Group Head: Patrick Descombes, Ph.D. Contact

The Functional Genomics group is composed of a dedicated team of scientists striving to deliver excellence. Our infrastructure includes platforms for high throughput screening/discovery (second and third generation sequencers and microarrays) and validation (qPCR, nanoString nCounter), as well as computational solutions, for both DNA- and RNA-based applications. Our strengths are:

  • Expertise in genomics technologies and data analysis.
  • Cutting edge genomics technologies.
  • Deliverables from full genomes to single genetic targets.

Key Goals

  • Maintain state of the art technologies & expertise.
  • Identify, test and implement innovative technologies and approaches, and biostatistics solutions.
  • Deliver excellence in genomics to contribute to the vision of NIHS and Nutrition Health and Wellness of Nestlé in multiple areas such as Metabolic Health, Ageing, Brain Health, Gastro-intestinal Health (microbiome), Microbiology and Food Safety and Plant Genomics (coffee and cocoa).


Key Publications of the Group

Marquis J, Lefebvre G, Kourmpetis YAI, Kassam M, Ronga F, De Marchi U, Wiederkehr A and Descombes P (2017). MitoRS, a method for high throughput, sensitive, and accurate detection of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy. BMC Genomics 18:326. See news release

Barretto C, Ngom-Bru C, Genevaz A, Fournier C, Moine D, Kassam M, Iltis A, Sagory-Zalkind P, Ciron PE, Faucherand G, Descombes P, Duboux S. Genome Sequence of Lactobacillus fermentum Strain NCC2970 (CNCM I-5068). Genome Announc. 2016 Nov 17;4(6). pii: e01254-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01254-16.

Sarker SA, Berger B, Deng Y, Kieser S, Foata F, Moine D, Descombes P, Sultana S, Huq S, Bardhan PK, Vuillet V, Praplan F, Brüssow H. Oral Application of Escherichia coli Bacteriophage: Safety Tests in Healthy and Diarrheal Children from Bangladesh. Environ Microbiol. 2016 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13574.

Kulkarni SS, Joffraud M, Boutant M, Ratajczak J, Gao AW, Maclachlan C, Hernandez-Alvarez MI, Raymond F, Metairon S, Descombes P, Houtkooper RH, Zorzano A, Cantó C. Mfn1 Deficiency in the Liver Protects Against Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance and Enhances the Hypoglycemic Effect of Metformin. Diabetes. 2016 Sep 9. pii: db151725.

Sakwinska O, Moine D, Delley M, Combremont S, Rezzonico E, Descombes P, Vinyes-Pares G, Zhang Y, Wang P, Thakkar SK. Microbiota in Breast Milk of Chinese Lactating Mothers. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 16;11(8):e0160856. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160856. eCollection 2016.

Lukjanenko L, Jung MJ, Hegde N, Perruisseau-Carrier C, Migliavacca E, Rozo M, Karaz S, Jacot G, Schmidt M, Li L, Metairon S, Raymond F, Lee U, Sizzano F, Wilson DH, Dumont NA, Palini A, Fässler R, Steiner P, Descombes P, Rudnicki MA, Fan CM, von Maltzahn J, Feige JN, Bentzinger CF. Loss of fibronectin from the aged stem cell niche affects the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle in mice. Nat Med. 2016 Aug;22(8):897-905. doi: 10.1038/nm.4126. See news release