Recent publications

C.Fankhauser was re-elected President of the Fundamental Sciences Section

C.Fankhauser’s mandate started in 2019 was renewed for 2 years.
Read the article:


NPJ Genom Med.: auth.: group Reymond

NPJ Genom Med. 2021 Nov 11;6(1):94. doi: 10.1038/s41525-021-00255-z.

Biallelic truncation variants in ATP9A are associated with a novel autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder

Francesca Mattioli # 1Hossein Darvish # 2Sohail Aziz Paracha 3Abbas Tafakhori 4Saghar Ghasemi Firouzabadi 5Marjan Chapi 4Hafiz Muhammad Azhar Baig 6Alexandre Reymond 7Stylianos E Antonarakis 8 9Muhammad Ansar 10 11 12


Intellectual disability (ID) is a highly heterogeneous disorder with hundreds of associated genes. Despite progress in the identification of the genetic causes of ID following the introduction of high-throughput sequencing, about half of affected individuals still remain without a molecular diagnosis. Consanguineous families with affected individuals provide a unique opportunity to identify novel recessive causative genes. In this report, we describe a novel autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder. We identified two consanguineous families with homozygous variants predicted to alter the splicing of ATP9A which encodes a transmembrane lipid flippase of the class II P4-ATPases. The three individuals homozygous for these putatively truncating variants presented with severe ID, motor and speech impairment, and behavioral anomalies. Consistent with a causative role of ATP9A in these patients, a previously described Atp9a-/- mouse model showed behavioral changes.


2 Faculty Positions in Neuroscience, EPFL (CH)

The Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) invites applications for two faculty positions at the Tenure Track Assistant Professor level in the Brain Mind Institute of the School of Life Sciences. We seek candidates committed to research in the broad fields of neuroscience, neuroengineering and neurotechnology with interest in brain (dys)function, neurodegeneration, regeneration, stem cells and organoids studied from molecular, genetic, cellular, neural circuit, systems, imaging, computational and/or behavioral perspectives.
The candidates should also demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The new professors will join a dynamic EPFL community that is driven by scientific discovery and technological advances and operate in state-of-the-art labs across EPFL facilities in Lausanne, Geneva, Fribourg and Sion. We anticipate the new faculty members will take advantage of scientific interactions with the School of Life Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Computer and Communication Sciences, Center for Neuroprosthetics, Blue Brain Project, Center for Imaging, Center for Intelligent Systems, Fribourg Translational Neuroscience platform, the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva and their associated hospitals, and the Swiss Rehabilitation Clinic in Sion.  The School of Life Sciences currently has five broad strategic aims: Neuro-X [science, technology, computation], organoid bioengineering, biological data science, structural biology, and environmental biology.

Commitment to open science and data dissemination will be positively valued.

Significant start-up resources, research budget, and state-of-the-art research infrastructure are available. Salaries and benefits are internationally competitive.

Applications should include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, concise statements of research and teaching interests as well as the contact information of at least three references who are ready to supply their letter upon request.

Applications must be submitted to: 

Formal evaluation of candidates will begin on 15th December, 2021.

For enquiries regarding the positions, please contact:
Prof. Carl Petersen
Chair of the Search Committee

Additional information may be found by consulting the web sites: and


Maison de la durabilité – Vortex (UNIL)

The “house of sustainability” is a student association conducting different projects on the UNIL campus (Vortex building).

Did you know?
– they host an object library from which you can borrow for free items such as a fondue pot, a hot plate and many other objects that are useful sometimes but bulky in everyone’s flat !
– they host a board game night every Thursday from 7 P.M. !
– they host a 2nd hand shop and a free distribution of unsold food given by major supermarkets from 4 P.M. on Fridays!
– they are working on an accessible radio program on Ecology science and also a bike sharing project. If you have an idea of project or would like to give a hand sometimes, do not hesitate to contact them!

The main website is in French but everyone or so can inform you about these projects in English.

Maison de la durabilité:
Castor Freegan:
Match my bike:
Unipoly (THE EPFL-UNIL association that gathers tons of projects):


Plant Physiol.: co-auth.: C.Fankhauser

Plant Physiol. 2021 Nov 3;187(3):1029-1032. doi: 10.1093/plphys/kiab402.

Architecture and plasticity: optimizing plant performance in dynamic environments

Ronald Pierik 1Christian Fankhauser 2Lucia C Strader 3Neelima Sinha 4

Plasticity in plant architecture drives plant performance through dedicated molecular networks.


Plant Physiol.: auth.: group Soyk

Plant Physiol. 2021 Nov 3;187(3):1045-1056. doi: 10.1093/plphys/kiab388.

Meristem transitions and plant architecture-learning from domestication for crop breeding

Natalia Gaarslev 1Gwen Swinnen 1Sebastian Soyk 1


Genetic networks that regulate meristem transitions were recurrent targets of selection during crop domestication and allow fine-tuning of plant architecture for improved crop productivity.