We catalyze innovative life sciences discoveries for society

We aim to build a hands-on comprehensive and expertise driven incubator to support early technologies and innovative project with high potential in their path towards application, technology transfer and product development. Our vision is to advance and leverage technologies of the School of Life Sciences with the final goal to serve welfare of the society. Catalyze4Life is an innovation encouragement program. We design, support and tutor the validation of promising technologies and concepts and thereby we facilitate the path towards technology transfer and potential commercialization. We operate in close proximity with scientists and act upstream and in support of the missions of the Vice Presidency of Innovation and the Technology Transfer Office.

Talk by Daphne Koller, CEO of insitro

Transforming Drug Discovery using Digital Biology
by Daphne Koller, CEO and Founder of insitro

Thursday, November 16 – 5:30 pm
Room SV1717 and online


  • 5:30 pm – Welcoming words
    • Bart Deplancke, Full Professor, Laboratory of Systems Biology and Genetics, EPFL
  • 5:35 pm – Remote talk
    • Daphne Koller, CEO and Founder of insitro
  • 6:05 pm – Q&A*
    • Moderation by Bart Deplancke
  • 6:30 pm – End of the event

*Please note that Daphne Koller will participate remotely, but will answer both questions from the audience in SV1717 and from online attendees.

Modern medicine has given us effective tools to treat some of the most significant and burdensome diseases. At the same time, it is becoming consistently more challenging and more expensive to develop new therapeutics. A key factor in this trend is that we simply don’t understand the underlying biology of disease, and which interventions might meaningfully modulate clinical outcomes and in which patients. To achieve this goal, we are bringing together large amounts of high content data, taken both from humans and from human-derived cellular systems generated in our own lab. Those are then used to learn a meaningful representation of biological states via cutting edge machine learning methods, which enable us to make predictions about novel targets, coherent patient segments, and the clinical effect of molecules. Our ultimate goal is to develop a new approach to drug development that uses high-quality data and ML models to design novel, safe, and effective therapies that help more people, faster, and at a lower cost. 

About Daphne Koller
Daphne Koller is CEO and Founder of insitro, a machine learning-driven drug discovery and development company. Daphne is also co-founder of Engageli, was the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where she served on the faculty for 18 years, the co-CEO and President of Coursera, and the Chief Computing Officer of Calico Labs. She is the author of over 300 refereed publications with an h-index of 146. Daphne was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012. She received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004, the ACM Prize in Computing in 2008, the ACM AAAI Allen Newell Award in 2019, and the AnitaB.org Technical Leadership Abie Award Winner in 2022. She was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and elected a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 2004, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, and the International Society of Computational Biology in 2017.

Summer Series: Sarah Herrman is visiting Pierre Gönczy’s lab at EPFL from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her project looks at how the cell’s centrosomes help organize the polarity and function of the developing embryo. | © EPFL - Murielle Gerber

Our purpose

We support innovative projects and we educate to innovate.

Innovators Forum

A new series of round table disucssion every other months, especially created for students to dialogue with industry experts.

Educate for Life

We propose industrial R&D and business expertise and education through courses, seminars and workshops with volunteer industry experts.

Recommended Courses

A list of courses by other universities or innovation stakeholders

Toolbox for Innovation

R&D and Business expertise, Partnering, Funding, Education.

Projects we support

Treatment for rare hematologic diseases, Cell therapy for cancer, Whole genome diagnostics, …

Submit your Project

Interested in working with us? We encourage you to submit your ideas to us.

SparkGlobal Logo | © SparkGlobal

“Catalyze4Life follows the principles and quality standards that have been cornerstones of SPARK at Stanford. We are excited that C4L is now an official member of the SPARK Global network. We are looking forward to advancing projects together.”

– Prof. Daria Mochly-Rosen Director of the Stanford SPARK Translational Research Program


Vice-Dean for Innovation : Bart Deplancke

Office : SV 3823

Mail : [email protected]

Phone :  +41 21 69 31821

Program Director : Gautam Maitra

Mail : [email protected]  

Mailing address

EPFL School of Life Sciences
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne

How to get there


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