Titleimage: Theodor Kocher Institute (TKI)

The Theodor Kocher Institute (TKI) is an institute of the Medical Faculty of the University of Bern. Research at the TKI addresses molecular mechanisms involved in inflammation. A special focus lies on immune cell migration to different organs during immune surveillance and inflammation employing cutting-edge 3D live cell imaging. The specific research focus of the individual TKI research groups are shown in the section Research. Teaching: The institute offers lectures and practical classes in immunology, vascular cell biology, transgenic mouse technologies, cell migration, inflammation and live cell imaging for bachelor, master and graduate students in the Medical, Science and Vetsuisse Faculties. Services: The TKI participates in the Microscopy Imaging Center and provides services in the production of genetically modified mouse models as well as in cryo-preservation and rederivation of mouse strains.

News and Events

Sasha Soldati has successfully defended his PhD thesis

The TKI congratulates Sasha Soldati for the successful defense of his PhD thesis entitled "Targeting T-cell migration to the central nervous system in the context of multiple sclerosis.” and for successfully completing the PhD Program Cell Migration.

Malpighi Medal awarded to Prof. Britta Engelhardt

Prof. Britta Engelhardt was awarded the Malpighi Medal of the European Society of Microcirculation at the 32nd ESM Meeting in Aarhus, Denmark in April 2023.

The Malpighi Medal is the most prestigious award of the ESM given to an individual of internationally outstanding reputation in any field of microcirculation research. Britta Engelhardt received this award for her contributions on central nervous system microcirculation.


Awards at the iPSZürich 2023

We congratulate Dr. Sarah Guimbal, PostDoc in the group of Britta Engelhardt, for winning the Best Poster Award at iPSZürich 2023 with her poster entitled «New molecular underpinnings of blood-brain barrier dysfunction in multiple sclerosis».

We congratulate Ms. Pelin Kasap, PhD student in the group of Britta Engelhardt, for winning the Best Presentation Award at iPSZürich 2023 with her presentation entitled «An isogenic in vitro model of the human neurovascular unit to explore blood brain barrier dysfunction in neuroinflammation».


The multinational staff at the TKI stands with the people of Ukraine

Sharing our professional and personal diversity is both a privilege and an enrichment, making us both better scientists and persons.
The war in Ukraine must stop!


Free Communication Prize for Javier Pareja

We congratulate Javier Pareja, PhD student in the group of Britta Engelhardt, for winning the Free Communication Prize 2022 at the 5th Swiss Vascular Research Symposium for the presentation entitled: Brain endothelial antigen presentation detains CD8+ T cells at the blood-brain barrier leading to its breakdown

Poster Prize for Sasha Soldati

We congratulate Sasha Soldati, PhD student in the group of Britta Engelhardt, for winning the Poster Prize 2022 at the 5th Swiss Vascular Research Symposium for the Poster entitled: Vitamin D regulates - cell migration across the blood-brain barrier

Best Poster Award for Amandine Brenna!

We congratulate Amandine Brenna, PhD student in the group of Britta Engelhardt, for winning a Best Poster Award at the 24th International Symposium on Signal Transduction at the Blood-Brain Barriers” in Bari.


Successful PhD Defense

On June 8, 2022 Josephine Mapunda has successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Imaging the central nervous system immune privilege: The role of CNS barriers in regulating trafficking of immune cells and immune mediators in the CNS.” The TKI congratulates her to this achievement!


Best Poster Award for Pelin Kasap!

We congratulate Pelin Kasap, PhD student in the group of Britta Engelhardt, to the Best Poster Award at the iPSZürich Symposium 2022.


Federico has successfully defended his PhD thesis

The TKI congratulates Federico Saltarin for successful defense of his PhD thesis entitled «Investigations on the extravasation of melanoma cells across the blood brain barrier».

