Present members

Head of Laboratory

Douglas Hanahan                                         
Head of Laboratory

Douglas Hanahan, born in Seattle, Washington, USA, received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT (1976), and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard (1983). He worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York (1978-88) initially as a graduate student and then as a group leader. From 1988-2010 he was on the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at UCSF in San Francisco. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2007), the Institute of Medicine (USA) (2008), the US National Academy of Science (2009), and EMBO (2010). In 2011, Hanahan received an honorary degree from the University of Dundee (UK).

Lab Manager

Ehud Drori                                                             
Lab Manager

Ehud graduated from San Francisco State University (1996) with a BS in Biochemistry. He worked as a technician researching drugs to treat diabetes I & II at Terrapin Tech Inc. in South San Francisco (1996-1997). He then worked as lab technician SRAIII in Dr. Carol Basbaum’s lab doing basic research in respiratory diseases at the University of California, San Francisco (1997-2001). He joined the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Hanahan in 2001 as the lab manager and has been at EPFL-ISREC since 2010.

Post-docs & Research Staff

Mélanie Louise Tichet                                      

Mélanie received her PhD degree from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France) in 2013 for her work on the matricellular protein SPARC in the metastatic dissemination of melanoma, a lethal form of skin cancer. After this, she performed the first post-doctoral training in her PhD lab where she continued her work on melanoma. In 2015, she joined the Hanahan lab at the EPFL School of Life Sciences. She is interested in investigating stromal influences in tumor development using mouse models of cancer.

Stephan Wullschleger                                   
Pre-Clinical Trials Manager, Scientist

Stephan graduated in Biochemistry (2000) at the University of Basel. In 2004, he received his PhD in Biochemistry from the Biozentrum in Basel where he characterized the biochemical properties of TOR complex 2 (TORC2). After his PhD studies he performed post-doctoral training at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee (UK) where he analyzed signal transduction pathways implicated in diabetes and cancer. In 2011, he joined the Hanahan lab and he is studying proteins involved in tumor invasion and metastasis employing pharmacological as well as genetic approaches in mouse models of cancer.

Qiqun Zeng                                                        

Qiqun received her Bachelor degree in biological science (2007) from Sichuan University, China. In 2012, she obtained her PhD degree in cell biology from the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. During and after her PhD studies, she studied the role and underlying mechanism of the cell adhesion molecule CD146 in breast cancer metastasis and tumor angiogenesis. In 2014, she joined the Hanahan lab in the ISREC Institute, at the EPFL School of Life Sciences, to study the roles and regulation of glutamate-NMDAR signaling in cancer progression.

Gabriele Galliverti                                            

Gabriele received his bachelor degree in Biotechnology from the University of Milan Bicocca in 2010. He did his master thesis project in the Dynamics of Immune Responses lab at San Raffaele Scientific Institute studying antiviral immune responses and new adjuvants for B cells, and he graduated in Molecular and Cellular Medical Biotechnology in 2012 at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan. In 2018, he received his PhD in Biotechnology and Bioengineering from EPFL for his work in the Swartz and Hanahan lab, during which he developed a novel therapeutic vaccine formulation against HPV-related malignancies and studied the immunosuppressive barriers associated with these types of cancers. He is currently continuing his research on immunotherapy of HPV-related cancers as part of the Hanahan lab, focusing on the immunosuppressive role of myeloid cells.

PhD Students

Sadegh Saghafinia                                 
Doctoral Assistant

Sadegh graduated in Chemical Engineering (2012) at the Sharif University of Technology, Iran. In 2012 he started his master studies in Biotechnology at EPFL. Currently, he is doing his master thesis in Hanahan lab, working on the role of miRNAs in metastasis of PanNET.

Technical Staff

Mei-Wen Peng                                                    
Laboratory Assistant

Mei-Wen graduated from National Chung-Hsing university (Taiwan, 2007) with a master in Molecular Biology. She worked in medical research centers focused on cancer and tuberculosis using animal models. She has been at Hanahan lab since 2011.

Sylvie André Baflast                                     
Laboratory Assistant

Sylvie André Baflast obtained her diploma of Technician in Biomedical Analyses (2003) at The School of Laboratory Profession (ECLAB) of Geneva. She worked at the ISREC institute at Epalinges in the laboratory of the Professor Richard Iggo where she was mainly involved in a study on the role of p53 mutations in breast cancer in a clinical trial. In 2005, she helped to set up his laboratory at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. During this period, she gained experiences in gene expression and adenoviruses production before joining the group of Professor Michel Aguet at EPFL in 2007. Besides supporting the laboratory, she also performed independent research on the BCL9 project in colon cancer. Since June 2013, Sylvie has been working as a technician in the laboratory of Prof. Hanahan. She is currently working with Dr. Krisztian Homicsko on the melanoma’s project.

Sebastien Lamy                                             
Laboratory Assistant
Sebastien Lamy obtained his diploma of Licence Professionnelle en Biotechnologie at the Technical Institute of Clermont-Ferrand (France) in 2009. Then, he  started to work at the Phenotyping Unit of the Center of Phenogemics at EPFL. During this period he worked on collaboration with academic laboratories and pharmaceutical companies, focusing on metabolic syndromes such as diabetes and obesity in different rodent models. Sebastien joined the laboratory of Professor Douglas Hanahan in 2016 to assist Dr Iacovos Michael.


Krisztian Homicsko                                            
Scientific Academic Guest

Krisztian graduated in medicine with summa cum laude from the Semmelweis Medical University, Budapest, Hungary in 2001. In 2002 he received his M.Sc. at the University of Geneva in Medical Biology. He obtained a PhD in the Swiss Institute of Experimental Cancer Research in 2006 working in the laboratory of Prof. Richard Iggo on replicating tumor selective oncolytic viruses targeting colorectal cancer. After a short postdoctoral training at the University of St Andrews, Scotland UK, in the lab of Prof. Iggo, he performed medical training at several locations including the Ninewells University Hospital Dundee, UK, and at the Hospital of the Curie Institute, Paris, France. He finished his training in medical oncology at the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland. He joined the Hanahan lab in 2011 and works part time in the lab and in the clinical activity of the melanoma clinic in the department of Oncology at CHUV. His projects focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in melanoma using a genetically engineered mouse model of melanoma.