Teaching Body


Dr. Ingmar M. Hoerr, Founder of CureVac, Tübingen (Germany); Keynote Lecture
(We regret to inform you that Dr. Hoerr is unable to join the Summer School)

Ingmar Hoerr founded “CureVac, the RNA people“ together with colleagues in Tübingen, Germany in 2000. His entrepreneurship was motivated by his surprising discovery during his doctoral research that naked mRNA can be expressed in vivo without the risk of rapid degradation, while exhibiting the ability to generate strong specific immune responses, in contrast to what had previously been believed.
During his time as CEO until June 2018, Ingmar initiated with CureVac the first clinical human trials testing mRNA therapeutics, thereby contributing to the development of the mRNA industry. During this time, he and his colleagues raised approximately $500 million in equity and significantly grew the company. He held the position of chair of the Supervisory Board of CureVac AG until March 2020.
In June 2021 he and his wife Sara Hoerr initiated the Morpho Foundation, together with Florian von der Mülbe, also Founder of CureVac and his wife Kiriakoula Kapousouzi. 
Ingmar is member of the Board of Trustees at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and was advisor to former commissioner Carlis Moedas of European Innovation Council pilot.

Prof. Claudia HöbartnerJulius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Würzburg (Germany)

Claudia Höbartner studied chemistry in Vienna and in Zürich, and earned a PhD degree from the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck in 2004. After postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an Erwin Schrödinger fellowship, she was supported by the Hertha Firnberg career development program of the Austrian Science Fund. In 2008, Claudia joined the Max Planck Institute for biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen as a research group leader. In 2014, she was appointed professor for biomolecular label chemistry at the faculty of chemistry at the Georg-August-University Göttingen. Since July 2017 she holds the Chair of Organic Chemistry I at the Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg. Her research interests include the synthetic, biomolecular and structural chemistry of natural and artificial nucleic acids, with a focus on natural RNA modifications and in vitro selection of ribozymes and deoxyriboyzmes.

Dr. Sascha Hoogendoorn, University of Geneva (Switzerland)

Sascha Hoogendoorn is a tenure-track assistant professor in the department of Organic Chemistry and the NCCR Chemical Biology at the University of Geneva since 2019. She received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the group of professor Herman Overkleeft at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands in 2014. In her PhD work, she used synthetic chemistry to develop receptor-targeting small molecules to accomplish selective cellular entry. She then moved to Stanford University where she worked in the group of professor James Chen as a postdoctoral scholar, and developed a novel CRISPR/Cas9-based screening methodology to study ciliary Hedgehog signaling. In her lab she uses an interdisciplinary approach to study and perturb cellular signaling, with a particular interest in the primary cilium and the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Her research combines organic chemistry with cell biology and CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing to develop molecules that enable further dissection and manipulation of ciliary signaling.

Dr. Jean Quancard, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel (Switzerland)

Jean Quancard studied Chemistry at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and continued with a PhD in Chemical Biology at University of Pierre et Marie Curie. In 2004, he moved to Stanford University in the US for a Postdoc with Pr. Barry Trost. Jean joined Global Discovery Chemistry at Novartis in 2006 and since then worked in several therapeutic areas such as autoimmunity, oncology, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Currently, he is a Director and Head of Chemistry for the Musculoskeletal disease area. Jean is also a visiting lecturer in Drug Design at EPFL in Lausanne and leads the working group on Best Practices in Medicinal Chemistry for the EFMC.


Prof. Andrea Rentmeister, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster (Germany)

Andrea Rentmeister studied Chemistry at the Technical University of Graz and the University of Bonn, where she earned her PhD in 2007 under the supervision of Prof. Michael Famulok. After a postdoctoral stay at the California Institute of Technology with Prof. Frances Arnold, she started her independent career as a Junior Professor at the University of Hamburg in 2010. In 2013, Andrea was appointed as Associate Professor at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, and in 2020 promoted to Full Professor.
Research in her lab focuses on RNA at the interface of chemistry and biochemistry and aims to understand and ultimately control the processes affecting mRNA expression and turnover.

Dr. Tamara Reyes-Robles, MSD Exploratory Science Center, Cambridge (MA, USA)

Tamara obtained her PhD in Microbiology from New York University in 2015, where she focused on the identification of cellular receptors for Staphylococcus aureus’s leukotoxins and assessing their roles in pathogenesis, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Microbiology at Tufts University evaluating decoy mechanisms employed by Vibrio cholerae to protect itself from phage predation.  She then joined MSD at the Merck Exploratory Science Center in Cambridge, MA in 2017, where she is currently a member of the experimental and chemical biology team developing a cellular chemistry-based platform to profile cellular microenvironments and enable target identification. In her young career, Tamara has co-authored over 15 publications, 2 patents, and has presented her research at numerous conferences.


Prof. Edward Tate, Imperial College London, London (UK); Opening Lecture

Ed is Professor of Chemical Biology at Imperial College London and a Satellite Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. He leads a team of over 60 scientists across Imperial and the Crick working on novel tools to understand and manipulate living systems, with a focus on drug target discovery and validation. Ed undertook his Ph.D. in organic chemistry and methodology at the University of Cambridge under the guidance of Prof. Steve Ley and then worked with Prof. Sam Zard at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), supported by a 1851 Research Fellowship, on radical chemistry and natural product total synthesis. The award of a Howard Trust Research Fellowship enabled him to study molecular microbiology and the role of DNA secondary structure in transcriptional activation with Dr Annie Kolb at the Pasteur Institute (Paris) and he moved to Imperial College London in 2004 to work on protein chemistry and chemical biology. In 2006 he was awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship and appointed to Chair of Chemical Biology in 2014. Ed is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Chemistry (FRSC) and of Biology (FRSB), and Director of Imperial’s Centre for Drug Discovery Science.  He sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several research institutes and biotech companies, and he is the founder of Myricx Pharma, a drug discovery company recently established to translate novel findings from his lab.

