Team Leader

Prof. Dr. Ron Stoop, Ph.D. Ir. Sciences Nat.,
PD MER, Faculté de biologie et de médecine

Tel. +41 21 314 8936
E-mail contact

Current collaborators

Dr. Chloé Hegoburu, postdoctorante

Chloé Hegoburu studied Biology and Neurosciences at the University of Lyon. Following this, she obtained her PhD degree at the same place. The aim of her thesis work was to investigate the circuits involved in olfactory emotional memory, using odor fear conditioning as a model in rats. Using high temporal resolution intracerebral microdialysis, she studied the dynamics of glutamate and GABA release in the amygdala and the olfactory cortex during the acquisition session. That lead her to wonder how these circuits can be modulated. In 2013, she obtained a grant from the Roche Postdoctoral fellowship program, to study the modulation of the amygdala circuits, and more particularly how oxytocin affects the balance of activity between the central and medial nuclei of amygdala, respectively linked to fear and social behavior. She works in acute slices for in vitro patch clamp recording and uses optogenetic approach coupled with electrophysiological in vivo recordings in behaving rats. Further experiments are aimed to investigate how these circuits are modulated in different rat models of autism, such as Valproate or Fragile X models.

Dr. Christian Ciobanu, postdoctorant

Alexandru Cristian Ciobanu has a BSc degree in Biochemistry and graduated the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Master at University of Bucharest, Romania. He completed his doctoral studies in 2010, in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Alexandru Babeş at the Department of Anatomy, Animal Physiology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, Romania. His PhD thesis focused on sensory physiology with a focus on thermo-sensitive Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channels and pain perception. Between 2007 - 2012 Dr. Ciobanu occupied a position of Research Assistant and starting May 2012 he was appointed Scientific Researcher at University of Bucharest. During this time, Dr. Ciobanu has been involved in fundamental neuroscience research, teaching undergraduate students and has published several research papers in the field of nociception. Between March and December 2009 Alexandru Cristian Ciobanu was employed as a Research Assistant at University College Cork, Ireland. Since August 2014 he was appointed Collaborateur de Recherche in the Laboratory of the Neurobiology of Anxiety, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois.

Dr. Diego Scheggia, postdoctorant

Mme Ruifang Niu, doctorante

In order to pursue my interest in medical research, I began my studies with a Bachelor in Biology at the Tai Yuan Normal University (China), which was marked by a first publication regarding the effects of fine pollutants on blood lymphocytes, as well as three prizes providing scholarships. I continued on with a Master in Neuroscience at the Shanghai Institute of Brain Functional Genomics at the Shanghai University, supported by a government-funded excellence scholarship. My contributing work on in vivo electrophysiology in freely moving mice was published in two papers in Journal of Neuroscience and Hippocampus and resulted in an international scholarship, allowing me to continue with PhD studies. My ongoing PhD work in Prof. Stoop's lab briefly consists in looking at the mechanisms orchestrating fearful circuits through in vivo electrophysiology. For this study, I assembled an in vivo setup and developed and built depth-controllable microdrives, capable of recording from multiple neurons in freely-moving rats.

M. Marios Abatis, doctorant

After witnessing a demonstrative dissection of a goat brain, and being naturally drawn by its complexity, I began my studies with a Bachelor in Biology at the University of Strasbourg (France). I continued with an international master in Neuroscience, where I was ranked 1st upon graduation and contributed in a journal club publication in Cell Adhesion & Migration. Although still based at the University of Strasbourg, this program offered courses in neighboring Basel (Switzerland) and Freiburg im Breigsau (Germany). This cross-border exchange offered exposure to a diversity of researchers and their labs. Through the Master’s lab rotations, I was initiated to electrophysiology and the patch-clamp technique on the mouse retina in Dr. Michel Roux's lab, at the Institute for genetics and molecular and cellular biology. I continued my Master training in electrophysiology at Prof. Stoop's lab, where I became proficient in double whole-cell patch-clamp and contributed to the elucidation of the mechanisms behind the role of oxytocin in the amygdala, where I contributed to a publication in Science. For my ongoing PhD work, I work on understanding how connected neuronal networks in the lateral amygdala encode for emotional memories. In addition, I have developed Matlab and R scripts capable of analyzing electrophysiological data.

M. Rodrigo Triana Del Río, doctorant

Rodrigo Triana Del Río obtained his bachelor diploma in biology at La Universidad Veracruzana , in México, having a scholarship to study abroad neurosciences and biotechnology in Elizabethtown College, USA. Afterwards, he obtained his Master's degree in Neuroethology at La Universidad Veracruzana, having two research stages at La Universidad Nacional Autonónoma de México in the labs of Raúl Paredes and Víctor Ramírez Amaya respectively. He also had a research stage at Emory University, USA in the lab of Larry Young. Rodrigo's research interests are the neurobiology of the reward seeking system, the role of oytocin in socio-sexual behavior and during the development of psychopathologies, and the relationship between the immune and the nervous system in these psychopathologies.

