Patricia Lemarchand obtained her MD and PhD degrees and became qualified specialist in pulmonology in 1988. She was then postdoctoral fellow at the NIH (Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI) where she developed gene therapy for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Back from the USA, convinced that translational research will be the main route for developing biomedical research, she joined Nantes in 2002 to create together with Denis Escande and Herve Le Marec l'institut du thorax, a large academic structure (800 members) that gathers physicians and scientists towards the common objective of developing biomedical knowledge.
The Structure Fédérative de Recherche François Bonamy*, a high-level biomedical research organization directed by P. Lemarchand, provides a multidisciplinary environment by bringing together 17 research units in life sciences in Nantes, affiliated to CHU as well as to major research institutions in France (INSERM, INRA, CNRS). Six major areas – among which cardiovascular and respiratory disease - are developed through this collaboration. The Institute is also organized in 20 platforms, which enable access to a wide range of technologies and foster collaborations through transversal projects.
Patricia Lemarchand has long been recognized and awarded for its work on respiratory and cardiovascular gene and cell therapy. She pioneered cardiovascular (Lemarchand et al, PNAS 1992, IF=10.5; 176 citations; Circulation Research 1993; IF=10; 254 citations) and respiratory (Danel et al, Human gene Therapy 1998, IF=4; 72 citations) gene therapy. She developed several approaches using adenovirus vectors (Foretz et al, Mol Cell Biol 1999; IF=5,8; 330 citations, Tralhao et al, FASEB 2003; IF=6.3; 65 citations).
Her research is currently based on translational research, from human stem-cell biology (MESSAGE study, NCT00836732) to cell therapy clinical trials (BONAMI clinical trial, NCT00200707, Roncalli et al, Eur Heart J 2011; IF=14.1; 43 citations), including rodent and large animal models of respiratory gene and cell therapy (Ferrnandes et al, Cardiovasc Res 2006; IF=6.1; 62 citations).
Stimulated by the development of iPS cell technologies, she has recently decided to develop projects including these cells, considering their strong potential to develop new strategies in cell therapy and be relevant models for cardiovascular diseases. She is the coordinator of the new iPSC core facility of Nantes, that prepares iPSC for academic and private research in the field. The iPSC core facility mainly focuses on human iPS from healthy individuals and patients with complex genetic diseases, and using these iPS to establish physiopathology models, and on rodent iPS dedicated to regenerative medicine and pre-clinical trials. In parallel, Patricia Lemarchand recruited in 2012 Dr Nathalie Gaborit as a young researcher, who has expertise in heart development and in cardiomyocyte differentiation from human iPSC.