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Lucas Pelkmans, Ph.D.

University of Zurich


Lucas Pelkmans was born in the Netherlands and currently lives in Zurich. He studied Medical Biology at the University of Utrecht and did his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the ETH Zurich. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. In 2005, he became assistant professor in Systems Biology at the ETH Zurich and was in 2010 was elected as the Ernst Hadorn-endowed Chair and promoted to full professor in Systems Biology at the University of Zurich He currently runs a large international lab that has pioneered the field of image-based systems biology. His ground-breaking work led him to be nominated to the MIT Technology Review top 35 of the world’s leading Young Innovators under 35 of age (TR35) and to be amongst the top 10 most-cited cell biologists in Europe. He was awarded the ETH medal, won the European Young Investigator Award, and received ERC junior, consolidator, and advanced grants. Lucas was chairman of the executive board of, the Swiss Initiative of Systems Biology, and is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). He is an inventor on several patents in multiplexed quantitative imaging and computer vision/machine learning and has co-founded the drug discovery company Sagimet Biosciences (NASDAQ: SGMT), and the UZH spin-off Apricot Therapeutics, which maps drug activity contexts across scales. His current research focuses on contextual information processing and multimodal perception by individual cells to connect cellular state to decision making.

Science Programs at Allen Institute