Lab news

03.10.2023. Read our recent review on pragmatic coarse grained modelling of proteins here.  


18.09.2023. Yara Ahmed joined the group as PhD student. Welcome Yara.


01.09.2023. Mira Mors joined the group as a junior researcher. Welcome Mira.


10.08.2023. Our collaborative work "Malonyl-CoA links lipid metabolism to nutrient signalling by directly inhibiting mTORC1" is out in nature cell biology now. Check it out here !


12.07.2023. We are happy to share our Current Opinion on the state of the art and future challenges of MD simulations of membrane trafficking processes. Please have a read !


20.06.2023. Annual biochemistry retreat concluded with a perfect blend of science, fun, and a beautiful hike in Leysin, CH.


15-06-2023. Safaa Mouline from University of California Berkeley, joined the group as NCCR summer undergraduate  student.


10.05.2023. Our work in a wonderful collaboration with Kukuluski group is out in Nature now. Give it a read if interested in ERMES complex.


17.04.2023. Our work on development of coarse-grained model for surface functionalized gold nanoparticle to study their aggregation behaviour is now out in Soft Matter.


10.04.2023. Our work has been published in Soft Matter, where we employed a modified osmotic pressure approach to chracterize Pressure-Area isotherms of lipid monolayers.


06.03.2023. Congratulations to Emanuele, for successfully defending his PhD thesis, making him the third PhD student from the group.

17.12.2022. And we call it a year with a wonderful Christmas party, excellent food and a karaoke face-off!


09.11.2022. Congratulations to Sriraksha, the second PhD student from the group for masterfully defending her PhD thesis today! Onto new adventures!


03.11.2022. Sriraksha's work on the role of DLC3/Stard8 in gonad formation is now out in eLife. She used MD simulations to study the differences of the StART domain in cases of patient DLC3 variations exhibiting gonadal dysgenesis. Thanks to all collaborators for involving us in this study!


01.11.2022. Say hello to the latest PhD student to join the group - Ashutosh Kumar.


28.09.2022. Happy to share that the work of Emanuele and collaborators on aggregation of surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles in now out in RCS Nanoscale. Give it a read here!


02.09.2022. Despite the busy conference season, we managed to have our 2nd joint lab outing in beautiful Gruyere with the Kukulski group, discussing lipid transport and membrane contact sites!


01.09.2022. Melina Daendliker joins the group for her Masters thesis!


15.07.2022. Cristian Camilo Rocha Roa joins the group as a PhD student. Welcome Cristian


04.07.2022. Felicity Ibrahim from the University of Cambridge joins the lab for 2 months as an NCCR undergraduate summer student. 


03.07.2022. Traditional summer brunch with the lab, with beautiful Fribourg old town in the background!


28.06.2022. Stefano is presenting at the FASEB LDSRC in NC. Stop by to discuss all things lipid droplets!


16-20.05.2022. Conference/meeting season is here! Stefano is presenting at the Jacques-Monod conference on membrane remodelling in Roscoff while Jennifer and Emanuele have some posters to show at the BPS Thematic Meeting in Hamburg and the SoftComp Annual Meeting in Salerno respectively.


16.04.2022. Here is the latest from the lab - in another wonderful collaboration, we looked at biogenesis of liquid-crystalline LDs and how lipid phase transitions alter the LD proteome. Give it a read!


13.04.2022. Happy to share the latest collaborative work from the lab on the architecture of ERMES. If you are interested in lipid transport and membrane contact sites, take a look at this structure!


21.02.2022. Congratulations to post-doc Arun for his stellar work on identifying lipid homeostasis regulators by rewiring lipid biosynthesis in yeast cells.


09.02.2022. Blessed by the weather-gods, the group goes hiking and sledging in Schwarzsee to celebrate Pablo's 50th birthday.


08.02.2022. Stefano discusses the importance of the Horizon Europe research grants for Switzerland-based researchers on the news channel La Tele.


01.02.2022. Daniel Alvarez Lorenzo (on the left) is the latest post-doc to join our group. Welcome Daniel!


14.01.2022. Congratulations to Valeria Zoni, the FIRST PhD student from the lab for defending her thesis with flying colors today!! 


20.12.2021. Sriraksha and Stefano's review article on designing and using lipid binding domains as membrane biosensors is out in a special issue of the CHIMIA, give it a read here.


08.12.2021. Our work on developing new CHARMM36 parameters for diacyl- and triacylglycerol is out in Biophysical Reports. Time to simulate some fats!


22.11.2021. Our work on aggregation of surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles has been posted on Chemrxiv.


12.11.2021. Valeria and Emanuele present their work at the FriMat Day 2021. 


15.10.2021. Akhil Pratap Singh joins the group as a post-doc.

27.09.2021. Stefano gives a keynote lecture on molecular simulations of cellular membranes at the 16th GERLI Lipidomics Meeting in Bordeaux.


24.09.2021. Sriraksha Srinivasan wins the Innovation Pitch Challenge at the Open Innovation in Life Sciences conference. Congrats Sri!


