I obtained a PhD in Virology at the University Louis Pasteur Strasbourg in 2001 (Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology, IGBMC), under a CIFRE-French Ministry of industrial Training and Research Agreement, focusing on the cellular biology of adenoviruses and the development of targeted and armed oncolytic vectors. After a project leader position in Transgene SA (2001-2004), I was recruited as researcher with a permanent position at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in 2005.
Currently, I am co-Principal investigator of the VirPath Team at the International Center for Infectiology Research (CIRI, U1111 INSERM - UMR 5308 CNRS - ENS Lyon - UCBL1). I manage a research group that presently consists of 15 scientists. I am also the co-funder and Director of the industrial joint laboratory BIOVIRSAFE and the technology research platform VIRNEXT. As principal investigator or partner, I am involved in several industrial consortiums, medical translational programs (including two clinical trials) and several national and international grants funded by European Union’s research and innovative funding programme, the French National Research Agency, the French Single Inter-Ministry Fund, the French Ministry of Health, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Claude Bernard University (Lyon, France) and the FINOVI Foundation. I am presently a member of the Specialized Scientific Commission in Microbiology, Immunology, Infection of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and a member of the European Society of Virology.
My main interests are the study of influenza and other human respiratory pathogenic viruses and their functional and molecular interactions with host cell signalling and metabolic pathways. I am author of 44 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-inventor of 15 families of patents.
Emerging influenza viruses offer considerable threat to the overall global health of people and their economies, as evidenced by serial emergence of antigenically unique and highly pathogenic influenza strains over the past two decades. Importantly, respiratory viruses have considerable potential to spread rapidly across the globe, dictating an urgent need for new and rapid response strategies for effective containment and control.
My group leads an integrative approach on a broad range of influenza virus facets from surveillance to control. We work on different aspects of influenza virus biology, from the deciphering of the mechanisms leading to virus emergence and pathogenesis, to the analysis of viral interplays with cells and host factors during virus infection. We focus on (i) the understanding the role of the packaging signals harbored by viral gene segments during genetic reassortments, (ii) and the virus-induced modifications of specific cellular signaling pathways.
From a more translational point of view, we are also interested in the discovery of innovative antiviral strategies targeting the host and optimization of vaccine quality as new means to control influenza infections. To that end, in addition to the long-standing basic skills to study influenza viruses, my group has implemented new technical skills including Reverse Genetics, transcriptomic analysis of clinical specimens and a fully functional vaccine-antigen production and characterization platform. In addition, our laboratory has strong connections with the National Influenza Reference Centre and the clinical research activities hosted by the Hospices Civils de Lyon. Importantly, we found a Technology Research Platform (VirNext) in order to enhance translational research and stimulate partnerships and transfer of technology towards the industry. Such connections resulted into a substantial portfolio of patents and the implementation of clinical trials.