News !

12th of January 2022

Congratulations to Dr Vittoria Sepporta PhD, a laboratory post-doctoral researcher, for the publication of seminal work on the role of the transcription factor TWIST1 in neuroblastoma (NB)! This very important study performed in the laboratory and led by Dr Annick Mühlethaler PhD has just been published in Communications Biology. Vittoria and the team show that an association of TWIST1 expression with poor survival and metastasis in primary NB,
and identify a TWIST1-mediated transcriptional program associated with dismal outcome in NB. The manuscript is accessible openly by clicking here.

6th of January 2022

Exciting news for Dr Raffaele Renella, our lab head, who has accepted to become Associate Editor of the Elsevier journal : “Blood Cells: Molecules & Disease.”  Established in 1975 under the editorship of Marcel Bessis, it was lead over the years by hematology pioneers such as Ernest Beutler, Marshall Lichtman and Mohandas Narla. Raffaele will be working alongside Lionel Blanc PhD (Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, New York, USA), the journal’s new Editor in Chief. Check out the journal by clicking here.

9th of November 2021

Very exciting paper from the laboratory just having been accepted for publication in American Journal of Hematology! After 10 years of investigation of a unique phenotype in an infant with neutropenia, Dr Renella and collaborators from Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School, delineate a new disorder of myelopoiesis in children linked to a germline mutation in SEPT6.  Please click here for more information and manuscript download.

10th of September 2021

Congratulations to Vittoria Sepporta and Julien Delobel for winning an award at the Department “Woman-Mother-Child” research Day 2021! The lab wins 2 of the four available prizes! Amazing! Congratulations to Vittoria and Julien! Also a time to celebrate as a group…. (as if excuses were needed!)

15th of April 2021

The lab is very excited to welcome a new PhD candidate student to our community. Mrs Maya El-Natour will be working on the project of Dr Annick Mühlethaler (Neuroblastoma Subgroup) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This 4-year SNSF Research grant for a project entitled “Deciphering the functional role of ALK and TWIST1 in neuroblastoma development and progression” has recently been awarded to Annick and the lab. Welcome to her and all the best for breaking new boundaries in neuroblastoma research! 

4th December 2020  

Big day for the lab! Thanks to the generous support from the Loterie Romande (see news below 13th Sep. 2019),   and the Fondation Planète Enfants Malades, we have completed the installation of brand new Laser Optical Rotational Red Cell Analyser (Lorrca) allowing us to perform cutting edge ektacytometry in varying osmolarity and oxygen tension conditions! We are incredibly excited and grateful  to be the guardians of one of the few machines available world-wide, and advance our field of red cell biology with our national and international collaborators. If you are interested in collaborations with us, don’t hesitate to contact us.


25th of August 2020  

Congratulations to Dr Lucie Vivancos, who has been awarded her PhD doctoral degree from the University of Lausanne for her discoveries on the role of ALK in the formation of neuroblastoma! This has given us a COVID-19-reglementary apéro on the terrace of the main hospital building and celebrate with the team & friends/colleagues.

10th of August 2020 

Congratulations to our Lab Head Dr Raffaele Renella who has been awarded a research grant from the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation for Medical Research for his investigation of sickle cell disease lipidomics.

27th September 2019

Wonderful news! The LHOP has been awarded a 4-year SNSF Research grant for a project entitled “Deciphering the functional role of ALK and TWIST1 in neuroblastoma development and progression”. Congratulation to Annick Mühlethaler who will be the PI for this work! This phenomenal support will further strengthen and foster the LHOP’s expertise and decade-long experience in the field of neuroblastoma.

13th September 2019

The LHOP has been awarded a very generous research equipment grant from the Loterie Romande for the acquisition of a erythocyte ekatcytometer with the capacity to study red cells in health and disease under variable osmotic and oxygen-tension conditions! This will be one of the very few machines available in Europe at this time. We are immensely grateful for this support!

28th August 2019

Congratulations to Fréderica Schyrr for her paper just having been accepted for publication in American Journal of Hematology! This manuscript delineates the optimal preoperative care of children with sickle cell disease. Fréderica and the team performed a very extensive systematic review and issued key recommendations that will most certainly impact care. Please click here for more information and manuscript download.

14th of June 2019

Congratulations to our Lab Head Dr Raffaele Renella who has been awarded a research grant from the Novartis’ Foundation of Medical-Biological research for this project on erythroid multiomics.

22nd May 2019

Congratulations to MD-PhD Student Frédérica Schyrr (member of the Naveiras Laboratory at the EPFL) whose abstract on a PRISMA-based systematic review on the perioperative care of children and adults with sickle cell disease has been selected for poster presentation at the 24th European Hematology Association Congress in Amsterdam (Netherlands). This very important collaborative effort under the supervision of our Lab Head Dr Raffaele Renella has helped to highlight recommendations, devise a risk-assessment algorithm and identify research priorities in this area.

25th March 2019

Congratulations to Lucie Vivancos Stalin for her paper just having been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Oncology! This great contribution is reporting on the expression of the neuroblastoma-associated ALK-F1174L activating mutation during embryogenesis, and the associated impairment in the differentiation of neural crest progenitors in sympathetic ganglia.  Lucie and colleagues report for the first time that the expression of the human ALK-F1174L mutation in NCCs during embryonic development profoundly disturbs early sympathetic progenitor differentiation, in addition to increasing their proliferation, both mechanisms being potential crucial events in NB oncogenesis.  Please click here for more information and manuscript download.

