Lausanne, Switzerland
Lausanne, Switzerland

The University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland was founded in 1537 as a school of theology, before being made a university in 1890. Today about 13,500 students and 2,200 researchers study and work at the university. Approximately 1,500 international students attend the university , which has a wide curriculum including exchange programs with world renowned universities.Since 2005, the University follows the requirements of the Bologna process. The 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked the University of Lausanne 116th globally. The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2013 ranks the University of Lausanne 17th in Europe and 68th globally.Together with the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne the university forms a vast campus at the shores of Lake Geneva. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.86M | Year: 2017

All chemicals whether they are drugs, cosmetics, agrochemicals or others need to be tested for their safety to man and the environment. The use of whole animal studies for the prediction of adverse effects in man, is problematic due to species dependent effects, high costs and a large burden to animals in terms of numbers and suffering. While there have been major improvements in human in vitro and in silico techniques, there is still a lack of an integrated risk assessment platform. The in3 proposal aims to significantly further the development of animal-free chemical and nanomaterial (NM) safety evaluation by creating a scientific and training program aimed at integrating human in vitro testing with computational approaches. The project will focus on human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) derived tissues, including liver, kidney, brain, lung and vasculature and to utilise mechanistic toxicology, quantitative adverse outcome pathways, biokinetics, cheminformatics and modelling approaches to derive testable prediction models. hiPSC present the major advantages provide non-cancerous derived tissues with identical genetic backgrounds. All Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will work towards the same goal, utilising the same chemicals, donor cells, assays and software packages. All data will be centrally housed in standardised formats, appropriately annotated and linked with protocols and material information. While ESRs will hone their skills in their own field of expertise, they will also collaborate to create an in depth safety evaluation testing platform for the chosen test compounds. By interaction, problem solving, training and secondments over the three years, they will acquire a unique set of interdisciplinary skills for chemical and NM safety assessment. The project aims to accelerate the realisation of animal-free safety assessment and to graduate 15 PhD students with the ideal skill sets to carry out the strategy designed in in3 in the near future.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-06-2016 | Award Amount: 23.70M | Year: 2017

A highly effective malaria vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum should help prevent half a million deaths from malaria each year. New vaccine technologies and antigen discovery approaches now make accelerated design and development of a highly effective multi-antigen multi-stage subunit vaccine feasible. Leading malariologists, vaccine researchers and product developers will here collaborate in an exciting programme of antigen discovery science linked to rapid clinical development of new vaccine candidates. Our approach tackles the toughest problems in malaria vaccine design: choice of the best antigens, attaining high immunogenicity, avoiding polymorphic antigens and increasing the durability of vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. We take advantage of several recent advances in vaccinology and adopt some very new technologies: sequencing malaria peptides eluted from the HLA molecules, parasites expressing multiple transgenes, multi-antigen virus-like particles constructed with new bonding technologies, delayed release microcapsules, and liver-targeted immunisation with vaccine vectors. We enhance our chances of success by using a multi-stage multi-antigen approach, by optimising the magnitude and durability of well-characterised immune responses to key antigens, and using stringent infectious challenges and functional assays as established criteria for progression at each stage. The consortium comprises many of the foremost researchers in this field in Europe with leading groups in the USA, Australia and Africa. We link to EDCTP programmes and harmonise our timeline to fit with the recent roadmaps for malaria vaccine development. We include a major pharma partner and several excellent European biotech companies helping enhance Europes leading position in the commercial development of vaccines. This ambitious and exciting programme should have a high chance of success in tackling the major global health problem posed by malaria.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-09-2015 | Award Amount: 28.14M | Year: 2016

Many HIV vaccine concepts and several efficacy trials have been conducted in the prophylactic and therapeutic fields with limited success. There is an urgent need to develop better vaccines and tools predictive of immunogenicity and of correlates of protection at early stage of vaccine development to mitigate the risks of failure. To address these complex and challenging scientific issues, the European HIV Vaccine Alliance (EHVA) program will develop a Multidisciplinary Vaccine Platform (MVP) in the fields of prophylactic and therapeutic HIV vaccines. The Specific Objectives of the MVP are to build up: 1.Discovery Platform with the goal of generating novel vaccine candidates inducing potent neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibody responses and T-cell responses, 2. Immune Profiling Platform with the goal of ranking novel and existing (benchmark) vaccine candidates on the basis of the immune profile, 3. Data Management/Integration/Down-Selection Platform, with the goal of providing statistical tools for the analysis and interpretation of complex data and algorithms for the efficient selection of vaccines, and 4. Clinical Trials Platform with the goal of accelerating the clinical development of novel vaccines and the early prediction of vaccine failure. EHVA project has developed a global and innovative strategy which includes: a) the multidisciplinary expertise involving immunologists, virologists, structural biology experts, statisticians and computational scientists and clinicians; b) the most innovative technologies to profile immune response and virus reservoir; c) the access to large cohort studies bringing together top European clinical scientists/centres in the fields of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines, d) the access to a panel of experimental HIV vaccines under clinical development that will be used as benchmark, and e) the liaison to a number of African leading scientists/programs which will foster the testing of future EHVA vaccines through EDCTP


