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ANDREAS BOLAND

Principal Investigator

Andreas completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen in the group of Elisa Izaurralde where he discovered his passion for Structural Biology. He moved for his PostDoc to Cambridge and joined David Barford at the MRC-LMB. Here, he used cryoEM to investigate the structure & function of proteins involved in cell cycle regulation. He continues to work on important cell cycle regulatory proteins at the University of Geneva. Main techniques used to address biological questions are in vitro biochemistry, structural biology and cell biology.

Outside the lab Andreas likes all kind of sports, especially running.

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YVAN PFISTER

Research Assistant

Yvan takes care that everything needed is available in the lab and ensures that all group members have optimal working conditions. This includes also many wet lab tasks from cloning to cell culture maintenance.

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CAROLINE GABUS

Research Assistant

Caroline mainly works in the research lab of Robbie Loewith but also contributes to the research of the Boland group. Caroline enjoys purifying proteins and is always available to provide valuable feedback!

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JUN YU

Senior Scientist

Jun obtained his B.S. degree from Zheng Zhou University, China in 2013. He joined the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, to join the Master and Doctoral program. During his PhD in Song Xiang's lab his research focused on the structural analysis of protein phosphatase 1 and the Rad18 E3 ligase by X-ray crystallography. In May 2019, he moved to Geneva Switzerland and joined the lab as a Postdoc. Jun works on elucidating the molecular mechanism of chromosome segregation by separase using cryo-EM together with complementary biochemical and biophysical techniques. He likes playing badminton and table tennis during his free time.

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XUEFENG ZHANG

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Xuefeng obtained his bachelor degree from the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Xi'an, China. For his master he moved from Central China to Shanghai to study and work at the Shanghai institute of Materia Medica (Chinese Academy of Sciences). During his PhD he worked on the structural and functional characterisation of the cholecystokinin receptors, under the supervision of Prof. Qiang Zhao. He will join the Boland group in September 2022 and continue to work on specific membrane protein targets, using cryoEM.

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MARGHERITA BOTTO

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Margherita performed her bachelor's studies in Physics at the Sapienza University of Rome (2012-2015). Following this, she completed her Master studies in Biological and Soft Matter Physics at Leiden University (2015-2017). Afterwards she obtained her PhD in Structural Biology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), in the lab of Meindert Lamers (2018-2022). She will join the lab as a Postdoc in November 2023 and will work on the structural basis of cell cycle regulation. Margherita is a mountain lover, and when she is not at work she loves to ski or hike in the beautiful Alps.

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ELDA BAUDA

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Elda's passion for EM began during an undergraduate internship in Navraj Pannu's lab in Leiden, in collaboration with NeCEN. There, she received training from Chris Diebolder and Ludovic Renault in data acquisition and processing. Elda joined the Morlot lab at the Institute of Structural Biology (IBS) in Grenoble, where she completed her Ph.D. thesis in close collaboration with Christine Moriscot at the EM facility of the IBS. The Ph.D. project focused on bacterial sporulation and involved techniques such as CEMOVIS, TEM on resin, cryo-FIB/SEM, and cryo-ET. For her postdoc in the Boland and Loewith groups, Elda will apply cellular EM approaches to study yeast' ultrastructure. Outside the lab, she often can be found in the mountains.

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ANDREA ŠVORINIĆ

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Andrea obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Molecular Biology from University of Zagreb, Croatia. She then moved to Heidelberg, Germany where she obtained her PhD in Biochemistry while working in the labs of Prof. Dr. Christof Niehrs (German Cancer Research Center) and Prof. Dr. Irmi Sinning (University of Heidelberg). Her doctoral thesis work focused on the biochemistry of proteins involved in Wnt signaling. In March 2024 she will start as a Postdoc in the lBoland and Stoeber labs, where she will work on selected GPCR targets using cryoEM. Outside the lab, Andrea likes reading and traveling.

Get in Touch
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SOPHIA SCHMIDT

PhD student

After her Bachelor at the University of Basel (2015-2019), Sophia performed an internship at Abera Bioscience (2019). Working with proteins raised her interest to follow up her Masters in Structural Biology at the Biozentrum, Basel (2019-2021), where she studied proteins using biophysical methods and cryoEM. Sophia then conducted an internship in Downstream Processes at Novartis (2021). Equipped with this knowledge she decided to pursue a PhD to understand the mechanism of biological processes at an atomic level using cryoEM. She joined the lab in March 2022. In her free time, Sophia enjoys outdoor sports such as ski tours, climbing, hiking and cycling with her friends.

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LI YAO

PhD student

Li obtained her B.S. degree from Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China (2012-2016). In her master she majored in Structural Biology at the School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University (2018-2021) under the guidance of Dr. Michael Yuchi. She developed a fluorescence-based high-throughput screening assay to identify ryanodine receptors (RyR)-targeting insecticides. She then worked as a research assistant in Shenzhen Bay Laboratory under the supervision Dr. Jianchuan Wang. Here, she was mainly engaged in structure-based drug research. In August 2023, Li joins the lab as a PhD student. Outside the lab she likes painting, swimming and dancing.

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ILSE SCHAEFFNER

Fulbright scholar

Ilse did her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Wake Forest University, North Carolina. 
She then worked as a Research Assistant in the lab of Dr. Michael Eck at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Harvard Medical School) study the structure, function, and resistance mechanisms of drug-resistant protein kinases involved in lung cancer using X-ray crystallography. In the Boland group she will apply cryoEM to study the structure and function of medical relevant drug targets.

LAB ALUMNI

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PIERRE RAIA

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Pierre was substantially involved in our paper on the regulation of human separase and established several other projects successfully in the lab.

He moved in early 2022 to the Hothorn lab (UNIGE, down the hall) to expand his technical repertoire and is still an important contributor to some of the projects in the Boland lab.

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ANNA HÖFLER

PhD student

Anna joined as the first brave PhD student our lab and therefore has been instrumental in setting up the lab from scratch - and she did it in a wonderful way!

She solved the structure of the Anaphase-promoting complex at sub-3Å resolution and discovered new regulatory pathways that control the ubiquitylation activity of the APC/C. Further, Anna established our research work on the E3 ligase TRIP12.

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LINA POULAIN

PhD Student

Lina obtained her bachelor’s in medical biology from the University of Québec in Trois-Rivieres in Canada (2012-2016) and did her bachelor thesis in molecular virology within the same institution. She obtained her master’s in immunology from the University Aix-Marseille in France (2017-2019) and conducted her thesis in molecular virology at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm in Sweden. She joined the lab in October 2019 working on the structural basis of cell cycle regulation, in particular regulation of CDK-cyclin complexes. Much of her pioneering work will be continued in the lab now.

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