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Valais welcomes its first bioinformatics research group

The Idiap institute has been home to the first bioinformatics research group studying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for the past three months.

Raphaëlle Luisier
"At IDIAP, I work alongside colleagues who are at the forefront of the field of artificial intelligence. This inspires me and gives me a lot of leads to advance medical research", explains Raphaëlle Luisier. | Copyright Idiap

Known above all for its advances in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, Idiap has been hosting a new research group for the past three months on the relationship between computer science and genetics. It is headed by bioinformatics doctor Raphaëlle Luisier.

"At IDIAP, I work alongside colleagues who are at the forefront of the field of artificial intelligence. This inspires me and gives me a lot of leads to advance medical research. Computer technology allows us to process countless amounts of data in a short period of time, which would be impossible to do by hand. »

The research group aims to analyze two types of data : the way motor neurons read the approximately 20,000 human genes and the behaviour of these cells over time as a function of a large number of variables. "In this sense, artificial intelligence could reveal possible correlations between the reading of the genome by motor cells, their composition and their behaviour. »

A canton of Valais programme to repatriate talents

The Martigny-based institute has also set up Valais Wallis Ambition, a programme to finance the doctorate of students who have been schooled in the canton of Valais. The institute is internationally recognized but has limited recognition in the local community. Since its creation, the Idiap's programmes have already proven successful on numerous occasions.

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