Cedric Raoul Ph.D Neuroscience

Course and current status

Inserm team leader
January 2012 – Present

Motoneuron team
The Neuroscience Institute of Montpellier,
Inserm UMR1051,
Saint Eloi Hospital,
Montpellier, France

Inser-Avenir team leader
 January 2007 – December 2011  
The Mediterranean Institute of Neurobiology,
Inserm UMR901
Scientific campus of Luminy,
Marseille, France
 
Post-doctoral fellow
October 2002 – November 2006
The Brain Mind Institute
Laboratory of Neurodegenerative disease
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Ph.D in Neuroscience
October 1998 – September 2002
Inserm UMR382
The Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille
Luminy scientific campus
Marseille, France

Scientific summary

The mission of our team is to understand how the cellular environment contributes to the degeneration of motoneurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to develop pertinent therapeutic approaches.

Our research interests: ALS is a devastating motoneuron disease characterized by the selective and gradual degeneration of motoneurons in the brain and spinal cord. ALS typically initiates in mid-life by a focal muscle weakness and wasting, which irrevocably spreads to complete paralysis muscle atrophy and leads to death of patients within two to five years after onset of symptoms.

There is growing evidence that a persistent inflammatory response contributes to ALS pathogenesis. The reactive astrocytes in the vicinity of motoneurons play a pivotal role by determining the extent of the inflammatory response from microglia and also by releasing factors selectively toxic for motoneurons. Neuroimmunity, another pathological signature of ALS, is characterized by the accumulation of blood-derived immune cells in the central nervous system. However, the inflammatory dialogue between neurons and immune cells can result in neuroprotective or destructive outcomes. Finally, the effect of a sustained inflammation on the functional integrity of the motor system, including sensory neurons and interneurons, remains elusive.

Our transdisciplinary approach is focussed on:

  • Providing an integrated view of the dialogue between motoneurons, astrocytes, sensory and interneurons neurons and immune cells during the neurodegenerative process,
  • Developing innovative therapeutic approaches through the identification of the most pertinent site of therapeutic intervention
  • Promoting translational clinical research by evaluating the clinical relevance of our findings in human ALS.
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