Prof. Max Lafontan
Professor Max Lafontan is a principal investigator at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm).
Prof. Lafontan obtained a PhD and a Doctorat-es-Sciences thesis from University Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France) in 1979. He was appointed as assistant-professor in 1970 and as associate-professor of Animal Physiology in 1979. In 1985, he moved to Inserm as principal investigator and from 1988-2002, headed the Inserm Unit 317 (Adrenergic Regulations and Metabolic Adaptations) and the Institute Louis Bugnard Research Centre from 1990-1997.
His original team contributed to the identification of human fat cell alpha2-adrenergic and neuropeptide Y receptors and to the definition of the molecular determinants of the interplay between beta- and alpha2-adrenergic receptor mediated-events in fat cells of various species. The pioneering observation of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) production by fat cells has been at the origin of the identification of a new adipocyte secretion (i.e., autotaxin, a lysophospholipase involved in LPA production). The discovery of the original role of Atrial Natriuretic peptides (ANP) in the control of lipolysis and lipid mobilization in humans in 2000 has opened an unsuspected field of research which is still under intensive exploration.
Prof. Lafontan was a Council Member and President of the French Association for the Study of Obesity (AFERO) and Council Member of the European Association for the Study of 0besity (EASO). He was awarded the Friederich Wasserman Award of EASO in 2003 for his research activity in the field of adipose tissue metabolism and obesity.