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2017

The ENIGMA network will train a new generation of young researchers in the development of innovative sensors, field survey techniques and inverse modelling approaches. This will enhance our ability to understand and monitor dynamic subsurface processes that are key to the protection and sustainable use of water resources. ENIGMA focuses mainly on critical zone observation, but the anticipated technological developments and scientific findings will also contribute to monitor and model the environmental footprint of an increasing range of subsurface activities, including large-scale water abstraction and storage, enhanced geothermal systems and subsurface waste and carbon storage. While many subsurface structure imaging methods are now mature and broadly used in research and practice, our ability to resolve and monitor subsurface fluxes and processes, including solute transport, heat transfer and biochemical reactions, is much more limited. The shift from classical structure characterization to dynamic process imaging, driven by ENIGMA, will require the development of multi-scale hydrogeophysical methods with adequate sensitivity, spatial and temporal resolution, and novel inverse modelling concepts. For this, ENIGMA will gather (i) world-leading academic teams and emerging companies that develop innovative sensors and hydrogeophysical inversion methods, (ii) experts in subsurface process upscaling and modelling, and (iii) highly instrumented field infrastructures for in-situ experimentation and validation. ENIGMA will thus create a creative and entrepreneurial environment for trainees to develop integrated approaches to water management with interdisciplinary field-sensing methods and novel modelling techniques. ENIGMA will foster EU and international cooperation in the water area by creating new links between hydrogeological observatories, academic research groups, innovative industries and water managers for high-level scientific and professional training.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

The main objective of the proposal is to contribute to a better harmonisation and synchronisation of priority-setting-, funding- evaluation and life-cycle management of Research Infrastructures (RI through the exchange of best practices among the main stakeholders in member states, associated countries and at European level. The regional dimension will explicitly be taken into account by integrating, where appropriate, smart specialisation strategies in the work carried out. InRoad will achieve this by a) the identification and dissemination of best-practices and common trends of national RI roadmapping procedures and of ex-ante, interim (monitoring) and ex-post evaluation of RI in Europe, b) establishing a trustful dialogue and an intensive exchange of information about national RI roadmapping procedures, RI monitoring and evaluation and sustainable approaches for RI, in line with the objectives laid out in the European Research Area communication and c)fostering a dialogue with the European Commission, ESFRI, the e-IRG and all relevant stakeholders at regional, national and European levels in order to discuss the project findings and promote the dissemination of its recommendations. The InRoad activities and objectives contribute to the specific challenge highlighted in the work programme by a) promoting comparability and synchronisation of national procedures and a possible harmonisation of ex-ante and ex-post evaluation mechanisms through a survey, case studies, interviews and theoretical analyses of current frameworks in use, in close cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, b) supporting RI policy development in terms of exchange of best practices for national roadmap drafting and evaluation procedures and c) support the information sharing with stakeholders in charge of priority-setting, evaluation, funding and operation of RI through their inclusion in a dedicated Reflection Group.


Narcolepsy is a rare sleep disorder with the strongest human leukocyte antigen (HLA) association ever reported. Since the associated HLA-DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 haplotype is common in the general population (15-25%), it has been suggested that it is almost necessary but not sufficient for developing narcolepsy. To further define the genetic basis of narcolepsy risk, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 562 European individuals with narcolepsy (cases) and 702 ethnically matched controls, with independent replication in 370 cases and 495 controls, all heterozygous for DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602. We found association with a protective variant near HLA-DQA2 (rs2858884; P < 3 x 10(-8)). Further analysis revealed that rs2858884 is strongly linked to DRB1*03-DQB1*02 (P < 4 x 10(-43)) and DRB1*1301-DQB1*0603 (P < 3 x 10(-7)). Cases almost never carried a trans DRB1*1301-DQB1*0603 haplotype (odds ratio = 0.02; P < 6 x 10(-14)). This unexpected protective HLA haplotype suggests a virtually causal involvement of the HLA region in narcolepsy susceptibility.


