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  • Location : Bordeaux, France
Last update 2017-10-11 10:25:26.311

Cécilia SAMIERI PhD Epidemiology

Course and current status

     After a doctorate in veterinary medicine, Cécilia Samieri hold a PhD in epidemiology from University of Bordeaux (France) in 2009. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical school (Boston, USA). Then, she returned to France with a young investigator grant awarded by the Fondation Plan Alzheimer (which managed research measures of the 3rd French National Alzheimer Plan 2008-2012). In Janurary 2015, she joined the INSERM (French National Institue for Health) as a tenured Researcher (chargé de recherche Inserm), and she is currently working in the Bordeaux Population Health research center INSERM U1219 (Bordeaux).

Scientific summary

      Cécilia Samieri's research has mainly focused on the epidemiology of aging, with the aim of understanding how environmental factors, in particular diet, influences the etiology of brain diseases and conditions in aging such as dementia and cognitive decline. She has been working on several large cohorts, including the French Three-City study and Harvard cohorts (Nurses' Health Study and Women's Health Study), and she has developed a multidisciplinary epidemiological expertise across nutrition, neurosciences, applied biostatistics and brain imaging. She has evidenced protective associations between fish and marine omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil, overall healthy diets and exposure to multiple nutrients, and a lower risk of various age-related brain diseases. Since environmental factors have a pleiotropic role in health, a broader perspective of her research has focused on the impact of a healthier diet in midlife (eg., a Mediterranean diet) for healthy aging.

There is increasing evidence that a number of age-related diseases are determined by exposures over the entire life-course. For example, cumulative environmental exposures throughout life may modulate the burden of lesions and resilience capacities of the aging brain, which are the two core neuro-pathophysiological components of Alzheimer’s dementia. Hence, it has become more and more evident that future brain aging research should move on early prevention. In this context, the objectives of Cécilia Samieri’s research are two-fold. First, she aims at identifying in prospective cohort studies the time window and the mechanisms linking environmental risk factors to brain health, by using (i) dynamic methodological approaches to investigate risk factor trajectories, and (ii) innovative markers of exposures (eg, metabolomics), outcomes (eg, brain imaging markers) and mechanisms (eg, neurogenesis) across both young and older populations.  Secondly, she works on the identification of relevant targets (population, intervention) for early prevention. This includes exploration of gene-by-nutrient interactions in cognitive decline and dementia and investigation of potential novel preventive agents/combination through both candidate and untargeted, agnostic approaches applied to various omics data.

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