Prof. Renaud du Pasquier, Dr Myriam Schluep
The neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis NIS Unit is twinned with the Neuroimmunology Lab.
The lab’s main research subject is the study of the physio-pathogenesis of demyelinating illnesses. This theme is explored through three different lines of research:
- Onset mechanisms of multiple sclerosis: interaction between cellular immune responses (lymphocytes T CD8+ in particular) and certain risk factors, such as the Epstein-Barr virus and vitamin D deficiency.
- Immunopathogenesis of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy(PML), a demyelinating illness caused by the JC virus. Previously a rather rare illness, this infection occurs in some patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis and have been treated with the monoclonal antibody natalizumab.
- HIV patients suffering from neurological complications (see the neuro-HIV platform): setting up a cohort of HIV positive patients in French-speaking Switzerland to answer a series of research questions (cognitive disorders in HIV infection, biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid predictive of cognitive disorder, pilot treatment study for cognitive disorders linked to HIV, etc.)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the primary, non-invasive method for studying lesions caused by multiple sclerosis. Recently, Dr Cristina Granziera joined the NIS Unit to lead a research project that is being carried out in conjunction with the Neuroimaging Research Lab (LREN) and the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM), particularly at ultra-high field (7 Tesla).
The NIS Unit, under the guidance of Dr Myriam Schluep, is making a considerable contribution to the search for effective treatments for MS (studies in phase II and III) by by contributing and following patients in multi-centric treatment studies.