Our research group is dedicated to basic and clinical research in humans. It is targeted at:
- Identifying environmental (diet, physical activity, toxins…) factors involved in the development of metabolic diseases
- Making the bridge between basic cellular and animal research and human pathologies
- Assessing the effects and efficiency of novel treatment for metabolic diseases (drugs, functional nutrients)
- Implementing novel approaches for the prevention of chronic diseases through physical activity
For our studies we rely on standard functional metabolic tests (oral glucose tolerance tests, hyperinsulinemic/hyperglycemic clamps, etc) together with indirect calorimetry, kinetic evaluation of substrate metabolism with the use of stable-labeled isotopes, in-vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy, functional evaluation of brain function using tridimensional EEG recordings, and genomic /proteomic approaches on tissue biopsies.
Our studies are done in close collaboration with:
- The Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, CHUV, Lausanne
- The Metabolic Center of the Hôpital Intercantonal de la Broye, Estavayer-le-Lac
- The Department of Clinical Research and Radiology, University of Bern and Inselspital, Bern
- The Laboratory of Investigation in Neurophysiology, CHUV, Lausanne
- The Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine, Lyon, France
- The Laboratory of Air Pollution / Environmental Technology at Empa, Duebendorf
Role of sugars in the pathogenesis of human metabolic diseases
The metabolic effects of pure fructose and of fructose contained in sucrose has been the main research topic in our laboratory for the past 30 years. Our group has previously shown that fructose elicits a higher thermic effect than glucose, but can impair hepatic insulin sensitivity, stimulate hepatic fat secretion, and increase intrahepatic fat storage. Present studies aim at assessing how deleterious effects of high fructose diets can be alleviated by specific nutrients (proteins, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids) and by exercise.
Non-metabolic effects of caloric and non-caloric sweeteners
Beside direct metabolic effects, there is increasing concern that sweeteners may exert deleterious effects of their own. These effects appear to be linked to activation of sweet taste receptors in the mouth, which elicit activation of dopaminergic reward pathways in the brain. These effects may be responsible for overfeeding associated with consumption of sweet products. In addition, there is concern that activation of sweet receptors by non-caloric sweeteners without the simultaneous administration of energy may somehow disrupt the normal mechanisms regulating food intake. We presently assess in healthy volunteers, how artificial, non-caloric sweeteners affect food intake behaviour and the brain responses to food viewing. We also assess whether sweet receptors modulate the secretion of stress hormones and/or gut factors.
Metabolic effects of physical activity
Several studies are performed to assess the effects of acute exercise and of endurance or resistance training on diet-induced insulin resistance. Present studies are mainly focused on the role of hepatic lactate production during exercise or after fructose ingestion in muscle energy production.
Development of monitoring device for adapted physical activities
Together with Dr V. Lecoultre, F. Tache and Ch. Bulliard, at the Centre Métabolique de l’Hôpital Intercantonal de la Broye, we are involved in the development of lifestyle interventions and of adapted physical activity for the prevention of metabolic diseases. In parallel to these clinically-oriented activities, we are presently developing in collaboration with L. Emmenegger and B. Tuzson in the Laboratory for Air Pollution / Environmental Technology, Empa, Duebendorf, a novel breath acetone analyzer, to be used for monitoring adapted physical activities interventions.
Professor Luc Tappy, group leader
Luc Tappy obtained his MD degree at the University of Lausanne in 1981, and was trained in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Service of Endocrinology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and in the Diabetes section, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.
Since 1988, he has been a senior researcher at the Institute of Physiology, Lausanne University School of Medicine and from 1991-1997 he received a Career Development Award from the Max Cloëtta Foundation to develop research projects in the field of human metabolism. His studies have focused on nutrition, physical exercise and metabolism in healthy individuals as well as in various clinical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, organ transplant patients and critically ill patients. In 2002, he was appointed full professor of physiology and associate physician at the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the CHUV. Since 2015, he is also associate physician at the Centre Métabolique de l’Hôpital Intercantonal de la Broye à Estavayer-le-Lac.
Beside his research and teaching activities, Luc Tappy is also involved in public health initiatives. He is presently member of the Swiss Federal Committee for Nutrition, and of the French Scientific Counsel for Nutrition at the French agency for health, food and safety at work (ANSES). He is one of the directors of newly constituted European Society of Preventive Medicine.
Philippe Schneiter, MER
Valentine Rey, technician
Anna Surowska, PhD Student
I graduated from the University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Warsaw, with a Masters degree in Human Nutrition and Consumer Science. I am fascinated about nutrition and interested in muliple aspects. This was the reason why I conKnued my education with courses on Food and Public Policy as well as Law of Sanitary and Food Safety in Paris.
I am currently a PhD student in Prof Luc Tappy's group where I am working on nutritional determinants of metabolic diseases in humans. I am involved in muliple research projects analysing Fructose and its metabolism pathways.
Jérémy Cros, PhD Student
|I completed my Master’s degree in Sport Sciences at the University Joseph Fourier (Grenoble, France). I performed my two master projects in the Department of Physiology on the effects of physical exercise on fructose metabolism. I am currently working as PhD Student in Luc Tappy’s lab on the impact of various environmental factors (such as exercise, sleep privation and mental stress) on insulin sensitivity. This experimental approach is centered on the use of stable isotopes and indirect calorimetry.|
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