Industry Lectures


Dr. Christoph Boss, Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery Chemistry, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Dr. Christoph Boss completed his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Bern (Prof. Reinhart Keese), Switzerland followed by post-doctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI; Prof. Julius Rebek, Jr.) in LaJolla, California, USA.
From 1999 until 2012, he had various positions of increasing responsibility in Actelion's drug discovery chemistry department contributing to the identification of several lead compounds including macitentan (Opsumit) for PAH and daridorexant for insomnia. From November 2012 to June 2017, he was the Senior Group Leader Chemistry Technologies at Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He joined Idorsia when the company was established in June 2017 as the Senior Group Leader in Drug Discovery Chemistry, Oncology. He was appointed Head of Drug Discovery Chemistry and member of the Idorsia leadership team in July 2019. In 2019, Dr. Christoph Boss received the SCS Industrial Science Award from the Swiss Chemical Society. He is a co-inventor on more than 100 published patent applications and co-author on more than 50 papers, abstracts, book chapters, commentaries, editorials and reviews.


Dr. Erika Lüthi, R&D-Chemist and Project Manager, Valsynthese SA (Société Suisse des Explosifs Group)

Dr. Erika Lüthi obtained her PhD in the research group of Prof. J.-L. Reymond, University of Bern,  in organic synthetic chemistry. The synthesis of aspartate, glutamate and dipeptide analogues formed part of a bigger project together with cheminformaticians and chemical biologists to discover new active compounds mainly for the NMDA receptors. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in Oxford (Prof. V. Gouverneur) on Selectfluor analogues until 2012, and, after working on a KTI-project in materials chemistry (UV varnishes, Böhme AG, Bern), she joined Valsynthese SA in 2014. As an R&D-chemist and project manager she has been the technical leader of many R&D projects for small molecule products and intermediates in ISO- and GMP-quality. Besides planning and supporting synthetic work in the laboratory, she is responsible for process safety. One focus of Valsynthese in recent years have been nitration and phosgenation projects. Other (co-)responsibilities include technology transfer to production and general project management.


Dr. Daniel Latassa, Project Manager Valsynthese SA (Société Suisse des Explosifs Group)

As a Ph.D. student in the group of Prof. François Diederich at ETH-Zürich and coworker at Novartis’ Crop Protection, Dr. Daniel Latassa had the possibility to explore interdisciplinary fields such as heterogeneous catalysis, supramolecular chemistry, as well as solid phase synthesis in an inspiring and interactive working atmosphere. In 2004, after postdoctoral studies at the Université de Montréal with Prof. André B. Charette, and the Université de Fribourg with Prof. Christian Bochet, he accepted a position of project leader at Polyphor Ltd. In Allschwil. After two years of exciting chemistry, he moved to Lonza Ltd. in Visp, where he was a project leader in the field of peptides and oligonucleotides. Three years later, he took the opportunity to teach science in different schools during his Master studies at the Pedagogy College in St-Maurice. Since 2014, he has been working for Valsynthese, first as senior chemist in process development, and now as project manager.


Dr. Markus Löweneck, Head of Research & Development, Senn Chemicals AG

Dr. Markus Löweneck started his career by studying chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU), Germany. For his PhD he joined the Bioorganic Chemistry Group of Prof. Luis Moroder at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, focusing on the synthesis and characterization of photo-switchable peptides. After his formal graduation at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany, he subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH), Switzerland, with Prof. Seebach, with emphasis on the synthesis of unnatural amino acids and peptides. Recruited as a research scientist at Senn Chemicals AG in 2006, Markus quickly demonstrated his technical acumen and management abilities. He currently leads all research and development programs for Senn.


Dr. Mark Schäfer, Senior Group Leader R&D, Bachem AG

Mark studied Biomedical Chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. In 2010, briefly after starting his PhD in synthetic Polymer Chemistry, the research group relocated from Mainz to the University of Fribourg. The focus of Mark’s research on the synthesis of multifunctional polymers led to their application in interdisciplinary areas of research such as neurotransmitter analysis or bio-imaging. Since joining Bachem as a research chemist in 2015, Mark has held positions of increasing responsibility within Bachem R&D, mainly specializing on the Process Development of peptidic APIs. Currently, he is a Senior Group Leader contributing to the evaluation and implementation of New Technologies within the Bachem group.

Career Session

Xenia Martinelli, Senn Chemicals AG – Head of Human Resources

Xenia joined Senn Chemicals in August 2014 after completing her apprenticeship in business and administration. Since 2018, she is responsible for Human Resources with-in the company. She holds a Swiss federal diploma in Human Resources Management as well as a diploma and a certificate of Advanced Studies (DAS/CAS) in Human Resource Management from the Zürich University of Applied Science in Wädenswil (ZHAW).
During her career with Senn Chemicals, she led the implementation of many exciting projects: Creating an HR strategy, personnel development measures, and employer branding as well as establishing a new employee performance management program. 
Dominik Ebner, HR Business Partner, Bachem AG

Dominik joined Bachem in October 2020 as HR Business Partner. He is responsible for recruiting activities, people and organization development, process improvement as well as other HR related topics.
After completing his apprenticeship as a bank clerk, he decided to study Industrial & Organizational Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
After receiving his Master's degree in 2018, Dominik focused on working as an HR Business Partner in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-environment. Specialized on personnel selection, organizational development and social media, Dominik enjoys collaborating in interdisciplinary projects and bringing benefit to company business.