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News from our lab


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Lab Bowling Event 

March, 2024

Latest breakthrough at Dudli's Lab was striking! Turns out our postdocs know how to dominate both pipettes and pins. Congratulations Nick and Jan for the highest scores! 🎳



Happy 2024!

2023 has been a year that brought lot of success and stories to our lab. I am very honored to work with such an amazing team of passionate scientists and fun people. Just a quick recap (and already apologize for any important event or achievment I forget to mention): - New Postdoc (Ján Deván Devan) - Postdoc leaving (Irina Heggli) - PhD defended (Nick Herger) - PhD student joined (Danilo Menghini) - competitive grants acquired >CHF 1.5 Mio, e.g. #NIH, #Innosuisse - several first and last author publications from our group - Fritzi received a project grant - Irina got a SNF Postdoc Mobility Grant to joint the James Iatridis lab - Presented at conferences (too) far away: #ORS2023, #ISSLS2023, #EULAR2023, #Eurospine2023 Looking forward to an inspiring and exciting 2024. #Balgrist, Balgrist Campus AG, Rheumatology USZ UZH 



Congratulations Nick!

Congratulation Nick Herger for your successful PhD Defense! He has significantly advanced our understanding of MSC priming and its use for treatment of intervertebrald disc degeneration and Modic changes:
We are glad that he will stay in for a few months more. His dedication, ethusiasm, innovation, and humor became a central part of our research group. 



Innosuisse -
Swiss Innovation Agency

We are happy to received support from Innosuisse for our translational project on Modic changes. With this support we can make a big step on our endeavor to deliver the first disease-modifying treatment for Modic changes.


June, 2023

Milan, Italy


This year's European Congress of Rheumatology was an exhilarating experience for Dudli's lab as we had a strong presence throughout the event. The congress, which took place in the beautiful city of Milan, provided the perfect platform for our lab members to showcase their research and findings.  

During the poster tour session, Melina had a valuable opportunity to present her research on "Identification of Two Biological Subtypes of CRPS" in just 5 minutes, shedding light on this rare and complex condition. 

Adding to the lab's success, Friederike's abstract on "Serum mass spectrometry identifies Apolipoprotein D as a potential biomarker for Modic Type I changes" was included in the abstract pamphlet, contributing valuable insights to the research presented during the event. 

Stefan further elevated the lab's presence at the congress as a speaker of two presentations on "Distinct degeneration mechanisms in intervertebral discs adjacent to Modic changes" and "Activated neutrophils degrade cartilage endplates." His expertise was highly valued, drawing considerable attention and interest during his sessions. 

While the days were filled with engaging scientific exchanges, the evenings were equally delightful. On the third evening of the event, everyone gathered at the Palazzo del Ghiaccio for a memorable dinner. The venue's splendid atmosphere provided the perfect setting for the lab members to unwind and strengthen their bonds over their shared passion for rheumatology. The sumptuous buffet of various Italian dishes and delectable desserts satisfied everyone's taste buds, and the lively Italian folklore music and dances added a touch of cultural charm, making the night truly unforgettable. 


May, 2023

Melbourne, Australia

Spine Week 2023

The Spine Week in Australia was an incredible opportunity for us to meet up with fellow researchers and catch up on the latest findings in lower back pain research.

Not only was there research to be discussed, but the ISSLS social event was to go to the zoo where we learned some stunning facts about the very exotic Australian animals.


The beautiful city of Melbourne was definitely a great backdrop to this week-long event where researchers and clinicians had the chance to network and share their knowledge and experience. It was a great opportunity to build relationships, further the progress of lower back pain research and support the establishment of new international collaborations.


May, 2023

Zurich, Switzerland

Balgrist Employee Party

The recent Balgrist Employee Party was a truly exceptional event. Hosted by Balgrist University Hospital, all employees were invited to an unforgettable circus performance at the renowned circus Knie. We were mesmerized by the awe-inspiring acts of the talented artists and thoroughly entertained by the comedic performances. The evening was further enhanced by an exquisite apéro riche that exceeded all expectations. It was a resounding success, leaving us eagerly anticipating next year's event.

February, 2023

Dallas, Texas

ORS Conference

Stefan, Nick, Irina, Jan and Tamara flew all the way to Dallas to join the annual orthopedic research societety conference. It started right out with the spine section session. Tamara was able to present a 2min poster teaser. The following day Irina was able to present her project investigating the two potential etiologies of Modic changes and was able to initate some very nice discussions. On the 5th day of the conference Nick was then able to show his very new work on the effect of priming on mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow. In addition to all those wonderful presentations we also had 2 posters from Irina and 2 from Tamara presented at the poster sessions. 

