Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois
Université de Lausanne (UNIL), Department of Fundamental Oncology (DOF)
Ludwig Cancer Research, Lausanne branch

Biopôle III


In Lausanne, a new Swiss cancer center has been launched. The new Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne (SCCL) under the direction of Prof George Coukos brings together fundamental, clinical and translational research groups from the CHUV, the University of Lausanne (UNIL), the Ludwig Cancer Research, Lausanne branch (LICR@UNIL) and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to create an integrated multidisciplinary environment in order to solve specific cancer problems and develop exceptional care for cancer patients.

Furthermore, within the CHUV’s Department of Oncology, a new Center of Experimental Therapeutics (CTE) was created. The CTE, headed by Dr. Lana Kandalaft, integrates a clinical investigation unit (UIC) in charge of the clinical trials, two GMP manufacturing facilities (the Tumor Processing Facility (TPF) and the Cellular Manufacturing Facility (CMF)), as well as core laboratories dedicated to immune monitoring, biomarker discovery, drug screening and a mass spectrometry unit.


The tumor processing facility (TPF) is part of the CHUV’s Center of Experimental Therapeutics (CTE) and serves as a biobanking platform as well as a GMP cellular manufactuing site for novel immune-based cancer therapies.


The Immune Monitoring Core (IMC) is a certified platform within the Center of Experimental Therapeutics (CTE) offering immune monitoring strategies and solutions in pre‐clinical and clinical trials.


The cellular manufacturing facility (CMF) of the CTE represents >220 m2 of clean room space dedicated to the development and production of novel immune cell-based cancer therapies.

Staff enrolled in the project

  • Prof George Coukos
    Prof George Coukos Head of Department of Oncology, CHUV Director of Ludwig Cancer Research, Lausanne branch Director of Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne (SCCL) Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 06 24

    Prof George Coukos is an internationally recognized expert in tumor immunology, tumor microenvironement immune dysfunction and personalized immunotherapy. Prof. Coukos also has extensive experience in designing and conducting clinical cell-based immunotherapy studies, and in the development of cell-based immunotherapy from the laboratory to the clinic.

    He has been the PI and regulatory sponsor of four pilot or phase-I clinical immunotherapy studies in ovarian cancer, using cell-based vaccines or adoptive T cell transfer.

  • Prof. Pedro Romero, MD Full Professor Department of Fundamental Oncology (DOF), University of Lausanne (UNIL) Ludwig Cancer Research, Lausanne branch Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 0198

    Dr. Pedro Romero is a Full Professor at LICR@UNIL and the Associate Director of the Department of Fundamental Oncology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne. He is a leading researcher in the field of tumour immunology and immunotherapy of cancer. His expertise includes the immunobiology of cytolytic CD8 T lymphocytes (CTL), the monitoring of T‐cell responses in humans and in mouse experimental models of cancer and the conception and performance of early phase clinical trials of peptide vaccination in cancer patients. Prof. Romero has a fully equipped laboratory with experience in advanced immunomonitoring of cancer patients, in the context of phase I trials of vaccination with tumour peptides and adjuvants.

  • Dr. Lana Kandalaft
    Dr. Lana Kandalaft Director, Center of Experimental Therapeutics Department of Oncology, CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 78 23

    Dr. Lana Kandalaft is the director of the Center of Experimental Therapeutics within the Department of oncology of the CHUV and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. She holds a doctorate degree of Pharmacy, a Ph.D in Cell Biology and Therapeutics from the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff, Wales and completed a fellowship at the Cell and Cancer Biology Branch at The National Cancer Institute. She joined the CHUV and Ludwig Branch in 2013. For the past 9 years she has been working on bringing personalized autologous whole tumour lysate vaccines and novel immunotherapeutics to the clinic.

  • Dr. Anita Wolfer, MD
    Dr. Anita Wolfer, MD Cheffe de Clinique Department of Oncology, CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 09 84

    After obtaining her medical diploma from the University of Lausanne in 1998, Dr. Anita Wolfer spent three years in basic science working at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer research on elucidating the role of Notch1 during murine T cell development. She then went back into clinical medicine to train in internal medicine and medical oncology until she moved to Boston in 2006. There she spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow at the MGH Cancer Center studying the underlying biology of poor outcome gene expression signatures in oncology. She has been back in Lausanne since 2010 where she now works as “cheffe de clinique” in gynecological malignancies and also leads a small research group interested in understanding the role of MYC in metastasis.

