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Group Leader

Laboratory of Lipids and Chronobiology



Dream profession of your childhood?

Become a scientist.

Your dream profession - now?

Almost there.

What melody do you hum when working in the lab?

Mostly amazigh music with personal adapted lyrics.

Your favourite joke about scientists?

 I have no idea what I’m doing.



Dr. Abdelhalim Azzi completed his PhD in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Steven A. Brown at the University of Zurich, Switzerland where he studied the role of epigenetic modifications, i.e., DNA methylation in regulation of circadian behaviour under different light/dark cycles. He then joined the laboratory of Prof. Stéphane Schurmans at the GIGA research center in Belgium as a visiting scientist where he studied the role of phosphoinositide phosphatase SHIP2 in regulation of apoptosis.  He then joined the laboratory of Prof. Xu Wu as a research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA where he studied the crosstalk between the hippo signaling pathway and circadian clock. He joined IMOL in 2021 as principal investigator.



Phosphoinositide phosphatases, Phosphoinositide signaling and circadian clock.

Laboratory of Lipids and Chronobiology
Our group is interested in understanding the role of phosphoinositide signaling in regulation of circadian metabolic processes. The main aim of our research is to examine how daily spatiotemporal variations in phosphoinositides affect daily carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. We focus currently on two system models, the 5-phosphatase SHIP2 and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase isoform γ (PI3K-C2γ).




  • University of Zürich Forschungskredit


  • Marie Curie COFUND Postdoctoral fellowship


  • Swiss National Science Foundation, early postdoc mobility grant



  • Abdelhalim Azzi. (2021). Scaffold dependent role of the inositol 5-phosphatase SHIP2, in regulation of oxidative stress induced apoptosis. Arch Biochem Biophys. Jan 15;697:108667. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2020.108667

  • Abdelhalim Azzi. (2020). SHIP2 inhibition alters redox induced PI3K/AKT and MAP kinase pathways via PTEN over-activation in cervical cancer cells. FEBS Open Bio. Oct;10(10):2191-2205. https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.12967

  • Azzi A, Evans J A, Leise T, Myung J, Takumi T, Davidson AJ, Brown SA. (2017). Network dynamics mediate circadian clock plasticity. Neuron. Jan 18;93(2):441-450. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.12.022

  • Katja Drägert, Indranil Bhattacharya, Giovanni Pellegrini, Petra Seebeck, Abdelhalim Azzi, Steven A Brown, Stavroula Georgiopoulou, Ulrike Held, Przemyslaw Blyszczuk, Margarete Arras, Rok Humar, Michael N Hall, Edouard Battegay, Elvira Haas. (2015). Deletion of Rictor in Brain and Fat Alters Peripheral Clock Gene Expression and Increases Blood Pressure. Hypertension. 66(2):332-9. https://doi.org/10.1161/hypertensionaha.115.05398

  • Abdelhalim Azzi, Robert Dallmann, Hubert Rehrauer, Andrea Patrignani, Alison Casserly, Bert Maier, Achim Kramer and Steven Brown. (2014) circadian behavior is light-reprogrammed by plastic DNA methylation. Nature Neuroscience. 2014 Mar;17(3):377-82. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3651

  • Marco Brancaccio, Ryosuke Enoki, Cristina Mazuski, Jeff Jones, Jennifer Evans and Abdelhalim Azzi. (2014) Network-mediated encoding of circadian time: the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) from genes to neurons to circuits, and back. Journal of Neuroscience. Nov 12;34(46):15192-99. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.3233-14.2014

  • Brown SA, Azzi A. (2013) Peripheral circadian oscillators in mammals. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 217:45-66. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-25950-0_3

  • C. Cosseau, A. Azzi, A. Rognon, J. Boissier, S. Gourbière, G. Mitta, E. Roger and C.Grunau.(2010). Epigenetic and phenotypic variability in populations of Schistosoma mansoni a possible kick-off foradaptive host/parasite evolution. Oikos. 4, 669–678. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.18040.x

  • Céline Cosseau, Abdelhalim Azzi, Kristina Smith, Michael Freitag, Guillaume Mitta, Christoph Grunau. (2009). Native chromatin immunoprecipitation (N-ChIP) and ChIP-Seq of Schistosoma mansoni: Critical experimental parameters. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 166, 70-76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molbiopara.2009.02.015

  • A. Azzi, C. Cosseau, C. Grunau. (2009). Schistosoma mansoni: Developmental arrest of miracidia treated with histone deacetylase inhibitors. Experimental Parasitology 121, 288-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2008.11.010