Limna - Lausanne Integrative Metabolism Nutrition Alliance

Carmen Sandi

Brain Mind Institute – Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics – EPFL

Our group investigates the impact – and mechanisms whereby – stress and anxiety affect brain function and behavior, with a focus on the social domain and, particularly, on aggression and social hierarchies. We have shown that exposure to early life adversity during childhood and puberty leads to alterations in cognition, emotion and social behaviors in later life, along with changes in brain and fat metabolism in vulnerable individuals. We are currently aiming to unravel the role of glucocorticoids and sirtuins in brain pathways involved in motivation and emotion and the development of psychopathologies such as depression.

We are also investigating the interaction between the personality trait high anxiety, stress and self-confidence in social competition and physical and cognitive performance in rodents and humans. As we have identified a key role for the mesolimbic system, we are currently also exploring the contribution of mitochondrial function to the observed effects. In collaboration with industrial partners, we are also exploring the impact of impact of nutrients on behavior, cognition and brain function.


  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Emotion
  • Cognition
  • Social behaviors
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dopamine
  • Sirtuins
  • Mitochondrial function
  • Cell adhesion molecules
  • Depression


Prof. Carmen Sandi

Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics

Brain Mind Institute

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Station 19 - Office SV-2810

CH-1015 Lausanne



Tel. +41 21 693 9534

Fax. +41 21 693 9636


Lab website


Administrative Assistant
Barbara Goumaz
Office: SV 2805
Tel. +41 21 693 17 62