2000-05: Postdoctoral position in Professor Stephen B. Dunnett’s laboratory in Cardiff. Development of new therapeutics for Parkinson's Disease.
2000: Philosophical doctorate in Neurosciences (PhD) “Approach of CNTF’s biological roles in the central nervous system” (under the direction of Dr M. Peschanski, INSERM U421).
Since 2005: Lecturer in Biology in Evry University.
The retina contains photoreceptors that convert light signals into electric signals, further transmitted to the brain by different neurons. Any defect involved in these processes of phototransduction and transmission in the retina lead to visual impairment. Retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are the predominant causes of human blindness worldwide and are very difficult to treat. While clinical trials based on gene therapy are imminent for few genetically characterized sub-groups of patients, the overall genetic heterogeneity implies that diverse therapeutic approaches need to be developed. The accessibility of the retina, together with imaging technologies makes it a prime candidate for developing cellular therapies for central nervous disorders. In the context of cell therapy, the pluripotent status of human ES cells suggests that these cells could be used as an unlimited source of partially or fully differentiated retinal cells for tissue transplantation and cellular therapy.
The objectives of our group are to develop pre-clinical studies required for the development of human pluripotent stem cells cellular therapy for the treatment of a number of retinal diseases.
Furthermore, the generation of iPS cells from an individual RP patient would enable the large-scale production of the cell types affected by the patient’s disease. Although traditional cell replacement remains a central goal in applied stem cell research, the derivation of patient-specific iPs cells might be equally useful for disease-related research. Indeed, these cells could in turn be used for disease modelling and drug discovery.