2009-current, INSERM research Associated, Leader of the INSERM team Psychobiology of Compulsive Disorders
2006-2008: Post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology of the University of Cambridge, under the mentoring of Pr Barry J. Everitt
2002-2005: PhD in Neuroscience with Véronique Deroche-Gamonet, University of Bordeaux 2.
Drug addiction is a prominent psychiatric disorder of modern societies that affects 10 to 30% of the individuals exposed to licit or illicit psychoactive substances. It is a prominent social and economical burden which costs to society are estimated to be $41 billions in France. Such a massive social cost very likely reflects the lack of effective treatment of drug addiction. Extensive fundamental and clinical research have provided important insights into the behavioural, cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of addictive drugs, within corticostriatal networks and especially the potential implication of dopaminergic and serotoninergic systems, involved in reward-related learning and behavioural control process, respectively. However, not much is known about the psychobiological mechanisms and factors involved in the vulnerability to switch from casual to compulsive drug use, the hallmark of drug addiction. Indeed, drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by loss of control over drug intake and compulsive drug seeking and taking, i.e. maintained despite negative consequences. Thus although little is known about the aetiology of drug addiction, it is well established that drug addiction results from the interaction between a vulnerable phenotype, the environment and the drug. Our research aims at identifying the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms as well as the environmental conditions involved in the vulnerability to develop cocaine and heroin addiction in a preclinical model of the pathology. For this we implement a vertical experimental strategy that combines experimental psychology, extracellular electrophysiology recordings, intracranial manipulations in freely moving rats and molecular biology techniques.