Of course, besides all the intersting research presentations, discussions and networking we were able to take a quick trip to the Stockyards of Fort Worth, a small historic town giving you all the Texas feelings you ever imagined. 

Overall, we really had a wonderful time spent in Dallas as a group but also together with our neighboring group from Balgrist the Snedeker Lab. 


January, 2023

Tibits, Zürich

New Years Group Dinner

Due to a great number of events already before Christmas, we decided to turn our Christmas Tibits event to a New Years event. 


December, 2022

Balgrist Hospital, Zürich

Balgrist Christmas Apéro

After two years of Covid-enforced cancellation, the Balgrist Christmas lecture and apero did finally take place again this year. We had the pleasure to listen to a wonderful lecture given by Fredy Knie Junior about the exciting life in a circus. This was followed by the incredible and breathtaking Christmas apero, which left no dreams unfulfilled.


January, 2023

Meet our newest group members:
Jan & Danilo

We welcome to our group Jan Devan. He is starting with us as a Post-Doc.

Jan just finished his PhD in the group of Experimental immunology at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. During the PhD studies, he investigated the role of T cells in mucosal immunology and, in his thesis, revealed changes in the phenotype and function of immune cells associated with Crohn’s disease and Eosinophilic esophagitis.

We also warmly welcome Danilo Menghini! We welcome to the group Danilo. He just finished his Master thesis abroad and concluded his degree in Health Science and Technology at the ETHZ focusing on medical technologies, biomechanics and orthopedics. Alongside his studies he worked part-time for the start-up ZuriMED Technologies AG at Balgrist Campus engaging in projects related to Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction and meniscus repair. His project will be a collaboration between Balgrist Campus and AO Foundation Davos.

We are very happy to have new ideas and fresh spirit added to our team!


December, 2023

Balgrist Campus, Zürich

Congratulations Irina

Irina successfully defended her PhD Thesis on Decemeber 15th, 2023. After a very nice presentation and lots of interesting questions, we all got to celebrate and enjoy a nice apéro together with Irina. Besides the Apéro, we also put Irina to work and came up with a little biopsie game where she had to take biopsies of a specific size from a pineapple. In addition to that, we created a small wine tasting game, allowing her to prove once and for all how good she really does know wine - and she succeeded! And finally, as Irina has a very wide field of collaborations and friends, we collected some fun facts of people and made her guess who they belong to. 

We again congratulate you Irina and wish you all the best for all that you decide to do in the future!


November, 2022

Felsenegg Zürich, Switzerland

Retreat 2023

We had a really fun and successful retreat as an entire group up on Felsenegg. We were able to discuss not only where we see ourselves and eachother in the upcoming years, but also define goals for our group. 

One of the outcomes of this retreat was in fact this webpage, which you are currently on :-) 

August, 2023

Albisgüetli Zürich, Switzerland

Balgrist Fest

This years famous Balgrist Employee Party took place at the Albisgüetli in Zürich with the theme being the golden 20s/Titanic. After lots of brainstorming, we decided to go all dressed equally with hat, suspenders and a white collar blouse, which acutally matched Leo's outfit from the Titanic.Sven Epiney, one of Switzerlands most famous moderator who also happens to be Tamara’s “idol”, led through an evening of amazing food, great show performances, and impressive dance moves from our side. The evening was a complete success and we are already looking forward to next years event. 


June, 2022

Davos, Switzerland

eCM Conference 

The eCM conference took place in Davos this year. Nick was able to present his findings on the effect of priming of bone marrow stromal cells using hypoxia. Irina, Fritzi and Tamara each presented a poster. 

Irina's poster showed that...

Tamara's poster showed her recent finding that bone marrow stromal cells taken from the Modic lesions have a neurotrophic effect on nerve cells, meaning they make them nerve cells grow faster than control bone marrow stromal cells.

February, 2022

Balgrist Campus, Zürich

Meet our newest group member:
Melina Perez-Vertti Valdes

Melina is starting in our group as a PhD student. She will be the first PhD student in this group that will be working on CRPS. She will focus mainly on understanding the pathophysiology behind CRPS. Melina just finished her masters in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, where she studied stem cell specification into the germline using genetic mouse models, gastruloids and CRISPR under the supervision of Prof. Ian Chambers. She also investigated the role of mechanical ion channels in Drosophila development with Prof. Barry Denholm.

We look forward to having you join the group! 

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