Kaessmann H.,University of Lausanne
Genome Research | Year: 2010

Ever since the pre-molecular era, the birth of new genes with novel functions has been considered to be a major contributor to adaptive evolutionary innovation. Here, I review the origin and evolution of new genes and their functions in eukaryotes, an area of research that has made rapid progress in the past decade thanks to the genomics revolution. Indeed, recent work has provided initial whole-genome views of the different types of new genes for a large number of different organisms. The array of mechanisms underlying the origin of new genes is compelling, extending way beyond the traditionally well-studied source of gene duplication. Thus, it was shown that novel genes also regularly arose from messenger RNAs of ancestral genes, protein-coding genes metamorphosed into new RNA genes, genomic parasites were coopted as new genes, and that both protein and RNA genes were composed from scratch (i.e., from previously nonfunctional sequences). These mechanisms then also contributed to the formation of numerous novel chimeric gene structures. Detailed functional investigations uncovered different evolutionary pathways that led to the emergence of novel functions from these newly minted sequences and, with respect to animals, attributed a potentially important role to one specific tissue - the testis - in the process of gene birth. Remarkably, these studies also demonstrated that novel genes of the various types significantly impacted the evolution of cellular, physiological, morphological, behavioral, and reproductive phenotypic traits. Consequently, it is now firmly established that new genes have indeed been major contributors to the origin of adaptive evolutionary novelties. © 2010 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


Geldner N.,University of Lausanne
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2013

A Casparian strip-bearing endodermis is a feature that has been invariably present in the roots of ferns and angiosperms for approximately 400 million years. As the innermost cortical layer that surrounds the central vasculature of roots, the endodermis acts as a barrier to the free diffusion of solutes from the soil into the stele. Based on an enormous body of anatomical and physiological work, the protective endodermal diffusion barrier is thought to be of major importance for many aspects of root biology, reaching from efficient water and nutrient transport to defense against soil-borne pathogens. Until recently, however, we were ignorant about the genes and mechanisms that drive the differentiation of this intricately structured barrier. Recent work in Arabidopsis has now identified the first major players in Casparian strip formation. A mechanistic understanding of endodermal differentiation will finally allow us to specifically interfere with endodermal barrier function and study the effects on plant growth and survival under various stress conditions. Here, I critically review the major findings and models related to endodermal structure and function from other plant species and assess them in light of recent molecular data from Arabidopsis, pointing out where the older, descriptive work can provide a framework and inspiration for further molecular dissection. © Copyright ©2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Angelillo-Scherrer A.,University of Lausanne
Circulation Research | Year: 2012

Leukocyte-derived microparticles (LMPs) may originate from neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages, and lymphocytes. They express markers from their parental cells and harbor membrane and cytoplasmic proteins as well as bioactive lipids implicated in a variety of mechanisms, maintaining or disrupting vascular homeostasis. When they carry tissue factor or coagulation inhibitors, they participate in hemostasis and pathological thrombosis. Both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes can be affected by LMPs, thus ensuring an appropriate inflammatory response. LMPs also play a dual role in the endothelium by either improving the endothelial function or inducing an endothelial dysfunction. LMPs are implicated in all stages of atherosclerosis. They circulate at a high level in the bloodstream of patients with high atherothrombotic risk, such as smokers, diabetics, and subjects with obstructive sleep apnea, where their prolonged contact with the vessel wall may contribute to its overall deterioration. Numbering microparticles, including LMPs, might be useful in predicting cardiovascular events. LMPs modify the endothelial function and promote the recruitment of inflammatory cells in the vascular wall, necessary processes for the progression of the atherosclerotic lesion. In addition, LMPs favor the neovascularization within the vulnerable plaque and, in the ruptured plaque, they take part in coagulation and platelet activation. Finally, LMPs participate in angiogenesis. They might represent a novel therapeutic tool to reset the angiogenic switch in pathologies with altered angiogenesis. Additional studies are needed to further investigate the role of LMPs in cardiovascular diseases. However, large-scale studies are currently difficult to set up because microparticle measurement still requires elaborate techniques which lack standardization. © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-2016-STG | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2017

Animals harbor specialized bacterial communities in their guts, typically referred to as gut microbiomes. Despite the importance of gut microbiomes for host health, surprisingly little is known about their evolution. There is evidence that the complexity of the mammalian gut microbiome has emerged through the diversification of a few founder lineages. However, how lineages have diversified into discrete species and which underlying mechanisms maintain the diversity in the gut remains elusive. The current project will address these questions by studying the gut microbiome of honey bees. We have recently found that the eight dominant bacterial lineages in the honey bee gut have substantially diversified, which is a striking parallelism to the evolution of the mammalian gut microbiome. Moreover, we have established experiments to colonize microbiota-free bees with cultured isolates of divergent bee gut bacteria. This provides us with unique opportunities to study bacterial evolution in the gut in a simple and experimentally amenable system. The project is divided into four work packages addressing interconnected research questions of current biology: We will (i) determine the population genomic landscape of divergent gut bacteria, (ii) investigate whether bacterial diversification has resulted in competition or cooperation, (iii) discover novel mechanisms of bacterial interactions, and (iv) reveal how bacterial diversification impacts the symbiosis with the host. To this end, we will use a multidisciplinary approach combining comparative metagenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, bee colonization experiments, microscopy, bacterial genetics, and automated bee tracking. This project situated at the forefront of microbial symbiosis will provide groundbreaking insights into microbial evolution and ecology, gut microbiology, and honey bee health and biology.

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