From 2004, Associate professor and from 2009 full professor of physiology, Rouen University, France. Member of digestive system and nutrition laboratory (Dir. Prof. Pierre Déchelotte).
2000-2004 Guest-scientist. Laboratory of Chemical Neurotransmission (Dir. Prof. Tomas Hökfelt) Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
1997-2000 Guest-scientist, Neuroscience Program, Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition Laboratory, (Dir. Prof. Michael M. Meguid) Department of Surgery, University Hospital of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.
1996-1997 Guest-scientist, Groupe de Neurobiologie des Régulations, CNRS UPR 9054, (Dir. Prof. Stelianos Nicolaïdis), Collège de France, Paris, France.
1993- 1994 Visiting researcher, Département de Cytologie, Institut des Neurosciences, CNRS URA 1488, (Dir. Prof. André Calas), Université P.&M. Curie, Paris, France.
1990-1995 Junior researcher and doctoral student, Laboratory of Hormonal Regulations,
(Dir. Prof. Michael Ugrumov), Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
Abstract from ANR 2011 grant application
There are about 20 million known cases of eating disorders (ED) in USA and Europe and may extend to as many as 200 million of undiagnosed individuals. The uncertain diagnosis of ED shows that modern medicine can no longer rely on a purely symptomatic diagnostic approach. Yet, so far, no biological markers exist for these pathological conditions which also lack specific molecular-targeted therapy.
We have obtained initial evidence that affinity changes of autoantibodies (autoAbs) reactive with α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) may be responsible for the core symptoms characterizing ED. A patent claiming that affinity changes of α-MSH autoAbs may be used as diagnostic tests of ED was recently obtained. Thus, this research proposal is aimed to validate the diagnostic test of ED, i.e. it will show if a blood biomarker may discriminate anorexia nervosa and bulimia as specific nosological forms. Utility of such tests was confirmed in a strategic positioning study by ALCIMED. Three specific aims will be pursued: 1) validation of the test sensitivity; 2) technological validation of the ELISA-based test; and 3) mechanistical validation of the test. For these aims, we will analyze blood samples from clinically characterized ED patients and appropriate controls provided by the Endocrinology Department of the University Hospital of St Etienne. Serum samples will be sent to the ADEN EA 4311 laboratory of the Rouen University which will perform test validation. We expect that validation of the test will justify and accelerate its commercial use in conjunction with the spin-off company in formation. Having a clinically usable specific test of ED will be the first major step into biological understanding of these pathological conditions and the ultimate development of specific therapeutic approaches.