My main research area of expertise is in how tumor cells communicate with their microenvironment and in melanoma, the most aggressive and serious form of skin cancer.
I obtained my PhD from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, School of Medicine, France for my work on the cross-talk between tyrosine kinase receptors and the molecular dissection of insulin signaling. I became interested in cell cycle control and cancer during my post-doctoral research at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA. Since 2003, I have developped my independent research program and established my own lab this year at INSERM Unit 895, C3M Institute. We are interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing melanoma development with a particular focus on SPARC, a matricellular protein that modulates the dialogue between tumor cells and their stroma. My lab achieved important discoveries such as: (i) the role of SPARC as a matricellular regulator of Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and p53-dependent cell survival; and (ii) the epigenetic silencing of the tyrosine kinase Syk and its contribution in melanoma senescence bypass, Kit signaling and metastasis. Ongoing projects in the lab are pursuing our initial results on SPARC and Syk using different mouse melanoma models and the study of the role of the lymphatic microenvironment in melanoma metastasis and chemoresistance. Our aim is to translate our results on melanoma to the clinic.