M. Gion Giobellina, doctorant

Gion obtained his bachelor diploma in biology at the University of Lausanne, and subsequently continued with a Master of Science in medical biology with specialization in Pharmacology at the same university. He used the opportunity during his Master's to venture into different research areas of biology. Thus, for his first-step project he studied the signaling pathway in the Grueneberg ganglion of mice in Professor Marie-Christine Broillet’s lab, while his master thesis focused on the potential virulent effects of L-2-Amino-4-methoxy-trans-3-butenoic acid (AMB) effects in the interaction between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in Dr. Cornellia Reimmann’s lab. After that, he wanted to explore another domain in biological research and began a Ph.D thesis in neuroscience through collaboration between Prof. Ron Stoop’s lab and Prof. Marie-Christine Broillet’s lab.

M. Sebastian Chenaux, Etudiant Master

Sebastien performed his Bachelor degree in biochemistry at the University of Fribourg, his home town. At this point, he decided to move first in Basel and then in Lausanne to accomplish his civil service in two different labs; first within Professor Simona Rossi’s lab in University Hospital of Basel on stromal cell markers after skin transplantation and then in Professor Olivier Staub’s lab in Lausanne on the regulation of intestinal calcium absorption. Since September 2013, he is enrolled in the Master of Science in medical biology at the University of Lausanne with a specialization in Neuroscience. After a pre-master project on the balance driven by the oxytocin signaling in the central and medial amygdala linked to fear and social behavior, he will move in July to the National Center of Biological Sciences in Bangalore (India) where he will investigate the oxytocin pathway in autistic Fragile X Syndrome animal models. Sebastien’s research interests are the neurobiology of anxiety disorders, the molecular pathway and the circuitry of oxytocin in the amygdala and the protective role of oxytocin in the early development in the animal model of autism.

M. Alex Kodiyan, Etudiant Master en médecine

Dr. Robert Lutjens, responsable recherche translationelle

Dr. Lütjens joined Ron’s group in September 2013. Prior to this, Dr. Lütjens worked for 11 years at Addex Pharmaceuticals, holding different positions within the Biology department, lastly as VP Biology. While at Addex, he established the biology capabilities and built the company’s small molecule allosteric modulator biology platform. He played a pivotal role in all of Addex’ small molecule allosteric modulator programs, including research collaborations with Merck & co. and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. The latter partnership has led to the successful progression of the first mGluR2 positive allosteric modulator into man. Prior to joining Addex, Dr Lütjens completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neuropharmacology at the Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla, CA, where he focused on understanding molecular changes involved in addiction disorders. Dr Lütjens obtained his degrees in Biology from the University of Geneva, his master’s at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and his Ph.D. thesis at the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva and the Institute for Cellular Biology and Morphology in Lausanne. Dr. Lütjens is co-author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and co-inventor on patents covering screening methods or chemical compounds.

Dr. Erwin van den Burg, responsable recherche collaboration extérieure

Erwin van den Burg studied Biology at the Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands. Following this, he obtained his PhD degree at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and this was followed by postdoctoral research projects in France (CNRS, Gif sur Yvette), The Netherlands (Radboud University) and Switzerland (Hôpital de Cery, Prilly / Lausanne). He was a junior group leader in the lab of professor Inga Neumann at the University of Regensburg, Germany, before returning to the Stoop lab in Lausanne, where he pursues his research interest in the neurobiology of stress and anxiety. A further interest of his concerns the popularisation of biological sciences by means of research, publication and education.

Previous collaborators

Ph.D. Students

Dr. Daniel Huber, Dr. Anouchka Pickenhagen, Dr. Daniele Viviani

PostDoctoral Students

Dr. Erwin van den Burg, Dr. Alexandre Charlet, Dr. Miroslawa Manka

Master Students

Dr. Benoit Zuber, Dr. Nicholas Grandchamps, Mr. Martial Girardet, Mr. M. Reza Hassan-Zade, Ms. Camille Robinet, Mr. Cedric Laederman, Ms. Stephanie Lefebvre, Ms. Taisia Terretaz, Ms. Daphne Truan, Ms. Tesa Menendez, Mr. Jerome Wahis, Ms. Isabel De Araujo Salgado, Mr. David Ancindelolmo

Techniciens and technicians in training

Mr. Quentin Pardo, Ms. Eloise Charrière, Mr. Zacheria Ismaili


Mr. Florian Jaquet, Civilian Service

 Last updated on 29/01/2020 at 10:16