Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Our genetic differences as means of treatment

16.10.2012
Jacques Fellay receives the National Latsis Prize 2012
The medical researcher Jacques Fellay is studying the human genome in search of genetic variations that influence how the body reacts to a virus and to the drugs fighting it. He is to be awarded the National Latsis Prize 2012 for his research.

Jacques Fellay is a "bridge builder" and an advocate of translational research, a discipline that allows the results of basic research to be transferred to medical practice. Always on the borderline between laboratory and hospital, he is of the opinion that, in order to discover medically useful solutions, an exchange between the two worlds is needed.

Jacques Fellay applies this thinking in his own research, which is conducted at the intersection of genomics and infectious diseases and for which he receives the National Latsis Prize 2012. The information stored in our genes can be of great value for developing new treatments.

Different responses to drugs
At the beginning of the millennium, the treatment of HIV patients - persons who were infected with the virus that causes AIDS - still involved serious, undesired side-effects. Jacques Fellay, then a doctoral student of Amalio Telenti in Lausanne, discovered the existence of genetic variations that influence the individual's response to antiretroviral drugs: some patients have a higher concentration of drugs in the blood than others, which in turn increases the risk of a toxic reaction. Knowledge of their genetic profile now makes it easier to predict harmful effects and adjust the treatment accordingly.

During a four-year stay at Duke University in the United States, Jacques Fellay became interested in the genetic material of people who are carriers of the hepatitis C virus. He discovered that the genetic make-up of the patient played a significant role in the success of antiviral treatments, which are only effective in 50 percent of the cases. Today, these genetic predictors of the response to drugs are taken into account by doctors when they choose a treatment.

Fighting viral diseases
At the same time, Fellay kept on studying the HIV virus. He identified three genes that enable certain patient populations to exercise better immune control over the disease. This could be a crucial step towards the development of a vaccine.

Since 2011, as the holder of an SNSF professorship and head of his own lab at the Faculty of Life Sciences at EPF Lausanne, Jacques Fellay has kept on searching for features of the human genome that make it possible to counter viral diseases. Together with his team, he is studying mutations that occur in HIV when fought by the immune system and investigating the genetic variations of infected persons that might be the cause of this.

Bridges of hope
Jacques Fellay is also attempting to understand the different reactions of children to seasonal flu and the respiratory syncytial virus. Why do some children only have fever for a few days, while others need to be admitted to the intensive care unit? Jacques Fellay is convinced of the potential that genomics holds for the future of medicine and continues to build bridges of hope between science and medical practice.

Worth 100,000 Swiss francs, the National Latsis Prize is one of the most prestigious scientific awards in Switzerland. Each year, the Swiss National Science Foundation presents the prize on behalf of the Latsis Foundation to researchers of up to 40 years of age in recognition of their special contribution to science in Switzerland.

The prize will be awarded on 10 January 2013 at the Rathaus in Berne.

Prizes of the Latsis Foundation
The Latsis Foundation was established by the Greek family Latsis in Geneva in 1975. The National Latsis Prize is awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on behalf of the Latsis Foundation. In addition, there are four university Latsis prizes worth 25,000 Swiss francs each, which are awarded by the University of Geneva, the University of St. Gallen, ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne.

Contact
Prof. Jacques Fellay
Global Health Institute
Faculty of Life Sciences
EPF Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel.: +41 (0)21 693 18 49
E-mail: jacques.fellay@epfl.ch

Abteilung Kommunikation | idw
Further information:
http://www.snsf.ch/

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann
20.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>