Geek Girls Carrots GVA: Mini-brains & personalized nutrition

Are you interested in Tech and Science? Come and join our community of like-minded people!
On April 23rd we will discover the world of mini-brains and learn how technology can improve personalized nutrition and menstrual health. We’ll host two extraordinary speakers from Hepia at Campus Biotech and Digital Epidemiology Lab at EPFL.


6.30: Networking and welcoming words.
7.00: Lighting-up human mini-brains by Virginie Sabado
7.30: Q&A, short break
8.00: Menstrual health, nutrition and technology by Chloé Allémann
8.30: Q&A, apéro (please bring a snack or a drink!)


Lighting-up human mini-brains by Virginie Sabado
Join me on a journey through the production of ‘mini-brains’ to the exploration of brain activity using optogenetics. Research conducted in 2006 taught us how to hijack the key factors that give a cell its identity. This knowledge is applied to turn human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells, from which neurons can be derived. I will show you how we engineer three-dimensional structures of neural tissue, or mini-brains. Using a microelectrode chip array, we record their electrical activity and manipulate it by introducing optogenetic proteins that induce neuronal excitation in response to light. These ‘brains-in-a-dish’ have many features of a live brain, allowing unprecedented opportunities to study the human brain. From personalised medicine to the study of sleep, mini-brains are revolutionizing the way we approach the Neurosciences.


Virginie Sabado has a PhD in developmental neurobiology. She is a Senior Scientist in the Tissue Engineering Lab at hepia-Campus Biotech and a committee member of the Suisse Romande chapter of the Healthcare Businesswoman’s association.
Menstrual health, nutrition and technology by Chloé Allémann
In the first part, I will present of a citizen science research project about personalized nutrition and menstrual health. Within this project, we are building one of the biggest „digital cohort” in Switzerland, the aim is to build an algorithm that will make personalized diet plan based on the physiology, the lifestyle and the microbiome of the individual. In the second part, I will present a personal project, which is collaborative and open source: the development of a smartphone app to track the menstrual cycle in order to prevent or achieve pregnancy. The core part of the app is the implementation of the sympto-thermal method.


Chloé Allémann has an MSc in Life Sciences and Technologies, she works now as a Food & You project manager in the digital epidemiology lab at EPFL and is expert in the Symptothermalsympto-thermal method of natural birth control and is a counsellor for the foundation Symptotherm.