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F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France




• Neurosciences
• Behavioural Sciences & Psychology
• Human Nutrition
• Functional Imaging
• Immunohistochemistry

Research topics and scientific objectives

• Understand the multisensory integration mechanisms as well as the cognitive and brain processes involved in the control of eating behaviours
• Study diet-induced obesity and its consequences on brain functions, eating behaviours and health
• Explore and validate innovative therapeutic and preventive strategies to fight against obesity and/or eating disorders
• Characterise, validate and promote the minipig model for research in nutrition and health in humans

Education and main positions held

• 2017-now: Director of the UMR 1341 NuMeCan Inrae/Univ Rennes 1; Deputy Director of the NuMeCan Institute (Inrae, Inserm, Univ Rennes 1), France.

• 2013-2017: Director of the ADNC research department. INRA, UR1341 ADNC, F-35590 St Gilles, France.

• 2007-present: Research scientist (senior) in Behavioural Sciences and Neurosciences applied to Human Nutrition and Health. INRA, UR1341 ADNC, F-35590 St Gilles, France.

• 2006-2007: Post-doctoral scientist in Behavioural Sciences and Neurosciences applied to Human Nutrition and Health. INRA, UMR1078 SENAH, F-35590 St Gilles, France.

• 2005-2006: Research Fellow in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. Expert in charge of governmental reports on animal welfare. AAFC, Pacific Agrifood Research Centre, Agassiz, British Columbia V0M 1A0, Canada.

• 2001-2004: Doctoral thesis in Life and Health Sciences. INRA, UMR6175 PRC, F-37380 Nouzilly, France – University François Rabelais, Tours, France.

• 2000-2001: Master in Behavioural Biology. University of Paris XIII, France.

Current projects


• ControlEat: “Neurofeedback to improve the control of eating behavior in normal-weight volunteers with emotional overeating and obese patients with food addiction”.

• AddictO: Research collaboration CHU CORECT / Inrae – “Exploration of the neurocognitive processes involved in food addiction in obese patients: Towards the definition of innovative biomarkers for prevention and clinical practice”.

• Hed-O-Shift: Priority Action of the INRA Human Nutrition Division – “Palatable foods and neural plasticity: The shift in reward and cognitive processes”.



• ACUPIG: Franco-Chinese research collaboration – “Description of the neurophysiological, behavioural, and brain responses to electroacupuncture in the minipig model: Targeting the gut-brain axis to fight agains obesity”.

• SARCOPIG: Preclinical study – “A minipig model to study denutrition and sarcopenia”.

• Industrial research collaboration: Inrae/Phodé – “Impact of functional food ingredients to the microbiote-gut-brain axis and behaviour responses in a pig model of chronic psychosocial stress.”

• STEP: ANR project – “Synchrotron-Therapy for Epilepsy: Towards a first-in-man trial.” Workpackage in the minipig model: Impact of hippocampus invalidation on eating behaviour and cognition.

• Hed-O-Shift: Priority Action of the INRA Human Nutrition Division – “Effects of the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on the microbiota-gut-brain axis and neurocognitive processes in the obese minipig model”.



• A minipig model of hepatic transplantation to investigate innovative strategies of liver graft preservation.

• A minipig model of uterine transplantation.

• Development of fMRI paradigm to evaluate the cortical stimulation of auditory areas in a minipig model of electroacoustic cochlear implant.

Selected publications


Western diet, obesity and bariatric surgery sequentially modulated anxiety, eating patterns and brain responses to sucrose in adult Yucatan minipigs.

Gautier, Y., Bergeat, D., Serrand, Y., Réthoré, N., Mahérault, M., Malbert, C.H., Meurice, P., Coquery, N., Moirand, R., Val-Laillet, D. 2020. Scientific Reports.


Meeting of minds around food addiction: Insights from addiction medicine, nutrition, psychology, and neurosciences.

Constant, A., Moirand, R., Thibault, R., Val-Laillet, D. 2020. Nutrients, 12(11):3564. doi: 10.3390/nu12113564.


A maternal Western diet during gestation and lactation modifies offspring’s microglial cell density and morphology in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in Yucatan minipigs.

Val-Laillet, D., Kanzari, A., Guérin, S., Randuineau, G., Coquery, N. 2020. Neurocience Letters.


Neuromodulatory and possible anxiolytic-like effects of a spice functional food ingredient in a pig model of psychosocial chronic stress.

Menneson, S., Ménicot, S., Malbert, C.-H., Meurice, P., Serrand, Y., Noirot, V., Etienne, P., Coquery, N., Val-Laillet, D. 2020.  Journal of Functional Foods, 64, 103599 p. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2019.103599.


Implementation of a new food picture database for validating a pilot fMRI cognitive food-choice task in healthy volunteers with contrasted eating habits.

Gautier, Y., Meurice, P., Coquery, N., Constant, A., Bannier, E., Ferré, J.C., Moirand, R., Val-Laillet, D. 2019. Frontiers in Psychology.


Impact of food, gut-brain signals, and metabolic status on brain activity in the pig model: 10 years of nutrition research using in vivo brain imaging.

Val-Laillet, D. 2019. Animal. 13(11):2699-2713. doi: 10.1017/S1751731119001745.


Validation of a psychosocial chronic stress model in the pig using a multidisciplinary approach at the gut-brain and behavior levels.

Menneson, S., Ménicot, S., Ferret-Bernard, S., Guérin, S., Romé, V., Le Normand, L., Randuineau, G., Gambarota, G., Noirot, V., Etienne, P., Coquery, N., Val-Laillet, D. 2019. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience. 13:161 doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00161.


Ethanolamine produced from oleoylethanolamide degradation contributes to acetylcholine/dopamine balance modulating eating behavior.

Mennella, I., Boudry, G., Val-Laillet, D. 2019. The Journal of Nutrition, 149(3):362-365. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy281.


A maternal Western diet during gestation and lactation modifies offspring’s microbiota activity, blood lipid levels, cognitive responses and hippocampal neurogenesis in Yucatan pigs.

Val-Laillet, D., Besson, M., Guérin, S., Blat, S., Le Huërou-Luron, I., Randuineau, G., Coquery, N., Kanzari, A., Quesnel, I., Bonhomme, N., Bolhuis, J.E., Kemp, B., Clouard, C. 2017. The FASEB Journal, 31(5): 2037-2049.


Neuroimaging and neuromodulation approaches to study eating behaviour and prevent and treat eating disorders and obesity.

Val-Laillet, D., Aarts, E., Weber, B., Ferrari, M., Quaresima, V., Stoeckel, L.E., Alonso-Alonso, M., Audette, M., Malbert, C.H., Stice, E. 2015. Neuroimage: Clinical, 8, 1-31.