Prof. Christophe Dessimoz

SNSF Professor, University of Lausanne
Professor of Bioinformatics, University College London
Group leader, Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics

Short bio

Christophe obtained his Master in Biology (2003) and PhD in Computer Science (2009) from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. After a postdoc at the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge (UK), he joined University College London as Lecturer (2013), then Reader (2015), then Professor (2020). In 2015, he joined the University of Lausanne as SNSF Professor, retaining an appointment at UCL, where part of his lab remains active. Since 2016, Christophe is also a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

Longer bio

Christophe did his first degree in Biology at ETH Zurich, Switzerland (1999-2003). After half-year stints at Northwestern University (Evanston, USA), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), he returned to ETH Zurich at the Department of Computer Science for his PhD (2004-2009), under the supervision of Gaston Gonnet.

After being promoted to teaching faculty member (2010) and senior research associate (2011) at ETH Zurich, he moved to the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, as a visiting scientist in Nick Goldman’s group funded by a fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

He moved to University College London in 2013 as a Lecturer on a joint appointment between the Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment and the Department of Computer Science. He was promoted to Reader in 2015, and to Professor in 2020.

In autumn 2015, he joined UNIL as SNSF Professor. He retains an appointment at UCL, where he remains active in research and teaching.

Since 2016, Christophe is also a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

An interview in English is available here. A biography is provided in this article in English and in this older article in French. There is also an interview in French here.


Academic leadership and service




  • Conference organisation and programme committees (selected):
    • ISMB/ECCB 2019, Area co-chair (Population Genomics and Molecular Evolution), EvolCompGen COSI co-chair
    • ISMB 2018, COSI Proceedings Chair (Evolution)
    • ISMB/ECCB 2015, Area co-chair (Applied Bioinformatics)
    • PC member of ECCB 2012, ISMB AFP 2013, BC[2] 2015, AlCoB 2015, ISMB/ECCB 2015, ECCB 2016, ISMB AFP 2017, GenoPri’18
    • Co-organizer of Quest for Orthologs 2 (Hinxton, 2011), 4 (Barcelona, 2015), 5 (Los Angeles, 2017), and 6 (Nagoya, 2019)
    • Co-organizer of GNOME 2014
  • Co-chair of the EMBL-EBI postdoc association (2012-2013)
  • Co-founder of Young European Biotech Network (2001)


  • Expert witness for patent litigation, with experience in UK, US, and French cases.

Media coverage

Selected interviews and quotes are listed here.