What we investigate

The Bodenmiller lab develops and applies methods to analyze human tissues spatially and at the single-cell level to understand the mechanisms of disease states. In particular, the lab studies multicellular regulatory circuits in diseased tissue to make discoveries that could improve treatment.

multiplexed tissue imaging, quantitative biology, regulatory circuits, single-cell analysis, tissue microenvironment

Melanoma tissue analyzed by imaging mass cytometry (<em>Left:</em> blue=MHC-I, yellow=PD-L1, red=PD1. <em>Right:</em> blue=GP100, cyan=S100A, green=Glut1, yellow=CD16, red=CD8.)
Melanoma tissue analyzed by imaging mass cytometry (Left: blue=MHC-I, yellow=PD-L1, red=PD1. Right: blue=GP100, cyan=S100A, green=Glut1, yellow=CD16, red=CD8.)
Our research in more detail

Tumors are dynamic ecosystems with heterogeneity in both the tumor cell compartment and in the infiltrating immune and stromal cells. This heterogeneity is one of the main obstacles to understanding the mechanisms of cancer and to better classifying and treating patients.

The successes of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies and insights into the workings of the tumor microenvironment evidence the importance of cell-cell communication. A broad understanding of how the communication in the microenvironment influences cell types and their functions, and how such an influence could be exploited for therapy, is currently absent.

We take a two-pronged approach to understand the molecular mechanisms how diverse cells form multicellular circuitries that execute tumor promoting functions. We develop imaging and computational approaches that enable analysis of tissues from the level of molecules to large single-cell resolved tissue structures, providing deep insights into tumor ecosystems. We then apply these methods to human tumor samples and ex vivo models that we systematically study to reveal the signaling pathways and central regulators of multicellular assemblies. To assess the potential value of our findings for patients, we are closely working with clinical partners.

Prof. Bernd Bodenmiller

Prof. Bernd Bodenmiller
University of Zurich
Department of Quantitative Biomedicine
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

Email   Website

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are in bold:

  • Bost, P., Schulz, D., Engler, S., Wasserfall, C., & Bodenmiller, B. (2023). Optimizing multiplexed imaging experimental design through tissue spatial segregation estimation. Nat Methods, 20(3), 418-423.
  • Hoch, T., Schulz, D., Eling, N., Gómez, J.M., Levesque, M.P., & Bodenmiller, B. (2022). Multiplexed imaging mass cytometry of the chemokine milieus in melanoma characterizes features of the response to immunotherapy. Sci immunol, 7(70), eabk1692.
  • Jackson HW, Fischer JR, Zanotelli VRT, Ali HR, Mechera R, Soysal SD, Moch H, Muenst S, Varga Z, Weber WP, and Bodenmiller B (2020). The single-cell pathology landscape of breast cancer. Nature 578: 615-620.
  • Schulz D, Zanotelli VRT, Fischer JR, Schapiro D, Engler S, Lun XK, Jackson HW, and Bodenmiller B (2018). Simultaneous Multiplexed Imaging of mRNA and Proteins with Subcellular Resolution in Breast Cancer Tissue Samples by Mass Cytometry. Cell Syst 6: 25-36.e5.