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Jacques Fellay
Host-Pathogen Genomics Group
EPFL, Lausanne
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What do we do?

In the Host-Pathogen Genomics Group, we explore the genetic roots of inter-individual differences in response to infections, with a particular focus on the genomic interactions between pathogens and their human hosts. At the crossroads between basic science and the clinical world, we are committed to translational genomic research, aimed at identifying, validating and bringing to clinical use genetic markers of susceptibility to infectious diseases – e.g. host genomics of HIV infection, joint analyses of interactions between human and viral genomes, and exome sequencing on patients with extreme infectious disease phenotypes.

Highlights 2017

During the course of 2017, we used a combination of exome/genome and RNA sequencing approaches to search for human genetic determinants of infectious diseases and immune traits. Our team identified and characterized rare genetic variants conferring extreme susceptibility to respiratory viruses in children, completed the first exome study in more than 1000 HIV-infected individuals, and performed combined analyses of host and pathogen genomes in HIV, EBV and TB diseases. With colleagues from the EPFL School of Computer Sciences, we also developed innovative solutions for genomic privacy – an essential trust-building component on the road towards genomic-based medicine.

Main publications 2017

  • Asgari S et al. Severe viral respiratory infections in children with IFIH1 loss-of-function mutations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2017; 114(31):8342-8347
  • Bartha I et al. Estimating the respective contributions of human and viral genetic variation to HIV control. PLoS Comput Biol. 2017; 13(2):e1005339
  • McLaren PJ et al. Evaluating the impact of functional genetic variation on HIV-1 control. J Infect Dis. 2017; 216(9):1063-1069

Our main research topic: