I am a cellular and molecular immunologist with over 15 years of experience in academic settings (USA and France). I have extensive knowledge of T cell biology in rodent models and in Human. As a Team leader, I conduct Research projects independently, supervise all the team members that are placed directly under my responsibility and initiate scientific collaborations.
01/2016-now Co-Team Leader, Research Director (DR2) INSERM, Host Laboratory: INSERM U1043, CHU PURPAN, Toulouse, France.
04/2009-12/2015 Group Leader, CR1 INSERM, recipient of an AVENIR Team ‘In Vivo Characterization of Follicular Helper T cells’. Host Laboratory: INSERM U1043, CHU PURPAN, Toulouse, France.
05/2005-03/2009 Post-doctoral Fellow Research Associate at The Scripps Research Institute, Immunology Department, McHeyzer-Williams Laboratory, La Jolla, California, USA.
10/2000-12/2004 PhD Student Pasteur Institute, Immunology Department, INSERM U277, Kourilsky Laboratory, Paris, France.
Protein vaccination is an effective public health initiative with demonstrable utility in the prevention of infectious diseases and a safe alternative to the use of attenuated microorganisms. Protein administration without inflammation induces immune tolerance. In contrast, co-administration of immune adjuvant activates facets of innate immunity, induces inflammation and primes antigen-specific adaptive immunity. An effective immune response to protein vaccination relies on the Follicular T Helper (Tfh) cell regulated development of high-affinity B cell memory and its consolidation after the vaccine boost. The cognate control of B cell immunity requires a spectrum of specialized effector Tfh cell functions, the subsequent development of memory and the regulated re-activation of memory B cells. The mechanisms that control antigen-presentation, Tfh cell developmental changes and their impact on B cell immunity are our primary focus. We recently identified memory Tfh cells and obtained compelling evidence for the retention of local reservoirs of those cells in the lymph nodes that drain the site of initial vaccination which correlates with local expression of pMHCII. Our second focus is to further examine the basis of this new level of memory Tfh cell organization and dissect the role of pMHCII expression for persistence. Overall, our projects will permit to unravel physiological mechanims in order to define the best means to manipulate immune responses with potentially high impact in vaccine design.