Functional Genomics

Group Head: Patrick Descombes, Ph.D. Contact

The aim of the Functional Genomics core is to deliver and advance genomics solutions in support of the Nestlé R&D missions.

Our infrastructure includes platforms for high throughput screening/discovery (second and third generation sequencers and microarrays) and also for validation (qPCR, nanoString nCounter) for both DNA- and RNA-based applications. We provide support on experimental design and data analysis and along with the NIHS Molecular Biomarker and the BioSystems Informatics cores we enable systems approaches in a variety of research programs.

Key Goals

  • Deliver cutting edge genomics solutions in support of Nestlé R&D projects, using sequencing and microarray technologies.
  • Advance our understanding on the molecular basis of Metabolic, Gastrointestinal and Brain Health by generating and analyzing high-throughput genomics data.
  • Deliver sequencing and de novo genome assembly projects for microbiome and bacterial genomics research programs.
  • Develop novel laboratory and computational methodology to improve the quality of the derived genomic information.


Key Publications of the Group*



Molecular Biomarkers

Group Head: Martin Kussmann, Ph.D. Contact

Team Leaders:

  • Sebastiano Collino, Ph.D. (Metabonomics) Contact

  • Loic Dayon, Ph.D. (Proteomics) Contact

  • India Severin, Ph.D. (Diagnostics) Contact

The overarching mission of the Molecular Biomarkers Core is molecular phenotyping in brain, metabolic and gastrointestinal health/disease conditions. This is a bottom-up clinical omics approach, which complements and enhances the classical clinical phenotyping, such as blood chemistry and body composition. We achieve this by developing and deploying a multitude of omics technologies and molecular analytics, such as proteomics, metabonomics, and by translating these omic signatures into diagnostics in humans.


Key Goals

  • Deliver a molecular systems-level view on human clinical studies.
  • Deliver the science for Nestlé Health Science’s (NHS) innovation in medical nutrition and diagnostics.
  • Pursue our group’s program on Ageing, Gastrointestinal, Brain and Metabolic Health with a focus on understanding human longevity, frailty, Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease and juvenile diabetes.
  • Develop and implement cutting-edge omics and molecular analytics, based on mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, ELISA technology and robotics.
  • Support NIHS’ molecular biology program on circadian biology, mitochondrial function, stem cells and muscle health with proteomics.
  • Provide omics support and scientific insights to clinical studies of greater Nestlé R&D.


Key Publications of the Group

Dayon L, Nuñez Galindo A, Corthésy J, Cominetti O, Kussmann M; J. Proteome Res. 2014: A comprehensive, scalable highly automated MS-based proteomic workflow for clinical biomarker discovery in human plasma.

Mauvoisin D, Dayon L, Gachon F, Kussmann M; Proteomics 2015: Proteomics and circadian rhythms: it’s all about signaling.

Moco S, Candela M,  Chuang E, Fogherty Draper C, Cominetti O, Montoliou I, Barron D, Kussmann M, Brigidi P, Gionchetti G, Martin FPJ. Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 2014: Systems biology approaches for IBD: emphasis on gut microbial metabolism.

Montoliu I, Scherer M, Beguelin FC, DaSilva L, Mari D, Salvioli S, Martin FPJ, Capri M, Bucci L, Ostan R, Garagnani P, Monti D, Biagi E, Brigidi P, Kussmann M, Rezzi S, Franceschi C, Collino S. Aging 2014: Serum profiling of healthy aging identifies phospho- and sphingolipid species as markers of human longevity.

Pontes Monteiro J, Kussmann M, Kaput J; Genes & Nutrition 2015: The genomics of micro-nutrient requirements.

Kaput J, Kussmann M, Mendoza Y, Le Coutre R, Cooper K, Roulin A; Genes & Nutrition 2015: Enabling nutrient security and sustainability through systems research.


* These publications refers to work done by the scientist/s prior to joining the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences