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Rigi Workshop 2024: Exploring Epigenetics

Interdisciplinary insights beyond DNA sequence

Luogo della manifestazione

Hotel Rigi Kulm

Punto d'incontro

Hotel Rigi Kulm

PhD Students and Post-Docs: Join us from 28 to 30 January 2024 at the beautiful Hotel Rigi Kulm (Schwyz) for a 3-days interdisciplinary workshop to explore Epigenetics. Application to participate is open until 30 September 2023.

Rigi Workshop 2024 - Cover

Epigenetics is a broadly used term for phenomena that alter gene expression without altering the DNA itself. It describes the regulation of our genes, how they can be influenced by our environment, and how this regulation can be inherited between cells and generations. This intersection between information coded in DNA sequence, transmitted by factors associated with DNA, and provided by the environment is fascinating from a mechanistic point of view. It also provides insights into how our genes interact with external influences, potentially offering new ways to prevent or treat diseases, improve crop yields, and understand complex behaviors and brain functions.

The Rigi workshop 2024 on epigenetics invites its participants to dive into the intricate mechanisms and implications of epigenetic phenomena. By fostering cross-disciplinary dialogue, the event aims to bridge gaps between different disciplines of epigenetic research. Participants will explore how epigenetics impacts plant breeding, behavioral traits, brain development, evolution, synaptic plasticity, cognition, and neurological disorders. The workshop will offer interdisciplinary approaches to investigating and analyzing societal and technological impacts of epigenetics and will feature lectures delivered by leading experts, group discussions, and sharing of group and individual work in the form of poster and oral presentations.


  • Dr. Etienne Bucher, Agroscope, leader at the Crop genome dynamics research group, Changins.
    Talk: Do plants have a heritable epigenetic stress memory?
    Joint Workshop Etienne Bucher and Luis Lopez-Molina: Epigenetic memory and stress adaptation in plants.
  • Dr. Med Semira Gonseth Nusslé, Physician at Unisanté and President and Chief Medical Officer in Genknowme S.A. in Lausanne.
    Talk: Lifestyle influences on DNA methylation through the lifecourse
    Workshop: From Lab to Market: A Case Study of Commercializing Epigenetic Testing
  • Dr. Ivana Jaric, Animal Welfare Division, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern
    Talk: Epigenetic Dynamics: Bridging Hormones, Environment, and Phenotypic plasticity.
    Workshop: Regulatory role of hormonal and environmental fluctuations on brain and behavior through epigenetic mechanisms, and the significance of this understanding in designing preclinical research on rodents with translational relevance.
  • Prof. Dr. Luis Lopez-Molina, department of plant sciences, University of Geneva
    Talk: Epigenetic aspects for the parental and environmental control of seed dormancy in Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • Prof. Dr. Isabelle Mansuy, Laboratory of Neuroepigenetics, University of Zürich and ETHZ
    Talk and workshop theme: Heredity beyond the genetic code: How traits can be modified across generations by life experiences.
  • Prof. Dr. Florian Steiner, Departement of molecular and Cell Biology, University of Geneva.
    Talk: Epigenetics inheritance: From anecdotal observations to molecular mechanisms.
    Joint Workshop with Prof. Dr. Irene Adrian-Klachhauser: Different understanding of the term « epigenetics » and how it impacts research.


The Rigi workshop starts at 13:00 on Sunday 28 and ends at 16:00 on Tuesday 30th January. The invited speakers will deliver lectures and will offer workshops to discuss specific themes. A preliminary programme is presented in the pictures hereafter.

Contribution from the participants:

The participants will be asked to present their research. The format is not defined yet. It is also expected that they all actively contribute to the discussions and workshops. Some literature will be send before the workshop as preparatory work.


Please apply latest until 30 September 2023 with a short letter of motivation and an abstract of your current research. The number of participants is limited to 30, the organising committee will thus select the participants based on the provided information in October. Register here.


Travel Grants:

Members or members-to-come of the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association can apply for travel grants to cover the costs of the workshop. Information on their webpage.

  • Rigi Workshop 2024 - Cover
  • Rigi Workshop 2024 - Preliminary programme
  • Rigi Workshop 2024 - Preliminary Programme - 2
  • Rigi Workshop 2024 - Cover1/3
  • Rigi Workshop 2024 - Preliminary programme2/3
  • Rigi Workshop 2024 - Preliminary Programme - 23/3


  • Allevamento di piante
  • Biologia evolutiva
Payment of the registration free will be due after confirmation of participants in October.
PhD students can contact their doctoral school for the accreditation of ECTS which we estimate at 2 ECTS.

Registration fee is CHF 150 and covers accommodation and meals. Travel costs and drinks are not covered.

Participants will be accommodated in double rooms. Depending on hotel availability, it may be possible to request a single room, at an additional cost of CHF 40 for the entire stay.
Lingue: Inglese