Qui sommes-nous ?

Activity Report / Rapport d'activités 2019-2020

Schéma recherche CIGEV-LIVES


» A few words from Matthias Kliegel, director
» Members
» Highlights 2019-2020
» Publications
» Grants — Ongoing projects
» Previous activity reports

A few words from Matthias Kliegel, director

The last two years were as different as two consecutive years can be for a centre that focuses on aging, life course and vulnerability research. In 2019, we had an exciting start into the third funding phase of the NCCR LIVES that included the inauguration of the LIVES Centre (https://www.centre-lives.ch/) co-hosted with the University of Lausanne. Complementing the LIVES research agenda, in both of CIGEV’s departments, several major additional research projects such as the Leenaards-Foundation funded project on Lifetime social adversity and the aging brain were kicked off. In addition, the new established section CIGEV Cité, which hosts applied research in gerontology, offers knowledge and technology transfer and manages our relationship with the general public, started its activities in the area of applied dementia care and cognitive interventions.

Moreover, our newly launched conference line CIGEV Research Days turned into a proper series with its 5th and 6th editions on Interdisciplinary perspectives on retirement and inequality in old‐age as well as on Loneliness in ageing and migrant populations. Finally, we were proud to see our colleague Oana Ciobanu being awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professorship and having been appointed Assistant Professor in March 2019 at the Faculty for Social Sciences. Her research group “Diversity in ageing societies” is hosted at the CIGEV. More on this subject in the highlights below.

And then, in 2020, the COVID pandemic radically changed our lives as individuals, citizens and researchers. Most traditional activities, in research, teaching and communication or conference activities were either turned into an online format or put on hold. In retrospect, even if now – in June 2021 – the pandemic is still far from over, it seems fair to say that despite all the changes we had to implement, the CIGEV still managed to grow and develop.

Research activities were adapted to address the challenges of the COVID pandemic that especially impact older and vulnerable populations. Colloquia and conference series were transformed into new virtual formats and a new fully online conference series was established together with the University of Padua in Italy. In addition, with Ulrike Rimmele who was awarded an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship, we have the honor to host a second SNSF funded professorial research group at the CIGEV that focusses on emotions and stress across the lifespan. More on this too in the highlights below.

Furthermore, several new research projects began, including large scale national and international network project (e.g., AGE-NT, a national network on aging research funded by the Swiss Federal Government). At the time this report is being compiled, CIGEV’s research staff is gradually returning to our offices and we are all hopeful that we will soon be able to resume our regular activities across all levels of research, teaching and service to the community.



Matthias Kliegel Eric Widmer

Matthias Kliegel, Éric Widmer

Have a look at all the team members on our website!


Emiliano Albanese, Jean-Michel Bonvin, Claudine Burton-Jeangros, Oana Ciobanu, Anik de Ribaupierre, Olivier Desrichard, Giovanni Frisoni, Paolo Ghisletta, Christophe Graf, Cornelia Hummel, Dimitri Konstantas, Christian Lalive d'Épinay, Solène Morvant-Roux, Michel Oris, Michele Pellizzari, Ulrike Rimmele, Gilbert Ritschard, Clémentine Rossier, Daniel Stoecklin, Matthias Studer, Andrea Trombetti

Academic Staff

Marie Baeriswyl, Catherine Bassal, Marina Boccardi, Gaël Brulé, Karine Clerc, Liala Consoli, Chloé Da Silva Coelho, Vera de Bel, Lea Dettwiler, Iuna Dones, Aline Duvoisin, Delphine Fagot, Julien Fakhoury, Olga Ganjour, François Geiser, Myriam Girardin, Maximilian Haas, Alexandra Hering, Andreas Ihle, Yves Jackson, Émilie Joly-Burra, Morgane Künzi, Athanasios Kyritsis, Gianvito Laera, Francesco Laruffa, Frédérique Leresche, Max Lovey, Sarah Ludwig-Dehm, Greta Mikneviciute, Eva Nada, Dan Orsholits, Julie Péron, Gina Potârcă, Sabrina Roduit, Émilie Rosenstein, Kevin Roulin, Rojin Sadeghi, Julia Sauter, Stefan Sieber, Doriana Tinello, Sascha Zuber

Administrative and Technical Staff

Nathalie Blanc, Lorraine Dubuis, Claire Grela, Grégoire Métral, Urs Richle, Alexis Vial, Marie-Ève Zufferey

Associate Researchers

Nicola Ballhausen, Isabel Baumann, Jean-François Bickel, Claudio Bolzman, Stéphanie Cauvin, Christian Chicherio, Stéphane Cullati, Nora Dasoki, Bogdan Draganski, Rainer Gabriel, Bruna GouveiaÉlvio Rúbio Gouveia, Christian Maggiori, Barbara Masotti, Jürgen Maurer, Marthe Nicolet, Rose van der Linden

highlights 2019-2020


Oana CiobanuOana Ciobanu has been appointed Assistant Professor in March 2019 after having obtained a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professorship. She has been working at the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability (CIGEV) since 2014, where she coordinates the research group 'Diversities in Ageing Societies'. Her projects focus on older people with and without migration background. She is interested in both the integration of older migrants who arrived in Switzerland as young adults and are ageing in place, access to services, feelings of loneliness, but also in the was local institutions perceive older migrants.

Holding a PhD in Sociology from the University of Osnabrück in Germany, Professor Oana Ciobanu previously conducted researches at the University of Edinburgh, at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics, at the New University of Lisbon, and then in Switzerland at the Haute École de Travail Social (Faculty of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland) in Geneva.

