Prof. Bernd Bodenmiller


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

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.

Our research in more detail

Abbildung Werner
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.)

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.

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are underlined:

  • 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.
  • Schapiro D, Jackson HW, Raghuraman S, Fischer JR, Zanotelli VRT, Schulz D, Giesen C, Catena R, Varga Z, and Bodenmiller B (2017). histoCAT: analysis of cell phenotypes and interactions in multiplex image cytometry data. Nat Methods 14: 873-876.
  • Giesen C, Wang HA, Schapiro D, Zivanovic N, Jacobs A, Hattendorf B, Schüffler PJ, Grolimund D, Buhmann JM, Brandt S, Varga Z, Wild PJ, Günther D, and Bodenmiller B (2014).
  • Highly multiplexed imaging of tumor tissues with subcellular resolution by mass cytometry. Nat Methods 11: 417-22.