Welcome to Immunopharmacology of Cancer






Our overall aim is to develop novel treatments to enhance the body's immune defenses against cancer.

Our research aims first at uncovering new mechanisms leading to activation of the immune system, for example during viral infections. Using this bioinspiration, our goal is to develop pharmacological ways to stimulate anticancer immunity.


We are currently working on the following questions:

  • What is the early sequence of immune activation during a viral infection? How can we reproduce this sequence pharmacologically?
  • How do virally-derived components, such as Toll-like receptor ligands, activate anti-cancer immunity and decrease cancer-associated immunosuppression?
  • Can we enhance migration of effector T cells into the tumor with virally-derived components?
  • Can we use nanoparticles as delivery system to focus their action and prevent unwanted side effects?


You can find more detailed information on the ongoing projects in “link to Research section”


Recent News:

Congratulations to Betül Taskoparan for winning Best Poster First Prize & Best Poster Layout Prize during 16th Spring School of Immunology organized by German Society of Immunology, October 25-30, 2020, Ettal (Germany).

Congratulations to Dr. Viola Puddinu for her promotion to Research and Teaching Fellow, November 1, 2020.

Congratulations to our 3 PhD students Julia Wagner, Betül Taskoparan and Hélène Poinot for winning a Registration Grant for the 14th World Immune Regulations Meeting (WIRM-XIV), October 4-7, 2020, Davos (Switzerland)

Congratulations to Julia Wagner for the Poster Prize of the 14th World Immune Regulations Meeting (WIRM-XIV), "Combination of a TLR agonist with a STING ligand induces T cell death", October 4-7, 2020, Davos (Switzerland).

The 3rd prize "ISPSO Master" for the best personal research work was awarded to Jérémie Tachet for his work entitled "Impact of glucocorticoid metabolism on anticancer immunity" carried out in our lab. Congratulations !

Congratulations to Dr. Aurélien Pommier for receiving a grant from the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse, to support the next 18 months work of the team on the discovery of novel immunotherapy treatment for patients with renal cancer.

Congratulations to Dr. Viola Puddinu for being awarded a grant from the Novartis Foundation for one year to study the connection between stomach cancer and the gastric microbiota.


We are welcoming Bart Boersma who is starting his PhD in our lab on October 1, 2020.



Congratulations to Sandra Hocevar for a very successful thesis defense entitled “Understanding the interactions of gold nanoparticles with B lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo”.


November 2019:

The Egon Naef Foundation for In Vitro Research awards its 3R Prize to Professor Carole Bourquin of the University of Geneva

Carole Bourquin receives the Egon Naef Foundation 3R Prize in recognition for the development of a new in vitro technique that reduces by 20% the number of mice needed for nanoparticle research in immunotherapy.

Click to read the entire article



Interview of Prof. Carole Bourquin on RTS radio "Le rôle de l'inflammation dans le cancer"

Click to listen to this interview :


Congratulations to:


Betül TASKOPARAN


SSAI Travel Grant Winner of WIRM-XIII, April 5-9, 2019, Davos (Switzerland) (Travel grant of CHF 670.-)

Julia WAGNER
BioLegend Workshop Award Winner of WIRM-XIII, April 5-9, 2019, Davos (Switzerland)





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