Prisca Liberali

Group News

Jun 21, 2021
Mini-guts reveal crucial forces that shape the intestinal lining
Jan 25, 2021
Prisca Liberali awarded prestigious Friedrich Miescher Award
Oct 8, 2020
Intestinal regeneration: lessons from organoid research
Aug 31, 2020
FMI is a partner in the new EU “HCA|Organoid” project
Nov 18, 2019
Prisca Liberali becomes an EMBO Young Investigator
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Logic of life

Prisca Liberali

Design principles of tissue organization

Understanding the collective properties of multicellular systems and their patterns, including how such properties arise from single-cell behavior and their self-organization, is essential in order to elucidate fundamental biological processes, such as cell reprogramming and disease.

In these systems, the roles and the molecular mechanisms of cell-to-cell variability in highly regulated cellular activities, like signal transduction, membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton dynamics have been poorly characterized.

Our laboratory develops and applies experimental and theoretical frameworks for the study of cellular heterogeneity during collective cell behavior. We use high-content genetic perturbation screens with single-cell resolution combined with advanced quantitative imaging and single-cell modeling of stem cells in 2D culture and 3D self-organizing systems. One of these systems is the development of 3D intestinal organoids from single stem cells.

This systems biology approach is used to unravel the determinants of pattern formation and to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the sources of cell-to-cell variability, and how this cell-to-cell variability affects the in vivo multicellular programming of cells.

Prisca Liberali

This is a list of selected publications from this group. For a full list of publications, please visit our Publications page and search by group name.

Lukonin I, Serra D, Challet Meylan L, Volkmann K, Baaten J, Zhao, R Meeusen S, Colman K, Maurer F, Stadler MB, Jenkins J, Liberali P (2020) Phenotypic landscape of intestinal organoid regeneration.

Nature. 586, 275-280

Zinner M*, Lukonin I*, Liberali P (2020) Design principles of tissue organisation: How single cells coordinate across scales.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 67, 37-45

Yang Q, Xue SL, Chan CJ, Rempfler M, Vischi M, Maurer-Gutierrez F, Hiiragi T, Hannezo E, Liberali P (2020) Cell fate coordinates mechano-osmotic forces in intestinal crypt morphogenesis.

bioRxiv 2020.05.13.094359

Yang Q, Oost KC, Liberali P (2020) Engineering human knock-in organoids.

Nat Cell Biol. 22, 261-263

Mayr U*, Serra D*, Liberali P. (2019) Exploring single cells in space and time during tissue development, homeostasis and regeneration.

Development. 2019 Jun 27;146(12)

Serra D*, Mayr U*, Boni A*, Lukonin I, Rempfler M, Challet Meylan L, Stadler MB, Strnad P, Papasaikas P, Vischi D, Waldt A, Roma G, Liberali P. (2019) Self-organization and symmetry breaking in intestinal organoid development.

Nature. 569, 66-72

Welling M, Mohr MA, Ponti A, Rullan Sabater L, Boni A, Kawamura YK, Liberali P, Peters AH, Pelczar P, Pantazis P. (2019) Primed Track, high-fidelity lineage tracing in mouse pre-implantation embryos using primed conversion of photoconvertible proteins.

Elife doi: 10.7554/eLife.44491.

Xavier da Silveira Dos Santos A, Liberali P (2018) From single cells to tissue self-organization

FEBS J. 2018 Nov 3. doi: 10.1111/febs.14694

Gut G, Tadmor MD, Pe'er D, Pelkmans L, Liberali P. (2015) Trajectories of cell-cycle progression from fixed cell populations

Nat Methods. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3545. [Epub ahead of print]

Liberali P, Snijder B, Pelkmans L (2015) Single-cell and multivariate approaches in genetic perturbation screens

Nat Rev Genet, 16:18-32

Liberali P*, Snijder B, Pelkmans L* (2014) A hierarchical map of regulatory genetic interactions in membrane trafficking

Cell, 157:1473-87
*corresponding authors

Snijder B, Liberali P, Frechin M, Stoeger T, Pelkmans L (2013) Predicting functional gene interactions with the hierarchical interaction score

Nat Methods, 10:1089-92

Liberali P, Pelkmans L (2012) Towards quantitative cell biology

Nat Cell Biol, 14:1233

Snijder B, Sacher R, Rämö P, Damm EM, Liberali P, Pelkmans L (2009) Population context determines cell-to-cell variability in endocytosis and virus infection

Nature, 461:520-3

Liberali P, Rämö P, Pelkmans L (2008) Protein kinases: starting a molecular systems view of endocytosis

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol, 24:501-23

Liberali P, Kakkonen E, Turacchio G, Valente C, Spaar A, Perinetti G, Böckmann RA, Corda D, Colanzi A, Marjomaki V, Luini A (2008) The closure of Pak1-dependent macropinosomes requires the phosphorylation of CtBP1/BARS

EMBO J, 27:970-81

Full list of publications
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Group leader

In current position since 2015
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PhD students

In current position since 2019
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In current position since 2021
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In current position since 2020
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In current position since 2020
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In current position since 2021
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In current position since 2016
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Postdoctoral fellows

In current position since 2021
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In current position since 2020
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In current position since 2018
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In current position since 2020
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In current position since 2020
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In current position since 2017
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Technical/Research associates

In current position since 2018
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In current position since 2021
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In current position since 2017
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In current position since 2021
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External scientific collaborators

Daniel Baeschlin (2016)

PhD students

Urs Mayr (2016-2019)
Denise Serra (2015-2019)
Ilya Lukonin (2015-2019)

Postdoctoral fellows

Aline Xavier da Silveira dos Santos (2015-2019)
Andrea Boni (2016-2017)
Stefan Uhlmann (2015)

Technical/Research associates

Francisca Maurer (2015-2021)
Raphael Ortiz (2021)
Markus Herrmann (2017)


Laurianne Temime (2021)
Simon Suppinger (2020-2021)
Jan-Daniel de Leede (2020-2021)
Silvia Barbiero (2020)
Robin Rothenfluh (2019-2020)
Anna Bailach Adsuara (2018-2019)
Jacqueline Staehlin (2015-2016)

Visiting scientists

Shicong Xie (2020)
Claudia Keller (2018)
Saadia Iftikhar (2015-2017)


PhD, Department of Cell Biology and Oncology, Mario Negri Sud, Italy
Diploma, Department of Physical Organic Chemistry, University 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy

Positions held

Senior group leader, FMI
Junior group leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
Assistant Professor, University of Basel, Switzerland
Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland


Friedrich Miescher Award
EMBO Young Investigator
European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant
Swiss National Science Foundation, Professorship
FEBS Long Term Fellowship
Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) PhD fellowship