Fondation ZMB  

March 2016

We are pleased to present the 4th FZMB Newsletter


The FZMB Newsletter is issued twice a year. Its main purpose is to inform the readers about developments in our scholarships’ program and to report on news surrounding the students and the program. Contributions from third parties are welcome.

Special light on some of FZMB Alumni research projects

Hideki Perrier – physics and cosmology

Hideki completed a Bachelor’s in Physics at the EPFL Lausanne and a Master’s at the ETH Zurich. He then moved to Geneva to start a PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Geneva. He is part of one of the leading cosmology research teams in Europe.
His thesis subject analyses the large-scale structure of the universe, in particular, a powerful theoretical tool to explore theories called consistency relations. This successful theory aims to understand the distribution of dark matter and galaxies in the universe.

Hideki Perrrier

He now just returned from a one year visiting student research stay (fellowship) at the Stanford Institute for Theoratical Physics (SITP), which he was able to complete with a scholarship from the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala.
With his Stanford research group, Hideki contributed to a publication for a journal for peer review, which purpose was to compare the predictions of the power spectrum of dark matter in the Effective Field Theory of Large Scale Structure with high precision numerical data from a very large simulation run by a group at the Stanford Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. Precision Comparison of the Power Spectrum in the EFTofLSS with Simulations

François Rivest – bioengineering and cell screening

François Rivest

After completing a Bachelor’s in Bioengineering and before the start of his Master’s at the EPFL Lausanne, François decided to spend two years gaining some practical experience through two internships: one at Roche Diagnostrics International Rotkreuz (CH) and another at Roche Molecular Systems in Pleasanton, California (US). He also spent two months as an intern at the Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine & Pharmacobiology at the EPFL. For his Master’s thesis, François spent ten months at the University of Berkeley, California, analysing stem cells with the most innovative techniques.

His work involved developing a label-free microfluidic method called “Node-Pore Sensing” or NPS. NPS is capable of screening cells for multiple surface markers simultaneously. This method reduces the time dedicated to cells’ screening by making it shorter and improves the quality of said screening by making it more precise. The final purpose is to contribute to developing the next-generation of real-time label-free cell screening. François Rivest Research Project Poster

Thibaud Ruelle - engineering and nanoscale optics

During his Master’s in Material Sciences and Engineering at the EPFL Lausanne, Thibaud conducted research projects in micro-nanostructures and applications involving light such as LEDs, lasers or solar cells at the Laboratory for Semiconductor Materials (LMSC) and at the Laboratory of Advanced Semiconductors for Photonics and Electronics (LASPE). This led him to conduct his Master's thesis at Harvard, in the Laboratory for Nanoscale Optics.

Thibaud Reulle


The purpose of his research project was to study microscopic suspended beams (the same width as a hair) carved in diamond. More specifically, the objective was to demonstrate that shining laser light on these so-called "diamond optomechanical crystals" induces mechanical vibrations in them. This structure is a promising candidate for converting, processing and/or storing quantum information, which makes it a crucial element for future quantum computers.
Thibaud Reulle Research Project Poster

Nicolas Gaeng - chemistry

After completing the first year of his PhD further to a stay at Stanford University, Nicolas continued to work on his research in organic synthesis. The goal of his project was to synthetically reproduce a so-called natural product , which is a biologically active molecule isolated from a plant or animal (in his case a molecule isolated from a bark tree in Malaysia). The biomass of this compound is very small and explains the need for synthetic chemist to be able to replicate what Nature does to enable further studies on very interesting natural products.

Fabrice Kampfen - economics and physical activity

Fabrice Kampfen

Fabrice, a PhD researcher at University of Lausanne went to Brown University to study the link between retirement and physical activity in the United States.

Physical activity (PA) is crucial for maintaining and improving health. While retirement increases the amount of time available for PA, there is only limited evidence regarding the causal effect of retirement on PA. Addressing this gap in the literature, his analysis suggests significant positive causal effects of retirement on PA. It also shows that these effects are larger for persons with higher levels of education and wealth.

Time to burn (calories)? The impact of retirement on physical activity among mature Americans

FZMB Winter Alumni Event

In January 2016, FZMB Alumni had the pleasure of meeting Zdenek and Michaela Bakala and the members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in the Swiss Alps where they were able to share their experiences about studying at top US and UK universities.

The Winter Alumni Event
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Patricia Legler
Foundation Manager
Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala

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