12th March 2019

Congratulations to Julien Delobel, post-doc in the lab, who won the “Best Contribution” award at the 22nd European Red Blood Cell Society (ERCS) Meeting in Ascona, Switzerland! The lab was well represented at this event with 2 oral presentations, on developing newborn screening for sickle cell disease with a paper-test (Delobel), and on surfaceomics of erythropoiesis in health and disease (Renella).

3rd December 2018


The LHOP just delivered two oral presentations at the 60th Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego, California! Our post-doc Julien Delobel presented on “Harnessing the Power of Global Health Studies for Sickle Cell Disease: Validation of a Rapid, Open-Source, Paper-Based Screening Assay in a Cohort of 1103 Tanzanian Children”, which resulted from a collaboration with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel. In addition, congrats to Julien Delobel who received an ASH Abstract Achievement Award for his work! This is a fantastic achievement.

Our lab head Raffaele Renella presented on “Congenital X-linked Myelodysplasia with Tetraploidy is Associated with De Novo Germline C-terminal Mutation of SEPT6, a Septin Filament Protein”, which resulted from a collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In addition, Raffaele Renella was invited to talk on “Seizing Opportunities in the Molecular and Cellular Dissection of Unique Phenotypes in Pediatric Myelodysplastic Syndromes” at the Scientific Workshop on Inherited Hematopoietic Malignancies.

7th September 2018

Sometimes it is good to celebrate a non-scientific group achievement! Our lab was able to complete the Escape Game (The Key Einstein) in Lausanne during our start of the academic year outing in 58 minutes! Clearly a world record, which was celebrated with dinner & drinks!

1st May 2018

Congratulations to Dr Maria-Vittoria Sepporta and Lucie Vivancos, PhD candidate in the lab, who both have been selected to present their research at the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Conference, scheduled for May 9, 2018 – May 12, 2018, at the San Francisco Hyatt Regency Hotel.

9th of January 2017

We are delighted to welcome Dr Julien Delobel PhD to our laboratory. Julien is coming to us from Berlin and will be a SNSF Post-doctoral researcher in the lab working with Dr Raffaele Renella MD PhD on the cellular surfaceome of healthy and Sickle Cell Disease erythropoiesis.

10th of October 2016 

A new manuscript by the lab has just been published in BMC Cancer investigating the role of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) in the aggressive phenotype of neuroblastoma! Interestingly, the enzymatic activity of ALDH plays a role in the aggressive properties and the 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide resistance of NB, and our team shows ALDH1A3 isoenzyme activity increases the aggressive capacities of a subset of NB cells. Congratulations to all of the co-authors for this great achievement and contribution.

Flahaut M, Jauquier N, Chevalier N, Nardou K, Balmas Bourloud K, Joseph JM, Barras D, Widmann C, Gross N, Renella R, Mühlethaler-Mottet A. Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity plays a key role in the aggressive phenotype of neuroblastoma. BMC Cancer.

9th of September 2016 

We are very excited to have a new job opening for a postdoctoral research fellow !!!! See here for details.

6th of September 2016 

jciA paper by Drs Brendel, Guda, Renella and others under the leadership of Prof David A Williams (Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) reporting of a pre-clinical gene therapy study for sickle cell disease has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation today! In this paper, work initiated by Drs Renella and Milsom in the Williams Laboratory in 2011 has paved the way for a novel gene therapy approach for sickle cell disease, aiming at inducing the expression of fatal haemoglobin (HbF) by knocking down BCL11A, a protein involved in the haemoglobin switch. For more details and explanations please see the Harvard Medical School Gazette article and the STAT website article covering this publication.

Brendel C, Guda S, Renella R, Bauer DE, Canver MC, Kim YJ, Heeney MM, Klatt D, Fogel J, Milsom MD, Orkin SH, Gregory RI, Williams DA. Lineage-specific BCL11A knockdown circumvents toxicities and reverses sickle phenotype. J Clin Invest. 2016

14th of July 2016 

maxresdefaultA paper by Dr Philip Altrock (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) and colleagues, with the contribution of Dr Raffaele Renella, has been published early online in the American Journal of Hematology this week. It explores an integrative theoretical and experimental approach, which has identified the target frequency of HSC alterations required for effective treatment of sickling syndromes in humans. This work replaces episodic observations of such target frequencies with a mathematical modeling framework that covers a large and continuous spectrum of chimerism conditions. [Altrock PM, Brendel C, Renella R, Orkin SH, Williams DA, Michor F. Mathematical modeling of erythrocyte chimerism informs genetic intervention strategies for sickle cell disease. Am J Hematol. 2016]

18th of May 2016 

cover proteomicsA paper by Dr Raffaele Renella has been published early online in Proteomics – Clinical Applications this week, reviewing the challenges and opportunities of studying Sickle Cell Disease with proteomic approaches [Renella R. Clinically-oriented proteomic investigation of sickle cell disease: Opportunities and challenges. Proteomics Clin Appl. 2016.]

30th March 2016 

ANR-2016-Draft-1Dr Annick Mühlethaler-Mottet has been invited to give an oral as well as two poster presentations at the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Meeting (ANR 2016) in Cairns (Australia) in June. Congratulations for this achievement!

1st February 2016

We are delighted to welcome Lucie Vivancos MSc to our laboratory. Lucie is coming to us from the University of Marseille and will be a PhD candidate in the lab working with Dr Annick Mühlethaler on the role of ALK mutations in the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma.