Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR)

DBMR Research Conference

NAFLD and insulin resistance: from bench to bedside

Monday, 2023/02/06, 17:00

Event organizer: Department for BioMedical Research
Speaker: Prof. François Jornayvaz, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Therapeutic Patient Education, Geneva University Hospital
Date: 2023/02/06
Time: 17:00 - 18:00
Venue: Langhans Auditorium
Murtenstrasse 31
3008 Bern
Characteristics: open to the public
free of charge


Prof François Jornayvaz is a physician specialized in internal medicine and endocrinology-diabetes. He trained in Switzerland and France, and did a postdoc at Yale University (CT, USA) in Gerald Shulman’s lab. His lab is mainly focused on the link between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and insulin resistance, which represents a key step in the development of type 2 diabetes. The topic is of importance and clinically relevant since type 2 diabetes is projected to increase and affect 592 million people worldwide by 2035. NAFLD/NASH is a very important disease and now represents the most frequent chronic liver disease worldwide. It is estimated to affect up to 60 to 70% of people with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, NAFLD represents the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and as such represents a cardiovascular risk factor. The aims of the lab are therefore to: identify patients with NAFLD; identify which patients will present progression of their hepatic disease; and find therapeutic targets to prevent and heal NAFLD/NASH. To these ends, the lab uses a translational approach using cell cultures, in vivo animal models and humans.


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a disease constituted by different risk factors such as obesity, type 2 diabetes or dyslipidemia. The prevalence of this syndrome is increasing worldwide in parallel with the rise in obesity. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most frequent chronic liver disease in western countries, affecting approximately 25% of the general population. NAFLD encompasses a spectrum of liver manifestations ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis and cirrhosis, which may ultimately progress to hepatocellular carcinoma. There is accumulating evidence supporting an association between NAFLD and MetS. Indeed, NAFLD is recognized as the liver manifestation of MetS. Insulin resistance is increasingly recognized as a key factor linking MetS and NAFLD. Insulin resistance is associated with excessive fat accumulation in ectopic tissues such as the liver and increased circulating free fatty acids, which can further promote notably inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress. This in turn aggravates and maintains the insulin resistant state, constituting a vicious cycle. This presentation will focus on NAFLD associated with insulin resistance, notably in type 2 diabetes, from bench to bedside, i.e. providing an overview of the patient approach but also molecular insights in inflammation in the development of NAFLD.


Prof. François Jornayvaz, MD has been invited by Prof. Annalisa Berzigotti, MD, Systems Biomedicine of Cellular Development and Signalling in Health and Disease and Prof. Lia Bally, MD-PhD, Translational Hormone Research, Department for BioMedical Research, University of Bern.

The DBMR Research Conference takes place from 5 pm – 6 pm and will be followed by an apéro.