Xavier Nicol PhD Neuroscience

Course and current status

- 2012 – ... : CNRS researcher, team leader at Institut de la Vision, Hôpital des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, France. cAMP microdomains and structural signaling platforms for the development of retinal projections.

- 2010 – 2011 : Post-doctoral fellow. INSERM Institut du Fer à Moulin, Paris, France (Patricia Gaspar lab). cAMP microdomains and structural signaling platforms for the development of retinal projections.

- 2006 – 2010 : Post-doctoral fellow. University of California, San Diego, USA (Nicholas Spitzer lab). Spatial and temporal second messenger codes for axonal growth cone turning.

- 2003 – 2006 : PhD student. INSERM U616, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France (Patricia Gaspar lab). Function of adenylyl cyclases in the development of retinal maps.

- 2002 – 2003 : Master student. INSERM U106, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France (Patricia Gaspar lab). Expression patterns of transmembrane adenylyl cyclases during mice brain and retina development.

- 2002 : graduation from Ecole Polytechnique.

Scientific summary

I am interested in the development of the nervous sytem, mainly in the steps that guide axons towards their target. Axon pathfinding is driven by axon guidance molecules such as ephrins and netrins, that are regulated by cellular second messenger. I have been describing the influence of one of these second messengers, cyclic AMP, on axon guidance in the visual system and the spinal cord. I focused on several codes explaining how a uquituous second messenger like cAMP can activate specifically multiple signalling pathways. I identified a code based on the specificity of cAMP synthesizing enzymes, the adenylyl cyclases, and a spatio-temporal code in axonal growth cones that is required for axon guidance.

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