Participant 16: UNIL
University of Lausanne, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine Switzerland
Participant leader: Prof. Dr. Paul Honegger
Relevant experience and laboratory resources:
The relevant experience of this research group includes the development and application of in vitro models for investigations on the role of epigenetic factors in brain development; on the contribution of environmental neurotoxicants and neurotoxic drugs to neurodegenerative processes; on the mechanisms related to demyelination and remyelination; and on glial reactivity causing neuroinflammation. Participant in the EU integrated Project ACuteTox. The principal in vitro model developed and actually in use for the study of neurotoxicants is the system of serum-free aggregating brain cell cultures. For these 3D cultures, multidisciplinary assay techniques are applied, including biochemical assays, quantitative RT-PCR, and immunocytochemistry. Laboratory resources include the complete setup and know-how for cell culture work, biochemical assays, qRT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, and informatics.
Principal staff involved:
Dr. Paul Honegger (M) PhD in Biochemistry, Federal School of Technology in Zurich (ETH-Z), post-doctoral studies at the Department of Pharmacology, The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore MD and at the Department of Pharmacology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester MN. Since 1977 at the Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne. Associate Professor for Physiology since 1990. Recipient of the Robert Bing Prize of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Prize of the Egon Naef Foundation for the advancement of in vitro research.
Dr. Marie-Gabrielle Zurich Fontanellaz (F). PhD in Biology, Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne. Postdoctoral studies at the Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Since 1999 on the staff of the Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne.
Dr. Florianne Tschudi-Monnet (F). PhD in Biology, Institute of Pharmacology, University of Zurich. Postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Pharmacology, University of California CA. Since 1982 on the staff of the Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne. Recipient of the Prize of the Swiss Society for Laboratory animal Science for the use of in vitro alternatives to animal experimentation in neurotoxicology.
Role of the participant in the project and main tasks:
Testing for drug neurotoxicity using serum-free aggregating brain cell cultures as in vitro model.