School of Life Sciences shines at EPFL's Magistrale 2019

SV Master graduates at the 2019 EPFL Magistrale (Credit: Morgane Grignon)

SV Master graduates at the 2019 EPFL Magistrale (Credit: Morgane Grignon)

EPFL’s School of Life Sciences celebrates 85 graduates in EPFL’s 2019 Magistrale, the polytechnic’s annual graduation ceremony.

Among the beaming faces of EPFL’s 2019 graduates, 85 belonged to students of the School of Life Sciences (SV). With 53 graduates in the Master in Bioengineering and 32 in the Master of Life Sciences and Technology, the School had every reason to celebrate. The graduates are the last group from the two Master degrees, as the course will from now on be unified into the Master in Life Sciences Engineering.

A breakdown of the SV graduates shows that they include: 

  • 42 women and 43 men
  • 4 fellowships from the Bertarelli Foundation
  • 23 master's theses carried out in industry within Switzerland
  • 15 master's theses carried out in Harvard
  • 68 master's theses (80%) carried out outside EPFL
  • 17 master’s theses spent within EPFL

Life science also enjoyed several awards this year. Aaron Petruzzella, now a PhD student with Elisa Oricchio’s lab at EPFL, won the Prize for the best average in the Master in Life Sciences and Technology, while the Prize for the best average in the Master in Bioengineering went to Amanda Kläger.

The Prize for the best Master thesis in Life Sciences and Technology went to Eve Rahbé. Rahbé’s Master research was carried out at Harvard Medical School, under the supervision of Michael Baym and the direction of Melanie Blokesch. The title of Rahbé’s thesis is: Genetic Evidence for Antibiotic Resistance in Pathogens from 1800's Museum Specimens.

The Section’s prize for teaching went to Professor Bruno Correia at EPFL’s Institute of Bioengineering (IBI), while Professor and SV Dean Gisou van der Goot won the SV students’ prize for teaching, the Polysphere.

A major highlight of the awards session was Veronica Ravano, who pulled a veritable hat-trick by winning three prizes: Best Master thesis in Bioengineering, the IBM Prize Research in Computational Science, and the Annaheim Mattille Prize from the Marguerite Foundation (Geneva).

Veronica Ravano receiving her three awards. Credit: Morgane Grignon

Veronica Ravano receiving her three awards. Credit: Morgane Grignon

Ravano who is now a guest PhD student at Jean-Philippe Thiran’s lab at EPFL, carried out her master’s research at Siemens Healthcare in Switzerland, under the supervision of Jonas Richiardi and the direction of Dimitri Van De Ville at the IBI. Her awarded Master thesis is titled: Automated Atlas-Based Radiological Assessment in Multiple Sclerosis and its Machine-Learning Applications for Prediction of Future Disability.

Commenting on Ravano’s master's thesis, Professors Auke Ijspeert and Pavan Ramdya from the selection committee said: “Veronica's master thesis is an impressive example of interdisciplinary research combining advanced image analysis and the neuroscience of multiple sclerosis.”

IBM’s citation for Ravano reads: “IBM rewards the exceptional quality of the Master's work presented and specifically the originality of the calculation methods used and/or the scientific results obtained in different fields of engineering and science.”

Citing their own award, the Marguerite Foundation says that it was: “intended to reward the student who has presented a high-level Master's project dedicated to bringing together life sciences and informatics (bioinformatics, bio-inspired systems).”