Welcome to the Snijder Lab.

We use systems biology to discover things about cells.

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Measure. Integrate. Analyze. Validate.

The list doesn't stop there, but it's the essence of what we do, and we love it. Nothing beats the thrill of discovery, and as a bonus we sometimes discover things that contribute to human wellbeing.


Our lab specializes in automated microscopy, which allows us to take many pictures of cells doing their thing in different conditions. We use image analysis and machine learning to make sense of the results.


We integrate our results with different OMICS datasets, such as gene and protein expression, and lipid abundance data, to reveal the molecular systems at work.


Big data analysis is key to identify the critical signals and build predictive quantitative models. Sometimes available methods fall short and we end up developing new statistical methods.


All models we build should tell us something that we did not know before. This can send us into unexpected directions, such as enabling us to predict the responses of patient samples to different signals.


Bringing automated microscopy to the clinic.

Together with a great team of people at the Center for Molecular Medicine, allcyte, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University Hospital of Zurich we are working hard on bringing the power of automated microscopy to the clinic. We call the technology Pharmacoscopy.

Our first pharmacoscopy clinical trial appeared in 2017 in The Lancet Haematology! We find that Pharmacoscopy can help identify effective treatments for patients suffering aggressive haematological malignancies. It is associated by a great commentary from Prof. Dr. JP Bourquin: "A precision medicine approach to haematological malignancies".
And thanks to @DrAnneCarpenter, our trial was retweeted over 1100 times!

Our first pharmacoscopy paper was published in 2017 in Nature Chemical Biology, on quantifying the immunomodulatory action of drugs in blood cells of individual donors.


Using Pharmacoscopy we can test hundreds of drugs on small blood or tissue samples from individual people, and actually see what each drug does to each individual donor cell, be it healthy or cancerous.



The single-cell resolution allows to compare drug killing of cancer cells with that of healthy donor cells, and to measure the drug-effects on immune-mediated cancer cell killing, ensuring we identify potent treatments.


Pharmacoscopy uses the same markers that clinicians use to diagnose different cancers, and it is compatible with blood samples, bone-marrow biopsies, and excised lymph nodes, making the technology widely applicable.


Unlike many competing methods to identify optimal therapies for individual patients, Pharmacoscopy produces results within days from getting the sample, meaning we can be helpful also in accute circumstances.


From small patient and donor biopsies Pharmacoscopy can measure thousands of different conditions, allowing us to test many drugs in repeat tests and at different concentrations.


What's up?

Team Members

Meet the team.

We are always looking for highly motivated people to join our team!
Get in touch if you are interested.















  • Klara Kropivsek

  • PhD Student


  • Tim Heinemann

  • Postdoctoral Fellow


  • Thijs Wildschut

  • PhD Student (shared)


  • Lorenz Bankel

  • Assistenzarzt


  • Paul Kachel

  • Assistenzarzt

Check out some of our research higlights:


Questions and Answers.

Still not clear who we are and what we do? Or do you have other questions? Perhaps your questions are answered below, but don't hesitate to contact us if they're not.

What are you?

We are a publicly funded laboratory headed by Prof. Dr. Berend Snijder at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology of the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. We are Systems Biologists, which in practice means that we combine large-scale cell biological experimentation with big data analysis and computational modeling. We do this to improve our ability to measure key aspects of cell biology, and to improve our understanding of life in health and disease.

Who funds you?

Our research is supported by public funding, which means we have a strong mandate to give back to society. Our funding includes an SNF Förderungsprofessur and an ERC Starting Grant:
Swiss National Science Foundation European Research Council ETH Zurich

What web comics do you enjoy?

I'm glad you asked. We enjoy several great web comics that are all "mostly" safe for work:

How can I apply to your lab?

We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join our team. Check the members section, we currently have several vacancies that we are looking to fill. Please apply by e-mailing your CV and an explanation of your motivation to Berend Snijder.


Check our publication list.

Get in touch with us.

We are planning big things. You too? Let's work together!