Olaia Naveiras, Associate Professor

Olaia Naveiras studied Medicine at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, in Spain, and pursued her Master-level studies in Immunology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and in Harvard Medical School, where she did her PhD within Prof. George Q Daley’s laboratory. There she focused on studying novel microenvironmental determinants of hematopoietic stem cell commitment from pluripotent stem cells, and described for the first time the role of adipocytes in adult hematopoiesis and of biomechanical forces in hematopoietic stem cell specification in the embryo, work that earnt her the Hauser award to the best research and teaching thesis. She then moved to Switzerland to pursue clinical training in Internal Medicine and Hematology, while continuing research in the laboratory of Prof. Matthias Lutolf (EPFL), where she focused on single-cell approaches to study hematopoietic stem cell fate specification.

The Laboratory of Regenerative Hematopoiesis was created in 2014, when she became a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)-funded Assistant Professor double appointed at the Swiss Experimental Cancer Center (ISREC) and the Institute of Bioengineering, at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Her lab moved in 2020 to the University of Lausanne (UNIL) School of Biology and Medicine, within the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and is thus now located just across the street from the Lausanne University Hospital (Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois, CHUV). Prof. Naveiras consults within the Hematology Service, Department of Oncology at the CHUV, with a special focus on adult patients affected by bone marrow failure syndromes, including aplastic anemia and paroxystic nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), telomere biology disorders, Blackfan-Diamond anemia and Shwachman diamond anemia.

She is an active member of the American, European and Swiss Societies of Hematology (ASH, EHA, SSH) and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). In 2020 she was elected Vice-President of the Swiss Stem Cell Network (SSCN) and President of the International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). She has been recognized with the Young Investigator Award of the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation.

Silvia Vaz Ferreira Lopes, Laboratory technician

Silvia joined the Naveiras lab in 2020. She is obtained her Masters degree in Medical Biology (Immunology and Cancer) from the University of Lausanne in 2015. She manages the lab and is involved in numerous projects with all group members.

Tatiana Smirnova, Visiting Senior Scientist

After her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, USA), Tatiana Smirnova obtainedher M.S. and PhD degree in Biomedical Research from the Dept. of Anatomy and Structural Biology at the AlbertEinstein College of Medicine (2010, New York, USA) in the laboratory of Prof. Jeff E. Segall. Dr Smirnova investigated the complex interactions between tumor cells and tumor-promoting macrophages (TAMs) driving metastasis of breast cancer and HNSCC cells in vivo. Her postdoctoral studies in Basel, Switzerland, at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research with Prof. Nancy E. Hynes, were expanded into the extracellular tumor milieu, controlled by the secreted serine protease inhibitor serpinE2. In parallel, Tatiana managed the multiphoton intravital imaging microscope facility for the Department of Cancer and Cell Signaling(FMI, Basel) until 2016, and enjoyed being an imaging collaborator in other projects including glioblastoma. In 2016, Dr Smirnova started working as a research fellow at the CHUV in the service of hematology, DMLP, with a focus on “reprogramming” protumoral macrophages and delineating the role of the microenvironment in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and resistance to treatments. Tatiana received the first Young Research Investigator Award prize from Fond’Action Contre le Cancer and several grants for her work at the CHUV. She is working withthe Naveiras team (DSB, UNIL) since April 2024.

Josefine Tratwal, Scientist

Josefine Tratwal received her PhD in Biotechnology and Bioengineering at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where she developed quantitative approaches to unravel bone marrow adipocyte site-specificity and was also involved in deciphering the microenvironment and metabolic regulation of hematopoietic stem cells. 

In 2020, Josefine joined the Naveiras Lab as a postdoc and is applying a 3D bone marrow model that originated from her PhD to develop a hematopoietic cell delivery system for supportive care in malignant hematology. 

Charles Bataclan, PhD Student

Charles obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of the Philippines. During his master’s thesis in the lab of Reynaldo Garcia, he studied the functional consequences of deregulated expression of the lncRNA, T-UCR 388 in colorectal cancer cells.  In addition, he worked as a researcher for the Philippines’ national drug discovery consortium, optimizing and conducting cell-based assays for different disease indications on biologically-derived compounds.  Charles joined the Naveiras lab in November 2019 as a Ph.D. student, and is currently studying the adipogenic differentiation axis of human bone marrow stromal cells.

Alejandro Alonso Calleja, PhD Student

Alejandro obtained his MD from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2016. He then obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, where he focused on biomaterials research. He is now a co-supervised PhD student between Schoonjans’s and Naveiras’s labs studying the communication of the gut and the bone marrow

Fabrice Renaud, PhD Student

Fabrice obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Medical Biology at the University of Lausanne. For his master thesis, he spent one year at the Ragon Institute in Boston studying processing features of HIV antigens associated with spontaneous control of the disease. He was also employed as a graduate student by the Massachusetts General Hospital. He then worked as a bioengineer for a start-up company specializing in lab equipment and then as a researcher for the oncology department of the University of Lausanne. Fabrice joined the Naveiras lab in November 2021 as a PhD student, co-supervised by Prof. Pedro Romero, to study the influence of the adipogenic differentiation axis of bone marrow stromal cells on immune cells in the context of acute myeloid leukemia.

Konstantina Kioseoglou, Intern

Konstantina (Nadia) earned her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, then pursued a Master’s degree in Medical Biology at the University of Lausanne (UniL). During her bachelor’s studies, she developed an interest in stem cell therapy, conducting a year-long thesis in regenerative medicine at Prof. Kritis’ lab. During her Master’s at UniL, she worked as a pre-master student at the Laboratory of Research in Neuroimaging directed by Dr. Kherif, investigating the crosstalk between the brain and lungs during respiratory diseases. Her master’s thesis at the Department of Fundamental Oncology in Dr. Verdeil’s lab focused on exploring the impact of PDGFRβ in muscle invasive bladder cancer. In June 2024, she joined Prof. Naveiras’ lab at UniL as a PhD student, eager to decipher the aged immune response and scrutinize its revitalization by partial reprogramming of the immune, hematopoietic and stroma compartment.

Angela Martins, Intern

Rym Benhassine, Master’s Student

Eric Turrettini, Master’s Student

Past Members