Armand BENSUSSAN
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : 01 53 72 20 81
  • Location : Paris, France
Last update 2011-04-04 12:56:06.809

Armand BENSUSSAN PhD Research Director

Course and current status

Education

1981: Ph.D. Thesis. Diploma of Studies and of Research in Human Biology, University Paris Diderot - Paris 7, France

1981: Advanced course of Immunology, Pasteur Institute, University Paris Diderot - Paris 7, France

1987: Thesis-Doctorate of State in Human Biology, University Paris Diderot - Paris 7, France                                                 

Doctoral and Post-Doctoral training

1979/1981:  Doctoral training at the Department of Human Immunogenetics (Pr. Jean DAUSSET),Saint-Louis Hospital (Paris, France)

1982/1984: Post-doctoral training as research associate at the Department of Tumor Immunology (Pr. Stuart C. SCHLOSSMAN), Harvard Medical School (Boston U.S.A)       

Academic Appointment

1985/1989: Researcher at INSERM. Team leader at INSERM U93, St Louis Hospital, Paris, France

1990/1994: Director of Research second class at INSERM. Team leader at INSERM U93, St Louis Hospital, Paris, France

1995: Director of Research first class at INSERM. Team leader at INSERM U93, St Louis Hospital, Paris, France

1996/1999: Director of the INSERM Unit 448, Henri Mondor Hospital, Créteil, France

2000/2004: Team leader at INSERM Unit 448, Henri Mondor Hospital, Créteil, France

2005/2006: Director of the INSERM Unit 659, Henri Mondor Hospital, Créteil, France

2007/2008: Director of Immunology, Dermatology and Oncology Department at

INSERM Research Center 841, Henri Mondor Hospital, Créteil, France

Since 2009: Director of the Skin Research Center, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, France

Since 2009: Director of the INSERM Unit 976, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, France

Since 2010: Consultant at Saint Louis Hospital for translational research

2011: Director of Research exceptional class at INSERM

Awards

1986: French Academy of Sciences award

1989: Clinical investigation award, Foundation for the Medical research

1995: Bernard Halpern award

1998: Cancerology  award from "Conseil Général du Val de Marne"

2003: French Academy of Sciences award

2009: National award of projects leaders for the creation and/or the development of highly innovative technology companies

Member of International Committee

Since 2006: Member of Human Cell Differentiation Molecules Council (CD nomenclature)

Since 2009: Member of European Monoclonal Antibodies Network

Professional Societies 

Since 1984: Member of the American Association of Immunology

Since 1985: Member of the French Society of Immunology

2007/2009: President of the French Society of Immunology

Since 2010: Honorary member of the Argentinian Society of Immunology 

Scientific summary

RESEARCH FOCUS

We are interested in two research themes, which are the oncodermatology and the chronic skin inflammation. We combine molecular, functional and genetic approaches to identify new targets for the diagnostic and the therapy of pathologies associated with the skin such as melanomas, cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs) and psoriasis. Thus as an example, we have shown atypical expression of KIR3DL2 at the cell membrane of CTCLs. For the past few years our work contributed to demonstrate that this functional receptor was involved in the pathophysiology of the tumor and constituted a reliable therapeutic target using a specific monoclonal antibody developed with the biotechnology company Innate Pharma. Similarly, the studies of the molecular signaling recruited in melanoma cell proliferation allowed us to propose an original therapeutic approach that we are testing now in animal models. Concerning the psoriasis we are exploring in the involved skin biopsies the functional role of T lymphocyte subsets including T regulatory cells with high amount of the cell membrane ectoenzyme CD39 and T lymphocytes expressing high amount of CD245 and CD160. Beside theses T cell subsets, we are interested in the role of the mast cells that expressed CD160.   

MAIN CONTRIBUTIONS

We have identified CD158k/KIR3DL2 as a new phenotypic marker for circulating Sézary cells in patients with Sézary syndrome (SS).  We have shown that CD3+ CD158k+ phenotyping is a reliable and objective marker to monitor the blood tumor burden in patients with SS both in routine practice and as a response marker in therapeutic response. Moreover, we studied the role of mutants of the c-Kit receptor in the transformation of melanocytes to show that melanocytes require a specific epigenetic environment to be transformed by c-Kit mutants highlighting a distinct molecular mechanism of melanocyte transformation. Our data showed that c-Kit mutants were bona fide oncogenes in melanocytes and good therapeutic targets. Finally, we identified and described initially on NK lymphocytes and subsequently on activated T and endothelial cells, CD160, a receptor specific for MHC class Ia/Ib molecules. For the endothelial cells, we developed a unique anti-CD160 monoclonal antibody that is capable in vivo to react with tumor vasculature and to induce its normalization. Thus, we propose CD160 as a target for a novel antiangiogenic and vascular normalization therapy. Further, although CD160 is not expressed on normal resting or activated B lymphocytes we reported its expression on B-CLL. We now studied the possibility to use CD160 as a potential therapeutic target for B lymphocyte malignancies.  


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