20.08.2021. Congratulations to Andrea Di Luca for being selected as an early-career reviewer for eLife.  


07.07.2021. The Vanni and Kukulski groups get together for a workshop on intracellular lipid transport. 


21.06.2021. Alfred Corrigan from UCL joins the lab for 3 months as an NCCR undergraduate summer student. 


09.06.2021. This article on CSCS highlights our latest work on lipid droplets and fat metabolism; do give it a read!


27.04.2021. Check out our latest publication, where we investigate the influence of hydrophobic solvents such as hexadecane on bilayer properties.


02..04.2021.  Our study supporting the existence of a strong low barrier hydrogen bond in the active site of PYP is out, take a look at it here.


30.03.2021. Our works on lipid droplets and fat metabolism now features in media and press - do check out these articles in La Liberte, La Gruyere, and the Department's web page.


09.03.2021. Our work on seipin is finally published! The final version features in vivo experiments validating our in silico findings.


03.03.2021. Jennifer Sapia joins the group as a PhD student. 


01.03.2021. Silvia d'Andrea joins the group as a project student for six months.


25.02.2021. Congratulations to Valeria Zoni for winning the Biophysical Society 2021 Student Research Achievement Award in the Membrane Structure and Function subgroup! 


01.02.2021. Our work on lipid droplet biogenesis is now out on eLife! Many tanks to the collaborators; virtual celebrations coming soon!


21.12.2020. As with all things this year, the lab christmas party goes virtual. A fun evening nevertheless. 



11.12.2020. Last of 2020 - our collaborative work on ceramide length-dependent sorting of protein into selective ER-exit sites is out! Take a look here.


01.11.2020. Josephine Alba joins the group as a post-doc.


27.10.2020. Our collaborative preprint on the role of the seipin in lipid droplet biogenesis is now on Biorxiv. Take a look!


05.10.2020. Give a read to our collaborative work on ether lipids and sphingolipids, the paper is out in its final form!


25.09.2020. We have been awarded 68.000.000 core hours in the 21st PRACE call!


24.09.2020. Our production project on protein-membrane interactions has been granted 300.000 node hours at the CSCS! 



01.09.2020. Our manuscript on the accuracy of the MARTINI model for peripheral protein - membrane interactions is out in Faraday Discussions. Give it a read!



01.09.2020. The group welcomes Andrea di Luca - our new post-doc.



28.08.2020. We developed a new protocol to predict membrane capacitance from the dielectric profile of lipid bilayers computed from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Check out our publication to know more! The code can be found here.


01.08.2020. Taraknath joins the group as a post-doc.


15.07.2020.  Janak joins the group as a PhD student.



15.06.2020. Laura Dagnija joins the group as a PhD student. 


10.01.2020. The group is now on Twitter. Check out at @LabVanni !


09.01.2020. Our latest collaborative work on parametrising plasmalogen for CHARMM36 is out in JPCB. Good start to the year!


19.12.2019. Our collaborative work on ether lipids with the lab of Howard Riezman (UNIGE) and Jonathan Weissman (UCSF) is out on BioRxiv! Nice way to finish the year!


18.12.2019. Third lab Christmas party: come for the hiking, stay for the food!

09.12.2019. Our Sinergia grant with the labs of Aurelien Roux (UNIGE), Robbie Loewith (UNIGE) and Ruben Fernandez-Busnadiego (Göttingen University) has been funded by the SNSF! Looking forward to 4 years of TORC2 research!


06.12.2019. Sri and Emanuele successfully passed their first year Progress Report...on to the next year!


13.11.2019. Our review on Lipid Droplet budding with the labs of Luca Monticelli and Jelger Risselada is out  in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. Congrats Valeria!

01.10.2019. Stefano will present the latest developments in the lab at the CECAM workshop on "Modeling phase separation in health and disease: from nano- to meso-scale"


20.09.2019. Our latest work on Lipid Droplet formation is out on BioRxiv, give it a read!

 05.09.2019. Our collaborative article with the Picotti and Beyer lab has been accepted in Cell Systems! 

08.08.2019. Valeria has been awarded an ETH/JSPS fellowship and will join the Shinoda lab in Japan for three months. Congratulations!!!  


31.07.2019. Our review on lipid trafficking and remodeling is out in Accounts of Chemical Research! 


24.07.2019. Sri and Valeria have presented their work at the European Biophysical Society Association (EBSA) meeting in Madrid!


01.07.2019. Two students join the lab today! Bastien will be here for six months for his Master thesis in Bioinformatics, while Zach joins the lab from Imperial College as an NCCR undergraduate summer student for two months.


13.06.2019. Stefano will give an overview of the research carried out in the lab as an invited speaker at the Retreat of the NCCR in Chemical Biology!


01.04.2019. Congratulations to Pablo and Valeria: their paper on diacylglycerol is accepted in Communications Chemistry! Here is the link!


