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Dr Benoît Kornmann


I study the ultrastructural organization of the cell and the biology of organelles. Organelles are separate yet interdependent units of the eukaryotic cells. They provide an appropriate milieu for the catalysis of specific biochemical reactions. On the other hand, the compartimentalization of the cell also creates the need for ultrastructural organization of the cell and communication routes that allow the exchange of metabolites and information across the cell. My research focuses mainly on mitochondria and on how mitochondria communicate with their neighboring environment in an integrated fashion.


Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, I obtained my PhD in 2006 from the University of Geneva. After a postdoctoral training in Peter Walter’s laboratory of  in San Francisco, I was hired as an assistant professor of Organelle biology at the Swiss Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). In 2019, I was hired as an associate professor at the department of Biochemistry  and as a Fellow of St Hugh’s College.

Selected Publications:

1: Helle SCJ, Feng Q, Aebersold MJ, Hirt L, Grüter RR, Vahid A, Sirianni A,Mostowy S, Snedeker JG, Šarić A, Idema T, Zambelli T, Kornmann B. Mechanicalforce induces mitochondrial fission. Elife. 2017 Nov 9;6. pii: e30292.  2: Michel AH, Hatakeyama R, Kimmig P, Arter M, Peter M, Matos J, De Virgilio C,Kornmann B. Functional mapping of yeast genomes by saturated transposition.Elife. 2017 May 8;6. pii: e23570. . 3: Lang AB, John Peter AT, Walter P, Kornmann B. ER-mitochondrial junctions canbe bypassed by dominant mutations in the endosomal protein Vps13. J Cell Biol.2015 Sep 14;210(6):883-90.  4: Kanfer G, Courthéoux T, Peterka M, Meier S, Soste M, Melnik A, Reis K,Aspenström P, Peter M, Picotti P, Kornmann B. Mitotic redistribution of themitochondrial network by Miro and Cenp-F. Nat Commun. 2015 Aug 11;6:8015.  5: Kornmann B, Currie E, Collins SR, Schuldiner M, Nunnari J, Weissman JS, WalterP. An ER-mitochondria tethering complex revealed by a synthetic biology screen.Science. 2009 Jul 24;325(5939):477-81.

Academic - Fellows & Lecturers