She works on a population that is at the intersection of migration and ageing, two phenomena that are increasing worldwide. Despite the diversity in the older migrant population, this group is perceived as highly homogeneous, and little consideration is given to the vulnerability within this group in policy. Moreover, the study of older migrants remains marginal in gerontological research, as well as in migration studies.

Her current project aims to understand how transnationalism — having ties in multiple countries, and particularly the country of origin and of destination in the case of international migrants — helps overcome vulnerability. To study and advance the concept of transnationalism, the project compares people aged 65 and over who have experienced internal and international migration with those who have not. Through this comparison, the aim is to identify similarities, differences, as well as the sources of differences. These four populations are studied in Italy and Switzerland. This project uses a mixed methods approach analysing data collected through surveys and qualitative research.

Ulrike RimmeleUlrike Rimmele was awarded an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship and was appointed Assistant Professor in May 2020. Her research focuses on how emotions and stress, and their regulation, influence episodic memory across the lifespan. She is integrated into the CIGEV to have the opportunity to conduct her research in children, adults and older adults.

Professor Ulrike Rimmele holds a doctorate in psychology and neuroscience from the University of Zurich. She worked as a research associate at the Department of Basic Neuroscience of the Faculty of Medicine for several years and at the CIGEV, after spending several years as a postdoctoral fellow at New York University.

Do you remember your final exam or your first kiss? Chances are you are able to mentally travel back in time and remember these emotional events and the context in which you experienced them. Emotions have a profound impact on the episodes of our lives that we remember.

However, little is known about how the brain stores these episodic memories.

  1. How do emotions and stress affect the brain's storage of an event?
  2. Does the way memory is stored for emotional events change from childhood to adulthood and with aging?
  3. How does the emotional response to an event (feeling stressed or staying calm) affect memory formation?

These questions will be investigated using psychological and neuroscientific methods. The research results aim to create a comprehensive model of how emotional memories are stored in humans across the lifespan. In addition, the project aims to better understand which behavioral strategies are effective in modifying emotional memories.

A broader understanding of how emotions and stress, and their regulation, influence memory across the lifespan is important for potential applications in educational research (promoting learning) as well as in psychiatry (understanding what behavioral strategies can be used to modify emotional memories that are central to mental disorders).



Grants — Ongoing Projects

CIGEV Projects

Project TitlesPrincipal InvestigatorsFunding Sources
Does a metacognitive deficit underlie the real world/laboratory prospective memory paradox in healthy and pathological aging? (PARADOX) Matthias Kliegel SNSF
Vulnerability in Old Age : a Comparative Approach Oana Ruxandra Ciobanu SNSF Marie-Heim Vögtlin
National innovation network on aging Age NT: Dementia, Technology, Work and Living Environments Matthias Kliegel SBFI
From Lab to Life: Cognitive Aging Revisited Matthias Kliegel SNSF
CIGEV Cité: «Évaluation d'une intervention de soins centrés sur la personne avec démence: Projet pilote à l'hôpital de Loëx Christophe Graf / Matthias Kliegel Leenaards Fondation
CIGEV Cité: «Soins centrés sur la personne en attente de placement» Christophe Graf / Matthias Kliegel HUG Fondation
E-GISIN «Unemployment Exit and Entry: Cognition, Nudges, Information, and Eligibility Screening» Rafael Lalive / Matthias Kliegel SNSF
Besser älter werden mit Musikunterricht: Auswirkungen von Musikunterricht auf Kognition, Perzeption, Motorik und begleitende hirnplastische Effekte bei Senioren in Deutschland und in der Schweiz Clara James / Matthias Kliegel SNSF
How emotion, stress and their regulation shape and alter episodic memories across the life span Ulrike Rimmele SNSF Eccellenza

LIVES Center Projects

» Find them all here

LIVES Center Geneva Associated Projects

Project TitlesPrincipal InvestigatorsFunding Sources
Social inequalities in cancer prevention care and fundamental social causes: a comparative study of innovative technologies and (in)effective policies Claudine Burton-Jeangros, Piet Bracke Lead Agency Switzerland and Flanders SNSF
Transnational Ageing among Older Migrants and Natives : A strategy to overcome vulnerability Trans-Age Ciobanu, Oana Ruxandra SNSF Professorship Grant
Mindfulness meditation and the stress response to social-evaluative threat Matthias Kliegel Cogito Foundation
The negotiation of divorce agreements and gender (in)equality in Switzerland Eric Widmer, Michelle Cottier SNSF
Healthy Ageing in the Face of Death: Preferences, Communication, Knowledge and Behaviors Regarding End of Life and End-of-life Planning Among Older Adults in Switzerland Jürgen Maurer SNSF
The participatory capability of children in street situations in Brazil and China  Daniel Stoecklin SNSF
Describing the safety of abortion at the population level using network Clémentine Rossier WHO
«Lifetime social adversity and the aging brain». Leenaards Price for Translational Medicine awarded to Matthias Kliegel together with Silvia Stringhini and Bogdan Draganski Matthias Kliegel Leenaards Fondation
How Does the Internet Change Modern Romance ? Gina Potârcă SNSF Ambizione
Parchemins: Étude prospective de l'impact du programme de régularisation Papyrus sur la santé et les conditions de vie des migrants sans-papiers à Genève Claudine Burton-Jeangros / Yves-Laurent Jackson SNSF

Previous Activity Reports

Rapport d'activités 2017-2018
Rapport d'activités 2016
Rapport d'activités 2015
Rapport d'activités 2014
Rapport d'activités 2011-2013
Rapport d'activités 2009
Rapport d'activités 2006-2008
Rapport d'activités 2005
Rapport d'activités 2004
Rapport d'activités 2003