1989-1991: BS, Biology, University of Caen, France
1991-1994: MS, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Auditeur at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and University of Lyon, France
1994-1998: PhD, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France
1998-2002: Post-Doc, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, U.K
2002-2004: Post-Doc, INSERM U503, Immunobiologie fondamentale et clinique, Lyon
From 2005: Research Scientist (CR1 INSERM), Lyon, France
CR1, INSERM U1111, Centre International Recherche en Infectiologie, Lyon
My research has long been devoted to the study of various aspects of the immune system. Inhibition of apoptotic cell death by growth factor plays a key role in the maintenance of the homeostasis. During my PhD, I studied apoptosis regulation by survival factors in haematopoietic cells. We showed that growth factors (interleukin-3, interleukin-4, IGF1) inhibit apoptosis through two pathways and we identified bcl-x as a major anti-apoptotic gene.
In vivo, apoptotic cell phagocytosis by macrophages or by dendritic cells (DC) is an essential process to instruct the immune system and for homeostasis maintenance and the resolution of inflammation. I joined Anne Ridley’s laboratory at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (London, U.K.) as a post-doc to study the mechanisms and the signalling pathways involved in apoptotic cells phagocytosis by macrophages. We showed that small Rho GTPases Rac and Cdc42 but not Rho and specific PI3-kinases were involved in apoptotic cell uptake and we showed the involvement in this process of WASp, a protein whose mutation causes Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome characterised by immune dysregulation.
Back to France, in Jacqueline Marvel’s laboratory (Inserm, U503, Lyon), we showed that transcription factor Sp1 is a regulator of apoptosis and that its deregulation induces the expression of genes associated with the intrinsic innate response. We also started a new project that showed that TLR ligands and inflammatory cytokines can licence immediate precursors of CD8α+ DC to cross-present antigens from dead cells to specific CD8 T cells allowing memory generation.
Our current studies are to assess the phenotype and the functional properties of mouse memory CD8 T cells and to identify reliable memory markers with prognostic values and to translate our findings to human clinical research.
Area of Expertise