Raphaëlle Luisier appointed permanent researcher at Idiap

Attracted to Idiap thanks to the Idiap Female Fellowship Researchers program, Raphaëlle Luisier has been promoted to permanent researcher at the Institute.

Upon her arrival, she created the research group Genomics & Health Informatics, which allowed Idiap to grow into new area, namely bioinformatics, genomics and transcriptomics. Her expertise on neurodegenerative diseases has made it possible to forge new research links between health and artificial intelligence, and to better understand complex diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the disease that affected Professor Stephen Hawking. Raphaëlle’s method for automatic identification of pathological motor neurons in ALS and a computational analysis method to classify images of healthy and affected motor neurons have led new technological breakthroughs. “Working at Idiap allows me to diversify my research activities, in particular to combine image analysis and transcriptomic data to better understand the impact of molecular changes on cell behavior. All this has been possible thanks to collaborations with Idiap researchers, which are experts in artificial intelligence. I feel very privileged to be able to contribute to new advances in the field of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases while enjoying the idyllic landscape of Valais,” Luisier says.

A new Idiap group across Artificial Intelligence and Health research

Swiss and international students joined Raphaëlle Luisier to acquire advanced knowledge in the field of bioinformatics and data science applied to health. During their studies, they carry out practical work within the Genomics & Health Informatics group. The first PhD students also arrived in the last few months. Raphaëlle’s involvement has also brought artificial intelligence and bioinformatics closer together in Switzerland. Idiap and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) have signed a partnership to increase national synergies in this research area. “I thank Idiap’s management for their trust. This nomination will allow me to project myself in the development of my work and my research group, while keeping a particular attention to the promotion of women in the research world,” Raphaëlle Luisier concludes.

We are delighted that Raphaëlle chose to conduct her research at Idiap and combine her expertise with that from other research groups in the institute. This is an important area of interdisciplinary research to generate new knowledge that can lead to positive impact on society. We hope that this success inspires other scientists to follow her path,” Andrea Cavallaro, Idiap’s director, explains.


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