Daniela Ivan

Daniela has successfully defended her Phd thesis

The TKI congratulates Daniela Ivan for successful defense of her PhD thesis entitled «Myeloid cell recruitment to the CNS during neuroinflammation - migration pathways and functional polarizations»


Good-bye to Dr. Hideaki Nishihara from the «Human B-Lab Team»

Good-bye to Dr. Hideaki Nishihara from the «Human B-Lab Team» that has grown under his guidance! We will keep up the good work on the human brain barriers and look forward to our future collaborations.

Ursula Zingg

Ursula Zingg has left the TKI for her retirement

Thank you for everything Ursula and we will miss you..


Congratulations to Sidar Aydin

We are pleased to announce that Sidar Aydin has successfully passed his PhD thesis defence at the TKI. Congratulations!


Congratulations to Adrian Madarasz, promoted MD (= Dr. med. or Doctor Medicinae)

We are happy to announce that Adrian Madarasz finished his medical doctoral thesis. The Medical Faculty of the University of Bern officially confirmed his title as Dr. med. on September 2, 2020.
Adrian is now performing an MD PhD at our Institute.


No traditional TKI Christmas Party this year

No traditional TKI Christmas Party this year. We have missed you all. We wish all previous TKI members and friends and everybody who visits our homepage a wonderful Holiday Season and all the best for the New Year! Take care!


Ruth Lyck has been nominated Associate Professor

The TKI congratulates PD Dr. Ruth Lyck to the nomination as Associate Professor of the University of Bern.
Focusing her research orignially on immune cell migration across the blood-brain barrier, Dr. Lyck has recently shifted her research focus on melanoma cell migration across this tissue barrier in the context of tumor metastasis to the brain. Dr. Lyck has worked part time during her entire career first due to family reasons and lately due to her additional function as the coordinator of the Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC) of the University of Bern. She is thus an excellent female role model for scientists in the future.


We enjoy the visit of Dr. Christian Uhl from the Department of Neurosurgery, Charité Berlin, Germany

His Zoom Seminar talk today entitled "Role of the EphB4-receptor in mediating resistance to antiangiogenic treatment in malignant glioma"


first TKI ZOOM Seminar with Prof. Roy O. Weller and Prof. Roxana Carare

First TKI ZOOM seminar with Professor Roy O. Weller and Dr. Roxane O. Carare, University of Southhampton, UK.
Their presentations "connections between the brain and the immune system" and "clearance of amyloid and interstitial fluid from the aging brain" were truly inspiring!

2020/05/26 seminar / amyloid / train and immune system / interstitial fluid / aging brain

Affiliation of Prof. Daniel Legler with the Theodor Institute

Prof. Dr. Daniel Legler, head of the Biotechnology Institute Thurgau at the University of Konstanz, has been appointed as associate professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bern affiliated with the Theodor Kocher Institute by March 1st, 2020. For several years, Daniel Legler is engaged in the PhD program Cell Migration coordinated by Prof. Dr. Britta Engelhardt. Moreover, Daniel Legler is a member of the expert commission Cell Biology of the Bern Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB) and co-organizer of the annual Cytomeet dedicated to the Swiss scientific community interested in mechanisms of cell migration.


Successfull Mid-term of Josephine Mapunda

Josephine Mapunda is happy that the virtual mid-term exam is successfully suceeded.

2020/04/30 news - mid-therm exam

TKI - first online lab meeting

The TKI lab is now up and running virtually


Two PhDs finalized at TKI by the end of 2019

Mariana Dias and Luca Marchetti finished their PhDs at the TKI in 2019


ProDoc Cell Migration Retreat 2019

This years ProDoc Cell Migration Retreat took place from August 29 to August 30 at the Hotel Appenberg in the beautiful Emmental near Bern

ENTRAIN - New EU project

PhD position at the Theodor Kocher Institute for early stage researchers (ESR) for three years, funded as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN).
For further details of the individual projects in ENTRAIN, please follow the link www.itn-entrain.eu.


CNB Science Slam 2019

Event for researcher and students
And the winner is - Mariana Dias with her friends Daniela Ivan, Josephine Mapunda, Luca Marchetti, Federico Saltarin and Viviane Schallenberg from the Theodor Kocher Institute and David Francisco from Interfaculty Bioinformatics Unit



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