Cathérine Gebhard, MD, PhD

Senior Physician/Research Group Leader

Cathérine’s key areas of expertise include cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology, and vascular biology as well as basic and translational research in cardiovascular gender medicine. Her vision is to extend the knowledge on female cardiovascular medicine and to develop preventive measures specifically tailored for women and men. Cathérine studied medicine and obtained her MD degree at the University of Tübingen (DE) and the University of Western Ontario (Canada). She completed her training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University Hospital Zurich and the Cantonal Hospitals Baden and Winterthur (CH). She then specialized in Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Imaging at the Imperial College London (UK) and the Montreal Heart Institute (Canada) where she also completed her PhD in molecular imaging. In 2016 she started her own research group in the field of Cardiovascular Gender Medicine as an SNSF Professor at the University of Zurich. She also held a joint appointment as an interventional cardiologist at the Medical University of Vienna. Between 2016 and 2022 she was president of the commission of Sex- and Gender in Medicine (SGiM) at the University of Zurich and founding program director of the CAS in Sex- and Gender-Specific Medicine. In 2022 Catherine started a new position as a senior physician in Interventional Cardiology at the University Hospital Inselspital Bern, where she currently focuses on implementing gender-specific medicine into clinical routine.  

Pubmed  ORCID 0000-0001-7240-5822


Susan Bengs, PhD

Deputy Group Leader Basic Research and Management

Susan did her B.Sc. in molecular biotechnology and a holds a diploma in biology from the Technical University of Dresden (DE). She then completed her PhD studies in Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University Hospital Zurich (CH), where she identified biomarkers for early colorectal cancer detection. After her PhD, Susan took on a new challenge as deputy group leader at the Gebhard Lab. Here, she not only develops her research and interests, but is also in charge of organizational and administrative tasks and the supervision of young scientists in molecular biology, cardiac imaging, and clinical studies.

Pubmed   ORCID 0000-0003-2424-3894


Alexia Rossi, MD, PhD

Deputy Group Leader Clinical Studies

Alexia received her medical degree in 2004 and her specialty in diagnostic imaging in 2008 from the University of Trieste (IT). Later, Alexia obtained her PhD in advanced cardiovascular imaging from Erasmus MC University Medical Centre in Rotterdam (NL). Thanks to a training grant from the European Society of Cardiology, she then moved to London where she further specialized in cardiac computed tomography (CT) at the Centre for Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging at the Barts Heart Centre (UK). At that time, Alexia was appointed assistant professor in diagnostic imaging at Humanitas University in Milan and returned to Italy. Alexia has consolidated experience in cardiac CT that she not only applies as an as active member of the EACVI Certification and Accreditation Committee, but also in her current position as clinical postdoctoral fellow in the Gebhard Lab. Alexia's research is focused on understanding mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases through novel, non-invasive imaging modalities. Alexia loves travelling, «good» instant coffee, and Christmas time.

Pubmed   ORCID 0000-0001-6845-1199


Karin Peer

Administrative Assistant

Karin worked in industry before starting her position at University of Zurich (CH) in 2019. She supports our team as an administrative assistant, enriching the Gebhard Lab with her passion and cordial attitude. In her leisure time, she loves being around her family and friends, outdoor-activities and handicrafts.


Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, MD, PhD

Guest Professor

Vera is the founding director of the Berlin Institute for Gender in Medicine (GIM) at Charité University Medicine (DE). From 2011 to 2018, she was the coordinator for the partner site Berlin in the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), a centre of excellence in German cardiovascular research. Her research focusses on sex and gender differences in cardiovascular diseases, in basic and clinical science and public health. She is the founding president of the German and International Society for Gender Medicine, and was twice, in 2012 and 2018, the coordinator for the European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for cardiovascular diseases in pregnancy. In 2018, she received the First-Class Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her achievements in gender medicine. As a pioneer in gender medicine in Germany, Vera advises the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich (CH) on the implementation of knowledge for sex- and gender-specific differences in medicine. She is currently also a visiting professor and senior consultant at the University of Zurich (CH) where she supports the Gebhard Lab and the implementation of sex- and gender-specific knowledge in research, teaching, and medical practice.

Pubmed   ORCID 0000-0002-3566-3467


Valerie Treyer, PhD

Senior scientist, saving angel and all-rounder

Valerie is a neuroscientist and senior scientist at the Department of Nuclear Medicine (USZ, CH) and at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (UZH, CH). She has been conducting molecular and multimodal neuroimaging studies since 1998 and has strong experience in Magnetic Resonance (MR) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging technology. Valerie has also set-up and co-authored various imaging studies with colleagues from different areas of expertise ranging from cardiology, oncology to neuroscience. Her current research focus is on healthy aging. Valerie is always thinking outside the box and brings together brain, heart and hand not only in theory but also in practice.

Pubmed   ORCID 0000-0002-4584-3031


Atanas Todorov, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow / Biostatistics

Atanas is a physician scientist with experience in all phases of translation from bench to bedside, including primary in vitro and in vivo models, conceptualization, study design, graft preparation, implantation, and follow-up and data analysis in first-in-man/proof of concept trials in patients. His particular expertise lies in tendon, cartilage and bone biology and regeneration. Throughout his scientific and clinical career, he has become more and more involved in statistical computation and image analysis, leading him to a part-time postdoc in biostatistics in support of the Gebhard Lab team. His other focus is on state-of-the-art digitalization of medical work and healthcare institutions at Arcondis (CH).

Pubmed   ORCID 0000-0002-1225-4302


Ahmed Haider, PhD

Research Fellow / Radio-Pharmacy

Achi (Ahmed) studied pharmacology and obtained his PhD degree in neuroimaging at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ, CH) in 2018. For his work on the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, Achi was awarded the prestigious ETH Silver Medal. He is a passionate scientist and loves a vigorous scientific exchange. Having gained exceptional insights into clinical research at the University Hospital Zurich (CH) over the last two years, he is currently moving to Boston, where he will be working at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (U.S.).

Pubmed   ORCID 0000-0002-5204-4473


Michael Fiechter, MD, PhD

Clinical Research Fellow

Michael is chief of service and board-certified neurosurgeon specialized in spine surgery and spinal cord surgery at the Swiss Paraplegic Center in Nottwil (CH). He is also a passionate natural scientist. Thanks to his double degree in medicine and natural sciences, Michael combines experimental, translational and clinical research in functional neurovascular imaging to investigate the neuro-hematopoietic-vascular axis and its influence on cardiovascular outcome. Despite his intensive clinical and research commitments, Michael is the father of three lovely children, and has a passion for karate and endurance sports.

Pubmed   ORCID 0000000272930704


Muriel Grämer, PhD

Research Fellow / Pharmacy

Muriel studied pharmaceutical sciences at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ, CH) and obtained her PhD in molecular pharmacology for her research on GPCR-signaling in the context of cardiovascular disease. This was followed by employments in public pharmacies consulting patients and at the Federal Office of Public Health ensuring patient access to affordable pharmaceuticals. Muriel recently found her way back into research and joined the Gebhard Lab.

University Hospital Inselspital Bern

Department of Cardiology
Freiburgstrasse 18
CH-3010 Bern

University Hospital Zurich

Department of Nuclear Medicine
Cardiovascular Gender Medicine
Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zurich

University of Zurich

Center for Molecular Cardiology
Cardiovascular Gender Medicine
Wagistrasse 12
CH-8952 Schlieren