University of Lausanne
The Department of Biochemistry (DB) is part of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and provides courses for students in medicine, biology and immunology. It is located in Epalinges (North of Lausanne) and belongs to the Center of Immunity and Infection (CIIL) which regroups scientists of UNIL and of the University hospital working in immunology and infectious diseases. The DB comprises 12 research groups, one associated group and three units devoted to technological platforms.
Emphasis of the research in our institute
The mission of the Department of Biochemistry is to contribute to the elimination of immunological disorders and cancer, studying in particular inflammation, cell differentiation and cell signaling, including strong programs on the discovery and functional characterization of molecular pathways. A second major line of research of the DB, shared with the WHO Immunology Research and Training center (housed by the DB since 1963), follows a long-standing interest in parasitic diseases and the immune response they elicit. Achieving these goals begins with cutting-edge teaching, technological platforms, unique animal models and research programs, seminars and international conferences in biology and medicine for students and researchers from all over the world.
Contribution of our institute to iAR project since 2009 until today and in the future
Over the last 4 years, the Department of Biochemistry has provided valuable insights into the pathological mechanisms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis. In RA, using tools developed at the Department, the involvement of the inflammasome adaptor ASC in Rheumatoid Arthritis progression has been identified, providing a novel therapeutic target for this disease. This project will be continued on dissecting molecular mechanisms of excessive oxidative stress and the design of counteracting measures in chronic inflammatory diseases.
In a second research topic, research focused on the role of inflammasomes in Osteoarthritis (OA). Osmotic-stress was shown to be a physiologically relevant stimulus of the NLRP3 inflammasome in the context of OA. Future research at the Department, with regards to Arthritis, will concentrate on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of mechanical and oxidative stress influencing inflammation. In these different projects, the Department also contributed by the generation of new innovative animal models as a repository for other members of iAR association.