After studying Biochemistry in Geneva, in 1987 I started my doctoral thesis at the Institute of Cell Biology of the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, with Jean-Claude Perriard, working on muscle cell cytoarchitecture. From 1991, I was a postdoc in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University, USA, with Suzanne Pfeffer, unraveling the function of Rab GTPases in endosomal membrane trafficking. In 1995, I joined the Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, as an independent group leader in Wolfhard Almers’s department.
There we started deciphering cellular and molecular mechanisms of endocytosis and phagocytosis, using the social amoeba Dictyostelium as a model system. In 2001, I was appointed as a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at Imperial College London, UK. In 2004, I joined the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Geneva as a senior lecturer. Since then, the investigations have focused more heavily on the interface between host and pathogens, especially mycobacteria as they reprogramme the otherwise bactericidal phagocytic cells to establish a proliferation niche.