Prof. Olivier Michielin
Full Professor Department of oncology
Full Professor Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
MD-PhD, Full Professor UNIL/CHUV, Director of the Center for Precision Oncology and Head of Melanoma Unit in the Oncology Department of the CHUV, Lausanne Prof. Olivier Michielin obtained a diploma of Physics in 1991 at the EPFL and an MD from the University of Lausanne in 1997. He pursued his PhD training under the supervision of Jean-Charles Cerottini (LICR) and Martin Karplus (Harvard and Strasbourg Universities, Nobel Prize in Chemistry). He was appointed Group Leader of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in 2002 and became an Assistant Professor and Privat Docent at the Medical Faculty of Lausanne in 2004 and 2005, respectively. In parallel, he has trained as a medical oncologist and obtained his board certification in 2007 at the Multidisciplinary Oncology Center (CePO) of Lausanne where he is currently in charge of the melanoma clinic and the Center for Precision Oncology. He is mainly focused on translational oncology, developing new molecularly defined therapeutic approaches based on original in silico techniques developed in his laboratory. More recently, he has also focused on precision oncology. Research interest Prof. Olivier Michielin and his team’s main research focus is translational and personalized oncology. Their aim is to make use of all available –omics data to guide treatment decisions for all oncology patients. They are developing a baseline and on treatment predictive biomarkers in order to determine the optimal treatment sequences. In addition, structure-based drug design and protein design are two important pillars of the translational activity. Personalized oncology Selecting the best treatment option for patients based on large –omics data sets requires cutting edge machine learning algorithms. They are actively developing methodologies to provide interpretable machine learning results that pinpoint to the essential aspects leading to the proposed classification by the algorithm. Some of these developments are conducted in collaboration with the Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC) of the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL). Structure-based drug design As part of a long-lasting interest of their group in structure-based drug design, they are pursuing several projects to design high-affinity small molecule inhibitors for important targets in oncology and, most importantly, immuno-oncology. Current projects include IDO for which several nano-molar compounds have been generated as well as STING. Prof. Olivier Michelin’s equip program starts with computer-aided drug design, organic synthesis, soluble and cellular tests, all the way to proof of concept studies in mouse models. Their algorithms are now being used for personalized oncology, where the impact of somatic mutations on specific targeted therapies is evaluated. Recently, they have launched the Swiss Personalized Oncology project that aims at providing a seamless web interface to access these tools for the clinicians making decisions within molecular tumor-boards. Structure-based protein design Structure-based protein design has also been a strong interest of our group. They use molecular dynamics and free energy simulations to study key proteins like the TCR-Peptide-MHC complex and to improve relevant biological properties such as the on-rate, off-rate or the affinity. Since their approach is based on the laws of physics, its universal nature allows direct application to other proteins or complexes of interest like, for example, signaling domains. They are now using these methods for personalized oncology by studying the structural conformation of neo-antigens presented within the MHC context or the structural TCR repertoire selected against such neo- antigens.