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Rigi Workshop 2025: Microbiome Meets Metabolism

Linking microbial biotransformations of chemicals to human and environmental health



Luogo della manifestazione

Hotel Rigi Kulm

Punto d'incontro

Hotel Rigi Kulm

Join us for a 3-days interdisciplinary workshop to explore microbiomes and biotransformations in environment, health and data at Mount Rigi from February 2 to 4th 2025. Open to Phd students and Post-docs.

Rigi Workshop 2025 - Vignette

Discover the transformative power of microbiomes in shaping chemical structures and functions, vital for human and environmental well-being. This workshop bridges microbiology and bioinformatics with toxicology, pharmacology and environmental sciences, focusing on cutting-edge methodologies and data science tools. Participants will explore the intricate biotransformation processes in diverse microbiomes like the human gut and the environment and link those with microbiome composition analysis, thereby gaining practical insights and predictive skills. Scientific talks and teamworking sessions offer hands-on experience in data analysis, experimental strategies, and career development. Dive deep into understanding microbial metabolism's impact on ecosystems and human health, and equip yourself with essential tools for impactful research.

Where and when?
The 3-days course takes place in the hotel Rigi-Kulm on top of the Rigi Mountain, one of the most scenic places in Switzerland, from the 2 to 4 February 2025.

Who can apply?
PhD students and Postdocs from all Swiss institutions of higher education. The workshop is aimed at students from all domain of biology, pharmacology and chemistry interested in this topic. MSc students‘ applications might also be considered.

Programme and Registration
The programme is available here.
Please apply online on this page and submit your abstract of research and a short letter of motivation by 30 September 2024. The organising committee will select up to 30 outstanding applicants.

The registration fee is CHF 150.– and includes housingin double room (or CHF 190.- in single room) and meals. Payment will be due after the selection.

Please contact your doctoral school for the accreditation of ECTS which we estimate between 1 and 1.5 ECTS.

Contribution from the participants
Participants will be required to prepare a poster of current research and to prepare a poster pitch. Some projects will be selected to be discussed during workshop 2 World Café on research projects.


  • Dr. Georg Aichinger - ETHZ
    Title: Microbiome-competent Physiologically based kinetic modeling.
    Description: A predictive tool to quantitatively assess the individual impact of gut microbial metabolism on human health”?
  • Prof. Dr. Emily Balskus – MIT, Harward
    Title: Chemical discovery in the microbial world
    Description: This presentation will focus on the discovery and manipulation of novel metabolic pathways and enzymes in microbiota. I will highlight how understanding these processes at the molecular level can influence human health, shape our environment, and lead to medicinal applications, emphasizing inovative integrations of organic chemistry with microbial systems.
  • Prof. Dr. Nicholas Bokulich – ETHZ
    Title of workshop: Metagenome data analysis"
    Description: In this workshop, we will learn about metagenome data acquisition and analysis for profile and predicting functional capacities of microbial communities.
  • Prof. Dr. Philipp Engel - Unil - Department of fundamental microbiology
    Title: Metabolic Interplay Between the Honeybee Gut Microbiota and Agrochemicals
    Description: Honey bees are key pollinators that harbor relatively simple yet highly specialized microbial communities in their gut. Pesticides are one of the key stressors affecting bee health. We hypothesize that the bee gut microbiota interacts with many pesticides in a reciprocal manner with important consequences for bee health.
  • Prof. Dr. Kristopher McNeill - ETHZ
    Title: Microbial plastic degradation
    Description : I will present on our group’s work studying biodegradation of polyesters in soil, including our efforts to characterize the colonization of the plastic pieces, the enzymatic hydrolysis process, and the fate of the monomers that are released by hydrolysis.
  • Dr. Serina Robinson - EAWAG
    Title: Paired ‘omics analysis
    Description: In this talk, I will cover our research on cultivation-independent techniques to couple meta’omics with functional enzyme and pathway characterization. We aim use such techniques to identify and predict microbial biotransformations.
  • Dr. Maria Zimmermann-Kogadeeva - EMBL
    Title: Quantifying microbiota-host interactions
    Description : I will discuss computational approaches to quantify metabolism of single bacteria, their communities and microbiota-host metabolic interactions based on genome-scale metabolic models and physiology-based models.
  • Dr. Michael Zimmermann – EMBL
    Title: Metabolic Microbiome Interactions
    Description : We will discuss high-throughput culturomics, metabolomics and genetic approaches to mechanistically link metabolic functions of microbial communities to their bacterial species, strains, and metabolic pathways.


  • Preliminary Programme Rigi Workshop 25
  • Rigi Workshop 2023 - Workshop and sunset
  • Rigi Workshop 2023 - Hotel Rigi Kulm
  • Preliminary Programme Rigi Workshop 251/3
  • Rigi Workshop 2023 - Workshop and sunset2/3
  • Rigi Workshop 2023 - Hotel Rigi Kulm3/3


  • Biochimica
  • Microbiologia
  • Tossicologia
  • Tossicologia ambientale


Caroline Reymond
Piattaforma di Biologia
Casa delle Accademie
Casella postale
3001 Berna

The workshop will be held in English.
Registration fee is only CHF 150 (in double rooms) and includes housing and meals. For an additional 40 CHF you can book a single room (upon hotel availability). The travel costs are not covered by the registration fee.

All participants must be self-insured and are under their own responsibility.
Lingue: Inglese