The UNIL was created in 1537 and it currently includes 8 faculties, with the Faculty of Biology and Medicine as the largest. This Faculty comprises a University Hospital with a very large patient base and active clinical and basic research. This Faculty also has a large Fundamental Sciences section active in teaching and research, with particular emphasis on neurosciences, immunology and cancer, pharmacology, and metabolism and metabolic diseases. The research activities are supported by numerous technical platforms and bioinformatics support through the integration within the UNIL of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. The UNIL has extensive interactions with other Swiss, European and world-wide teaching and research institutions through a variety of national and international programs. Our group will work for WP2 activities, applying its specific expertise in the study of pre-clinical models of deregulated glucose homeostasis. Specifically, we will work on the relationship between glucose detection, in particular the detection of hypoglycemia, by various neuronal populations located in the hypothalamus, the brainstem and the thalamic area. We are identifying how hypoglycemia is detected to activate these neuronal populations, which neuronal circuits they are integrated in, and which physiological function they control. We are using various transgenic mice, electrophysiological, optogenetics, chemogenetics, and histological techniques, as well as measurements of counter regulation and other aspects of glucose homeostasis. We have also developed technique for the isolation of transcribing ribosomes and RNASeq analysis for transcript profiling of selected neuronal populations. We are applying these approaches to study counter regulation in normal state and following induction of diabetes or hypoglycemia associated autonomic failure and to identify the molecular basis for these mechanisms.

Dr Bernard Thorens

is a professor at the Center for Integrative Genomics of the UNIL. He is internationally recognized for his work on pancreatic beta cells, in particular the molecular characterization of Glut2, and of the receptor for GLP-1, the target for the newest T2D drugs. He is now focusing his research activities on the interaction between brain glucose sensing cells and the regulation of the peripheral tissues controlling glucose homeostasis, with a specific interest in the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion. He was Vice-President of the EASD (2013-2015) and is a member of the Swiss National Science Foundation Research Council. He received several awards, including the 2009 EASD Albert Renold Award and the 2017 EASD Claude Bernard Award; he is the recipient of a second ERC Advanced Grant.

Dr Alexandre Picard, PhD

is a senior postdoctoral associate with extensive expertise in physiological studies in various mouse models. He is in charge of genetic screen of recombinant inbred mice for novel gene controlling glucagon secretion in response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia.

Dr Simon Quenneville, PhD

is a senior postdoctoral associate with extensive expertise in molecular biology technique, including study of epigenetic regulations and he has developed the TRAP technique in the laboratory to identify genes expressed by specific neuronal population.