Johan Auwerx, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland
Johan Auwerx is Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he directs the Laboratory for Integrated and Systems Physiology (LISP). Dr. Auwerx has been using molecular physiology and systems genetics to understand metabolism in health, aging and disease. Much of his work focused on understanding how diet, exercise and hormones control metabolism through changing the expression of genes by altering the activity of transcription factors and their associated cofactors. His work was instrumental for the development of agonists of nuclear receptors – a particular class of transcription factors – into drugs, which now are used to treat high blood lipid levels, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Auwerx was amongst the first to recognize that transcriptional cofactors, which fine-tune the activity of transcription factors, act as energy sensors/effectors that influence metabolic homeostasis. His research validated these cofactors as novel targets to treat metabolic diseases, and spurred the clinical use of natural compounds, such as resveratrol, as modulators of these cofactor pathways.
Johan Auwerx was elected as a member of EMBO in 2003 and is the recipient of a dozen of international scientific prizes, including the Danone International Nutrition Award, the Oskar Minkowski Prize, the Morgagni Gold Medal, and the Marcel Benoist Prize. His work is highly cited by his peers with a h-factor of over 120. He is an editorial board member of several journals, including Cell Metabolism, Molecular Systems Biology, The EMBO Journal, The Journal of Cell Biology, Cell, and Science. Dr. Auwerx co-founded a handful of biotech companies, including Carex, PhytoDia, and most recently Mitobridge, and has served on several scientific advisory boards.
Dr. Auwerx received both his MD and PhD in Molecular Endocrinology at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium. He was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics of the University of Washington in Seattle.