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Idiap: a new research group to explore the role of AI in genomics

Tuesday 3 March 2020

© Idiap

The Idiap research institute now hosts a bioinformatics research group focusing on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Known above all for its advances in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, the Idiap research institute now hosts a new research group on the relationship between computer science and genetics. It is headed by bioinformatician 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 program designed to repatriate talent

The Martigny-based institute has also set up Valais Wallis Ambition. This initiative supports young engineers having completed their primary and secondary schools in Valais, followed by EPFL-equivalent studies, and interested in pursuing high-quality post-graduate training.

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