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 Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore win prize for the discovery of two cancer viruses
14.03.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | 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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>