8 juin 2023: Pr Bernd Bodenmiller


suivi d'un apéritif

Hôtes: Pr Mikaël PITTET & Pr Olivier MICHIELIN,
Centre de recherche translationnelle en onco-hématologie (CRTOH)
Département de pathologie et immunologie & Département de médecine,
Faculté de médecine UNIGE

PROF. Bernd Bodenmiller

Department of Quantitative Biomedicine, University of Zurich
Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, ETH, Zurich


«Highly multiplexed tissue imaging towards precision medicine»

Cancer is a tissue disease. Heterogeneous cancer cells and normal stromal and immune cells form a dynamic ecosystem that evolves to support tumor expansion and ultimately tumor spread. The heterogeneity of this dynamic system is the main obstacle in our attempts to treat and heal the disease. The study of the tumor ecosystem and its cell-to-cell communications is thus essential to enable an understanding of tumor biology, to define new biomarkers to improve patient care, and ultimately to infer for each patient a tailored therapeutic rout.

To study and understand the workings of the tumor ecosystem, highly multiplexed image information of tumor tissues is essential. Such multiplexed images will reveal which cell types are present in a tumor, their functional state, and which cell-cell interactions are present. To enable multiplexed tissue imaging, we developed imaging mass cytometry (IMC). IMC currently allows to visualize over 50 antibodies and DNA probes simultaneously on tissues with subcellular resolution. To exploit multiplexed tissue imaging data for research and translation to patients, we have validated hundreds of antibodies, developed multiple computational toolboxes (histocat, cytomapper, steinbock) and introduced novel concepts to describe tissues (cellular neighborhoods, communities and motives). Application of IMC to large patient cohorts of revealed novel spatial biomarkers of disease progression and whether patients might benefit from immunotherapy. Application in an observational clinical trial showed clear clinical usefulness and already indicates benefit for patients.


Bernd Bodenmiller is a quantitative biologist who develops novel experimental and computational approaches for the quantitative analysis of tumor ecosystems to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of tumor development for the benefit of patients. He is the founding director of the Department of Quantitative Biomedicine (DQBM) at the University of Zurich, which fosters research and education at the interface of biomedical research, biotechnology, and computational biology to guide development of next-generation precision medicine. Prof. Bodenmiller obtained his PhD in the group of Ruedi Aebersold at ETH Zürich. For his postdoctoral training, he joined the laboratory of Garry P. Nolan at Stanford University. In 2012, he became a group leader and in 2013 an SNF/ERC assistant professor at the University of Zurich. In 2019, he was tenured and became the founding director of the DQBM. In October 2020, Prof. Bodenmiller has been appointed as Dual Professor for Quantitative Biomedicine at the UZH and at ETH Zurich. His group pioneered the development of imaging mass cytometry, an approach that enables simultaneously imaging of over 40 proteins and transcripts in tumor tissues (Nat. Methods, 2014; Cell Systems, 2017; Nature 2020) and the histoCAT software toolbox (Nat. Methods, 2017). His group applies these methods to unravel how cells in the tumor ecosystem drive cancer development to identify mechanisms that might be exploited for therapeutic targeting (Nat. Biotechnology, 2017, Cell, 2017; Cell, 2019).


May 16, 2023
  Frontiers in biomedicine