  • Mrs. Kim Ellefsen-Lavoie
    Mrs. Kim Ellefsen-Lavoie Director of Operations, Center of Experimental Therapeutics Department of Oncology, CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 39 05

    Mrs. Kim Ellefsen joined the Department of Oncology of the CHUV in December 2013 as Director of Operations at the Center for Experimental Therapeutics (CTE). She obtained her Master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Montreal, Canada. She has worked the past 15 years within public institutions and pharmaceutical companies. Her experience and competencies have been acquired in various activities especially at the international level, and in complex and demanding environments. She has developed strong expertise in the field of vaccine immunity in clinical trial and immunological assays. She has a large experience in clinical phase I and II vaccine trials, combined to management and coordination roles. For more than a decade, during her research period, she has been working in the field of antiviral and vaccine immunity and has developed a strong expertise in immunology and biochemistry. She has especially developed several assays to measure, characterize, quantify and monitor virus-specific and vaccine-induced T-cell responses.

  • Dr. Alexandre Harari, MD, PhD
    Dr. Alexandre Harari, MD, PhD Director of Immune-monitoring Core, Center of Experimental Therapeutics Department of Oncology, CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 01 96

    Dr. Alexandre Harari is a recognized expert in flow cytometry and immune monitoring and the director of the Immune Monitoring Core (IMC) of the Center of Experimental Therapeutics (CTE) at the CHUV. He is also currently heading a research and development group in the laboratory of Prof. George Coukos focused on developing advanced methods to read anti-tumour immune responses and to discover biomarkers. Dr Harari is an immunologist and spent a decade in the infectious disease field focusing on immune correlates of disease control, immune monitoring of experimental vaccine trial as well as in the development of flow cytometry‐based diagnosis tools.

  • Dr. Selena Viganó, PhD
    Dr. Selena Viganó, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Ludwig Cancer Research, Lausanne branch University of Lausanne (UNIL) Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 06 74

    Dr. Selena Viganó is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). She joined the Department of Oncology of the CHUV in 2015 to work under the direction of Prof. Pedro Romero and Dr. Alexandre Harari. Her work focuses on the development of immune-monitoring tools as well as on understanding the relevant mechanisms underlying the efficacy or the safety issues related to immunotherapy. Dr. Selena Viganó got her PhD at the University of Lausanne in 2013 after which she had a first post-doctoral experience at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard (2013-2015). During these years, she focused on the investigation of the role of the immune system in acute, chronic infections and in immunodeficiency, receiving an extensive training in immunology and in translational research.

  • Dr. Philippe Gannon, PhD
    Dr. Philippe Gannon, PhD Head of Process Development, Center of Experimental Therapeutics Department of Oncology, CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland

    +41 21 314 01 78

    Dr. Philippe Gannon joined the Center of Experimental Therapeutics (CTE) in 2015 as the Head of Process Development. Dr. Gannon completed his graduate studies at the University of Montreal, Canada under the supervision of Dr. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson and Dr. Fred Saad. The topic of his Ph.D. was the androgen regulation of the tumor immunological microenvironment in prostate cancer patients. In 2011, he joined the team of Dr. Nathalie Rufer at the Department of Oncology of the CHUV as a post-doctoral follow and worked on the phenotypical and functional characterization of the CD8 T cell responses in melanoma patients following therapeutic vaccination.

  • Caroline Boudousquié
    Caroline Boudousquié

    +41 21 314 31 15

    Dr Caroline Boudousquié joined the Department of Oncology of the CHUV-UNIL in February 2016 to work on cancer vaccine’s development under the direction of Prof. Lana Kandalaft. Dr Boudousquié got her PhD at the University of Lausanne in 2006 and then worked as a post doctoral fellow for 4 years at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Epalinges, Switzerland) in Werner Held’s team to study memory CD8 T cells differentiation. Dr Boudousquié moved to United Kingdom in 2014 where she worked as a senior scientist for Immunocore. She came back to Switzerland mid 2015 to work as a team leader for Anergis.

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