23.05.2019. Stefano was the guest speaker at the EMPA topical day in High Performance Multi Scale Modeling.


01.04.2019. The lab welcomes its newest member: Vikram, self-appointed "computational statistician".


22.03.2019. We organized the Swiss Soft Days in Fribourg. Thanks to all participants, it was a blast! 


08.03.2019. Last stop of the East Coast Tour! 5 stops (Harvard, NIH, Biophysical Society annual Meeting, Temple, Yale)  in 9 days to present Pablo's and Valeria's work. It was well worth it!


28.02.2019. A special issue of CHIMIA on the NCCR in Bio-inspired Materials is out! You can find it here!


20.02.2019. We took part in the first Leman Lipid Club meeting. It was great to see so much research on lipids in one room!


04.02.2019. Stefano and Valeria will be presenting their results at the CECAM workshop "Multiscale Modeling from Macromolecules to Cell: Opportunities and Challenges of Biomolecular Simulations".


25.01.2019. First group outing of the lab: Megeve and the Mont Blanc!  Well, this was just an excuse to get food and talk fat, as usual...


07.12.2018. Second Christams Party of the lab! Sugar-free policy is suspended for one day.

06.11.2018. Our work is highlighted in the university journal Alma & Georges with a cool video interview!


01.11.2018. Sriraksha joins the lab as a PhD student from Bangalore. Nope, she didn't travel from India with this airplane...


27.09.2018. Valeria passes her first-year exam, and tomorrow she will present her work at the SwissSoftDays. Congratulations!


18.09.2018. A nice press release on our ERC project is out. Many thanks to the Research Services of Unifr!


01.09.2018. Emanuele joins the lab as NCCR PhD student to study nanoparticle-membrane interactions.



23.08.2018. Congratulations to Valeria for winning a Poster Prize at the International Workshop on Biological Membranes. To celebrate, she brought cookies from Finland!


13.08.2018. Our manuscript on membrane tension and packing defects in collaboration with JB Manneville and Bruno Goud is out on BioRxiv. Give it a read!


07.08.2018. Our article on PackMEM: A Versatile Tool to Compute and Visualize Interfacial Packing Defects in Lipid Bilayers in collaboration with Romain Guatier and Bruno Antonny is out in Biophysical Journal. Give it a try on

27.07.2018. We have been awarded an ERC Starting Grant to investigate the mechanism of membrane contact sites. Let's get to work!

24.06.2018. Sylvain Adamowicz joins the lab as a NCCR summer intern from Imperial College for 8 weeks! 


24.05.2018. Stefano speaks at the CECAM workshop on Liquid Liquid Phase Separation in Cells.  


22.03.2018. We have been awarded one of the largest projects (68.000.000 core hours) in the 16th PRACE call! 


18.03.2018. Our production project on lipid droplets has been granted 300.000 node hours at the CSCS! 


07.02.2018. The lab is invited to give a plenary talk at the Computational Chemistry meeting of the Swiss Chemical Society!


12.01.2018. Stefano presents the lab's work at the CECAM workshop on Frontiers in Computational Biophysics: understanding conformational dynamics of complex lipid mixtures relevant to biology. Great meeting and great feedback!


04.01.2018. A good news to start the year: the Novartis Foundation for medical-biological Research has decided to support our research on nanoparticles-membrane interactions!




17.12.2017. Lab's Christmas party! Families are invited for the occasion!


12.12.2017. My short commentary on lipid droplet structure is out on Lipid Insights!


06.11.2017. Stefano gives a speech in Ascona at the conference "Soft Matter Interfaces: from biology to engineering applications". Was great to talk with plenty of engineers and soft matter specialists.


14.09.2017. In Charmey for the Annual Center Conference for the NCCR in Bio-inspired Materials. Stefano gave a talk on his research ideas! 


15.08.2017. Valeria joins the lab as PhD student to investigate fat accumulation and lipid droplet biogenesis.


25.07.2017. It is official: we will join the Fribourg National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Bio-inspired Materials for its second phase (2018-2022). Looking forward to interact with so many exciting research groups!


20.07.2017. Our perspective on membrane simulations with Theresa, Giuseppe and Michele is available on the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 


19.06.2017. Our collaborative work with Rachid Thiam on lipid droplet budding is published in Developmental Cell.

 06.06.2017. With Markus, Luca and Claire, we are co-organizing the CECAM workshop: "The future of biomembrane simulations: hidden pitfalls and future challenges." Great participants and great atmosphere!


11.04.2017. Our article on triglycerides properties and lipid droplets in collaboration with Patrick Fuchs is out in Biophysical Journal. First article of the lab! 


06.04.2017. In Roscoff, at the Jacques Monod conference on "Molecular basis for membrane remodelling and organization", Stefano gives a preview of our recent research on lipid droplets.


27.03.2017. Our production project on lipid droplets has been granted 345.000 node hours at the CSCS!


01.02.2017. Pablo is the first member of the lab! Good luck!


15.01.2017. The lab starts its activities thanks to a professorship from the Swiss National Science Foundation!!