Centre for Psychiatric Neuroscience of Lausanne team
By Marie Lenski
Resident in Laboratory Medicine, Toxicology department,
University Hospital Center of Lille,
This research project was initiated at the Centre for Psychiatric Neuroscience of Lausanne, which missions are to teach and develop research in order to improve medical care in psychiatry. An important work is done on side effects of psychotropic drugs treatments like weight gain and metabolic complications. These health problems may ultimately lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases, reducing patients’ quality of life and increasing their mortality. A clinical study in pharmacogenetics is already lead in Lausanne. I was asked to work on a new approach by using metabolomics tools in order to search metabolomics biomarkers to predict the occurrence of metabolic complications in patients treated with psychotropic drugs.
Metabolomics is one of the relative newcomers of the omics sciences and it represents an important asset for research and practical application in healthcare, as underscore by the theme of the next IFCC WorldLab congress in Durban « Multi-omics, laboratory medicine & personalized medicine ». This research project was therefore of high clinical relevance and could lead to improve patient-centered care. This approach consist in the study of the metabolome, final level of cellular regulatory processes constituted of molecules of small molecular weight, that is the ultimate response of biological systems to genetic or environmental changes. Metabolomics is an evolving discipline that relies more and more on the most up-to-date scientific techniques in the fields of molecular biology and analytical chemistry.
This research project was conducted technically in the Unit of Toxicology, in the University Center of Legal Medicine (CURML) in Geneva. A liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) system were used in order to set up a targeted metabolomic profiling method. I took part in all steps needed to proceed in a metabolomic study: storage and processing; analytical platform and its performances ; data pre-processing and collection ; statistical analysis, pathway analysis and functional interpretation.
With my training visit, I highly extended my knowledge in analytical chemistry, and even more in the metabolomic area, and learnt how to conduct such a research project in pharmaco-metabolomic. This experience will be highly benefic for continuing my residency and career, as well as in a personal way. I met and worked with amazing and dynamic persons, that made this stay a golden experience.
I express my deep sense of gratitude to the IFCC for its financial support, as well as Prof Dr Allorge, Head of Department of toxicology in Lille (France) and Prof M. Delpech, President of the Société Francaise de Biologie Clinique (SFBC), for encouraging me to take training at this laboratory. I am very much thankful to my project directors, Pr. CB. Eap from Center for neuropsychiatric sciences of Lausanne (UPPC) and Prof A. Thomas from the University Center of Legal Medicine (CURML) in Geneva, for their valuable guidance, keen interest and encouragement at various stages of my training period. I finally wish to express my sincere thanks to Dr J. Sidibe for his quality teaching, and all the staff of the laboratory for their warm welcome and their expert advices during all of my stay.