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EPFL/Industry Seminar Series in Life Sciences and Technology


In 2003, the EPFL School of Life Sciences launched a new curriculum to train and

prepare engineers for careers in Life Sciences. However, students felt that stronger interactions with the industry were needed to help and shape their decisions concerning the next phase of their professional career. Hence, encouraged by the growing interest of the industry for the Masters diplomees and supported by the Dean of the School of Life Sciences, Prof. Didier Trono, a student driven initiative was launched and the EPFL/Industry seminar series in Life Sciences and Technology started being organized. Coordinated by the Students in Life Science Association, these seminars aim to bring, from the relevant industries, leading world-renowned scientists who have made landmark discoveries in life sciences, bioengineering or biotechnology.



Table of contents




Committee 09/10

Name Fonction eMail
Sarah Sonnay Communication

Lilia Salimova

Luc Gervais Mbida

Ayah Khubieh 

Coralie Dessauges

President, finances, sponsoring 



Aperitif, communication



Previous Events


Fascination de la Recherche Pharmaceutique: L'exemple d'Actelion 


DateLundi 10 mai 2010, 18h00
Guest speakerM.D. Martine Clozel, co-fondatrice d'Actelion 

Mme Clozel nous parlera de son incroyable parcours professionel, de la création d'Actelion et répondra également aux questions que nous nous posons tous, telles que l'avenir de la pharmaceutique et la place de la femme dans un tel domaine. Spécialisée dans la pédiatrie, elle continua son parcours dans la recherche de médicaments contre diverses maladies (problèmes cardio-vasculaires et hypertention pulmonaire notamment). La fondation d'Actelion est l'une de ses plus grande réussite et sa passion pour la recherche y est reflétée.



L'environnement Lémanique des Sciences de la Vie: Votre Environnement


DateMardi 10 novembre 2010, 18h15
Guest speakerBénoît Dubuis, Fondateur de la Faculté SV et Président de BioAlps

M. Dubuis nous parlera de son parcours professionnel et de ce qui le passionne en Sciences de la Vie. Il évoquera également la création de la faculté des Sciences de la Vie que des postes de travail et débouchés pour les ingénieurs en SV. Des questions telles que : « Faut-il faire un post-doc ou un MBA ? » seront abordées et il nous présentera le milieu industriel et les différentes sociétés intéressantes dans la région lémanique. M. Dubuis présentera des cas concrets tels que « Bio Alps » dont il est le président. Enfin, notre invité soulignera l’importance du réseau pour le développement de la vie professionnelle d’un ingénieur en Sciences et Technologies du vivant. 




Academy and Industry: Bridging the gap


DateMardi 12 mai 2, 18h30
Guest speakerProf. Karl G. Hofbauer 

A physician by training, Prof. Karl G. Hofbauer specialised in experimental pharmacology early in his academic career at the University of Heidelberg where he became Privatdozent in 1975. Subsequently he moved to Basel and held various research management positions at CIBA.

After the merger between CIBA and Sandoz in 1996 he became Therapeutic Area Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases at Novartis. During his stay in the pharmaceutical industry he and his team contributed successfully to the development of several major drugs.

In 2000 Karl G. Hofbauer was appointed Professor for Applied Pharmacology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel where he is continuing his research on new concepts for the pharmacotherapy of obesity and cachexia.



Climbing up the ladder - Being an engineer at Merck-Serono


Date: Mardi 24 mars 2009, 18h30
Guest speaker: Sebastien Mauel, ing. dipl. EPFL chimiste

Sébastien Mauel graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology before joining Serono in 1997. After an initial period on a biotechnology production site, he started a career in supply chain in 1999 in the trading company of the Serono group and since then has held various supply chain positions notably Logistics Manager in Germany and Corporate Planning Manager in the headquarters in Switzerland. Sébastien also holds the CPIM and CSCP certifications from APICS. One year after the take over of Serono by Merck KGaA he was appointed Head of Product Security and since then is in charge of developing the product security strategy and of implementing the necessary measures to enhance the protection of Merck Serono pharmaceutical products against counterfeiting, fraud and diversion. 


Working in the MedTech Industry – Some experiences and advices


Date: Mardi 6 mai 2008, 18h15
Guest speaker: M.Dransart, ancien diplomé EPFL

Mardi 6 mai, Monsieur Alain Dransart viendra nous parler de son expérience dans l'Industrie. M.Dransart, diplomé EPFL en Electricité, s'est largement rapproché du domaine des Life Sciences. Il a travaillé dans des compagnies Medtech (Haemonetics, Medtronic, ...) et y a fait des jobs passionnants. De la R&D (Research&Development) au consulting en passant par le marketing, la vente et les clinical tests, il nous décrira son parcours et surtout ses expériences de travail dans le monde de l'Industrie.
Ne manquez absolument pas cette rencontre! Le comité SV-Industry vous attend en compagnie de M.Dransart mardi 6 mai à 18h15 en salle ELA1. Sans oubliez de préciser que la conférence sera suivie d'une série de questions-réponses (informelle) puis du traditionnel apéro.

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New Drugs for Neglected Diseases


Date: December 3rd, 2007
Guest speaker: Prof. Alex Matter, Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (Singapore)

Alex Matter, M.D., is the Head of Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore. Dr. Matter assumed this position in October 2003. Prior to this role, Dr. Matter was Global Head of Oncology Research for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Head of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel and Global Head of Translational Research. Dr. Matter played an important role in the success of several anticancer drugs, including Gleevec© and most recently, Tasigna©.

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Innovation, Risk-taking and Company Creation


Date: June 12th, 2007
Guest speaker: Dr. Francesco De Rubertis, Index Ventures

Francesco De Rubertis is the General Partner responsible for the firm's Life Sciences practice. His areas of expertise include biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals. Having served on the board of numerous companies including Genmab, Bioxell, Addex, Parallele, 7TM and Pangenetics, Francesco De Rubertis joined Index Ventures in 1998. He is also the author of several publications in international scientific journals including Nature.

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From Research To Production Or From The Laboratory To A Company... What Is Needed


Date: April 4th, 2007
Guest speaker: Dr. Andrea Pfeifer, AC Immune SA

Andrea Pfeifer is co-founder and CEO of AC Immune, a pharmaceutical Biotech with focus on Alzheimer’s disease. As the former head of the Nestlé Research Centers in Lausanne and Tours (France), Andrea Pfeifer brings 15 years of senior management experience with a broad R&D, business and international exposure. While at Nestle, she lead the development of the first Functional Food, LC1, and the first Cosmeceutical product in a joint venture with L’Oreal, Innéov Fermeté, she also co-founded the Nestlé Venture Capital Fund, a $100M Life Sciences corporate venture fund. She has published more than 200 papers and abstracts in leading scientific journals.

Over 250 bachelor, master and PhD students attended this first seminar. Eager to learn about their future possibilities, they listened to Andrea Pfeifer explain her AC Immune adventure and present how she was able to transform an idea into a promising company. She encouraged entrepreneurship among the students and underlined the importance of good management and proper guidance. After the talk, around a convivial cocktail, students had the opportunity to ask her personalized advice on their future choices.

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