When I was still a student at the university Paris 7, I first enter at the Pasteur institute in 1976, to follow the course of general bacteriology. After a degree in eucaryotic gene expression, I had the great opportunity to join the laboratory of Professor François Gros, director of the Pasteur institute, to study myogenic differentiation, under the direction of my supervisor, Dr Margaret Buckingham. It was the beginning of my career of researcher and my main interest was focused on gene regulation during myogenenesis. It was the very exciting period of cloning, identifying and studying genes encoding muscle contractile proteins. In 1979, I passed a “Thèse de doctorat de 3eme cycle” and then a “Thèse de doctorat d’Etat” in biochemistry in 1987, equivalent to PhD/HDR. Since 1982, I have a permanent position at the french CNRS.
In 1988, I started a post-doctoral stage in the laboratory of molecular neurobiology, directed by Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux at the Pasteur institute. It was also a great and challenging period for me in a very stimulating group of researchers and I get interested in the regulation of newly discovered genes, encoding neuronal acetylcholine receptors, using mouse transgenesis as a novel tool at this time. Then, still interested by the field of neurobiology, I joined a young research team at the university Pierre and Marie Curie - Paris 6, to study myelinogenesis, using the gene knockout technology by homologous recombination in mice to elucidate the function of a myelin protein implicated in autoimmune diseases.
In 1996, I came back to the "muscle field" and rejoined the unit of molecular genetic of development at the Pasteur institute, directed by Professor Margaret Buckingham. Then started another stimulating period in a novel field for me: the mouse embryonic development. My main goal was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms regulating the transcription of the myogenic determination gene Myf5. During more than a decade, I contributed in the functional characterization of several enhancer elements, involved in the developmental regulation of this master regulatory gene.
Since 2012, I work at the Cochin institute in Paris to in the team "neuromuscular genetic, development and physiopathalogy", directed by Drs Pascal Maire and Athanassia Sotiropoulos. I am studying the biology and genetic regulation of muscle stem cells, so called satellite cells, in the adult muscle. I am also interested in embryonic cardiac muscle development.