone-mediated Autophagy Markers LAMP2A and HSC70 Are Independent Adverse Prognostic Markers in Primary Resected Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Lung". Congratulations! 12th Joint Meeting of the British Division of the International Academy of Pathology and the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland - 04.07.2019, Harrogate, UK

Research Award of the German Society of Cytology

The German Society of Cytology has awarded Dr. Ekkehard Hewer its biannual research prize in recognition of the study "The 'don't eat me' signal CD47 is a novel diagnostic biomarker and potential therapeutic target for diffuse malignant mesothelioma."

CSL Behring Award for the best Master Thesis in Biomedical Sciences 2019

We congratulate Vera Imboden for winning the CSL Behring Award 2019 for her master thesis "Autophagy functions in immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) pathology" under the supervision of PD Dr. M. Schaller (Hematology) and Prof. Dr. M. P. Tschan (Pathology)..

Dr. Lutz Zwillenberg-Prize 2018

On the occasion of the 184th Dies Academicus of the University of Bern the Dr. Lutz Zwillenberg Prize for an outstanding publication or PhD thesis in Biological Sciences was awarded to Dr. Ulrich Baumgartner, for his dissertation "microRNAs as modulators of cell-signaling and their role in chemoresistance in solid cancer". His findings show that a large number of microRNAs (short RNA molecules, which play a key role in gene regulation) orchestrate the activity of oncogenic processes and thereby promote the progression of non-small cell lung cancer. These basic findings in tumor biology might lead to the development of new targeted therapies.

Magali Humbert - TRTH Fellowship Winner, December 2018

The Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) is a joint effort of the European Hematology Association and the American Society of Hematology to provide mentoring to early-career hematological scientist. This highly competitive program selects 20 early-career scientists to receive advice from TRTH mentors to build-up a successful career in hematology research and to network at the two society meetings as well as during a one-week training. Magali Humbert (Group Tschan) was selected to participate in this one-year training in 2019 based on her work on chaperone-mediated autophagy in acute myeloid leukemia.

Dr. Lutz Zwillenberg-Prize 2017

At the 183rd Dies Academicus of the University of Bern the Dr. Lutz Zwillenberg Prize for an outstanding publication or PhD thesis in Biological Sciences was awarded to Daniel Zysset, PhD, for his work “TREM-1 links dyslipidemia to inflammation and lipid deposition in atherosclerosis”..

Prize for the best project by a medical student at the Day of Clinical Research 2017

Manuel Keller has received the prize for the best project by a medical student, for his medical dissertation project "Adverse prognostic value of PD-L1 expression in primary resected pulmonary squamous cell carcinomas and paired mediastinal lymph node metastases". Day of Clinical Research 2017, Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR), 31.10.17, Bern.

1st Faculty Prize for Dissertation

Dr. med. Melina Helbling, under the supervision of Prof. I. Zlobec, has received the 1. Prize from the Faculty of Medicine for her medical dissertation entitled “TWIST 1 and TWIST2 promoter methylation influences the EMT-like tumor budding phenotype in colorectal cancer”..

Pfizer Research Prize 2017

The Pfizer Research Prize 2017 in oncology basic research goes to Dr. Christian Schürch (Institute of Pathology) and PD Dr. Carsten Riether (Department of Clinical Research). They found that the CD27 receptor plays an important role for the survival and proliferation of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the current standard of care for CML, lead to up-regulation of the CD27-ligand (CD70) on LSCs which induces therapy resistance by activating the Wnt signaling pathway. Combination therapy of TKI and anti-CD70 antibodies overcomes this resistance mechanism, eliminates LSCs and cures CML in mouse models.

Lutz Zwillenberg Prize Lukas Mager 2016

In his PhD thesis entitled „Molecular Dissection of Inflammation-induced Immunopathologies“, Lukas Mager reveals an inflammatory mechanism that promotes blood as well as colon cancer. A molecular messenger, the so-called interleukin-33 (IL-33), plays an essential role in these diseases by activating immune cells and other cells in the tumor environment. This leads to the release of different growth factors triggering tumor growth. Therefore, IL-33 may represent a target for the therapy of these cancers.

Life Achievement Award 2016

The Life Achievement Award for 2016 was awarded to Professor Jean Claude Reubi from Switzerland, who is considered the father of Peptide-Receptors in Diagnostics and Therapy, including Neuroendocrine Tumors.

Young Investigator Communication Workshop Award, WCLC 2016

Manuel Keller received the “Young Investigator Communication Workshop Award” at the 17th IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer, 2016, Vienna, Austria, December 4-7th. He presented his MD dissertation work: “High PD-L1 expression is associated with worse prognosis in primary resected squamous cell carcinomas of the lung”. Congratulations!

Travel Grant, ELCC 2016 European Lung Cancer Conference

Sabina Berezowska, 13.-16.04.2016, Geneva; Autophagy in early stage NSCLC – prognostic significance of the autophagy markers p62 and LC3B. We are interested in investigating autophagy in non-small cell lung cancer. In this project, we assessed the prognostic role of autophagy in primary resected early-stage lung cancer.

Congratulation to Lena Sokol, PhD

Lena Sokol received the 2016 AACR-Pezoller Foundation Scholar-In-Training Award for her poster entitled “A signature of rejection in colorectal cancer: immune markers and their epigenetic regulation”.

Hakan Ahlman Award for the best publication of the year

to Ilaria Marinoni at the 12th ENETS Meeting in Barcelona for her Publication in Gastroenterology: "Loss of DAXX and ATRX are associated with chromosome instability and reduced survival of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors"

Pfizer Forschungspreis 2015

PD Dr. med. Stefan Freigang

2015 Stowell-Orbison Award, United Stated and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Boston

Viktor H Koelzer, A Twist to the Tale: Effect of TWIST1 and TWIST2 promoter methylation and protein expression in tumor stroma on the tumor budding phenotype in colorectal cancer. The project investigates the interaction between tumor cells and stromal cells in colorectal cancer with molecular methods. The epigenetic regulation of TWIST1 and TWIST2 was demonstrated.

2015 Travel Grant, United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW)

Inti Zlobec, VE1 (BRAF V600E) immunohistochemistry in colorectal cancer: assessment of antibody performance, histopathology, prognosis and heterogeneity in three colorectal cancer cohorts. The aim of the study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of VE1 for BRAF mutation and to investigate the heterogeneity of expression and prognostic effect in colorectal cancer..

Forschungspreis der Schweizerischen Herzstiftung 2015

PD Dr. med. Stefan Freigang

2015 Third Oral Presentation Prize; 27th European Congress of Pathology, Belgrad

Annika Blank, The role of c-Met in pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms: Human tissue and cell line-based result. This project describes the role of c-Met, a tyrosine kinase receptor, in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The interaction between the expression of this protein and hypoxic conditions as well as the impact on patient prognosis was investigated.

2015 Tiniakos-Award for best contribution in GI-Pathology, 27th European Congress of Pathology

Eva Diamantis-Karamitopoulou, Indications for a strategic role of the stromal cells in the tumour progression of pancreatic cancer. Unsere Untersuchungen zeigen dass die Stromazellen in der Umgebung der Tumorbuds im Bereich der Invasionsfront des Pankreaskarzinoms regulieren das weitere Tumorwachstum durch genetische und epigenetische Veränderungen inklusiv Expression von microRNAs.