Dr. Bruno Guigas

Assistant Professor


  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Molecular cell biology
  • Immunometabolism


Assistant Professor


Dr. Bruno Guigas is a 41 year-old molecular biologist with a broad expertise in the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders. His scientific path started at the University of Grenoble (France) with a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Bioenergetics, followed by a PhD internship in the group of Prof. X. Leverve where he studied the mechanisms of action of the antidiabetic drug metformin. After graduating, he joined the de Duve Institute (Prof. L. Hue, Brussels, Belgium) where he investigated the role of AMPK in the control of hepatic glucose metabolism and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation supported by a “Michel de Visscher” Research Fellowship. Established in The Netherlands for almost a decade with a tenure-track position shared between the departments of Parasitology and Cell and Chemical Biology of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), he’s currently heading a group of ~5 people. During the last years, he has driven several research projects aiming to identify novel therapeutic strategies for obesity and type 2 diabetes, using both in vitro and in vivo approaches in rodent models or humans. He’s also actively involved in several international collaborations on multidisciplinary projects in the field of obesity and type 2 diabetes. More recently, he launched a novel research line within the emerging field of immunometabolism aiming to identify new druggable molecules and/or molecular targets involved in immune-dependent regulation of insulin sensitivity.

Research interest

My main interest is currently focused on studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the immunometabolic effects of parasitic infection and parasite-derived molecules (http://help-t2d.nl/) using both in vitro and in vivo approaches in various rodent models or in humans. This original research line is aimed to identify new metabolically-active molecules and/or potential novel molecular targets involved in tissue-specific regulation of substrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity that can ultimately lead to future therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes.



• Grant from European Association for the Study of Diabetes on the project: ‘Protective effects of parasite-derived molecules in metabolic disorders.’

• Grant from ZonMW: ‘Helminth-derived glycoproteins and insulin sensitivity: from immunomodulatory properties to direct regulation of metabolic tissues.’  

Key publications

Thomas A, Belaïdi E, Moulin S, Horman S, van der Zon GC, Viollet B, Levy P, Bertrand L, Pepin JL, Godin-Ribuot D, Guigas B. Chronic intermittent hypoxia impairs insulin sensitivity but improves whole-body glucose tolerance by activating skeletal muscle AMPK. (2017). Diabetes, 66(12):2942-2951.

Guigas B. Parasites and metabolic diseases. (2017). Parasite Immunology, 39(5).

Thomas A, Belaïdi E, Aron-Wisnewsky J, van der Zon GC, Levy P, Clement K, Pepin JL, Godin-Ribuot D, Guigas B. Hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 1 (PHD1) deficiency promotes hepatic steatosis and liver-specific insulin resistance in mice. (2016). Scientific Reports, 6:24618.

Guigas B and Molofsky AB. A worm of one's own: how helminths modulate host adipose tissue function and metabolism. (2015). Trends in Parasitology, 31(9):435-41.

Hussaarts L, Garcia-Tardon N, van Beek L, Heemskerk MM, Haeberlein S, van der Zon GC, Ozir-Fazalalikhan A, Berbee JF, Willems van Dijk K, van Harmelen V, Yazdanbakhsh M, Guigas B. Chronic helminth infection promotes adipose tissue M2 macrophages and improves insulin sensitivity in obese mice. (2015). FASEB J, 29(7):3027-39.

Foretz M, Guigas B, Bertrand L, Pollak M, Viollet B. Metformin: from mechanism of action to therapy. (2014). Cell Metabolism. (2014). 20(6):953-66.   

Geerling JJ, Boon MR, van der Zon GC, van den Berg SAA, van den Hoek AM, Lombes M, Princen HM, Havekes LM, Rensen PCN, Guigas B. Metformin reduces plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels by promoting VLDL-triglyceride clearance by brown adipose tissue in mice. (2014). Diabetes, 63(3):880-91.

Wijngaarden MA, van der Zon GC, Willems van Dijk K, Pijl H, Guigas B. Effects of prolonged fasting on AMP-activated protein kinase signaling, metabolic gene expression and mitochondrial content in skeletal muscle from lean and obese individuals. (2013). AJP-Endocrinology & Metabolism, 304(9):E1012-21.

Stephenne X, Foretz M, Taleux N, van der Zon GC, Sokal EM, Hue L, Viollet B, Guigas B. Metformin activates AMP-activated protein kinase in primary human hepatocytes by decreasing cellular energy status. (2011). Diabetologia, 54(12):3101-10.     


All publications can be found at Google Scholar    





Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1
Kamer P4-32

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 526 1328

Postzone P4-Q
Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden

E-mail: B.G.A.Guigas@lumc.nl