- 1975-77 : Laboratory of Neurochemistry directed by Prof. Schwartz in Paris (FRANCE).Work on histaminergic and noradrenergic receptors in the central nervous system.
- 1977-83 : Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology directed by Prof. Paoletti in Toulouse (FRANCE). Work on the plurality of endogenous opioid ligands and the multiplicity of opiate receptors.
- 1984 : Laboratory of Molecular Biology directed by Prof.Jeanteur in Montpellier (FRANCE). I learned the techniques of molecular biology and during this stage, I participated in the study of the structure and the expression of dehydrogenases, GAPD-H and LDH.
- 1985-87 : Laboratory of Cell Biology directed by Dr. G. Blobel (Nobel Prize 1999) in New-York (USA). I showed that bovine opsin contains multiple topogenic sequences localized in the transmembrane segments and I identified the presence of a GTP binding protein in the endoplasmic reticulum.
- 1988-92 : Laboratory of Pharmacology and Endocrinology directed by Prof. Jard in Montpellier (FRANCE). I developed a reconstitution assay which allowed to locate several functional domains in the a subunit of Gs, the GTP binding protein involved in the activation of adenylylcyclase.
- 1993-1996 : Laboratory of Developmental Biology (ATIPE team) in Toulouse (FRANCE). I started a program on the expression of GTP binding proteins in the early stages of embryonic development and their participation in the determination and the differentiation of the different cell lineages. I identified a new orphan receptor expressed in the embryonic vessels and heart during Xenopus embryogenesis (apelin receptor).
- 1997-2006 : Laboratory of Hormones, Growth factors and Vascular Physiopathology in Toulouse (FRANCE). I characterized the endothelial and vascular function of apelin signalling : expression of apelin and its receptor during the formation and plasticity of retinal vessels, coupling to Gi protein, regulation of four intracellular effectors (adenylylcyclase, ERKs, Akt and p70S6kinase), mitogenic activity of apelin on endothelial cells, potent angiogenic activity of apelin in tumour neovascularisation, upregulation of apelin gene in one third of human tumors.
- 2007-2010 : Institute of Molecular Medecine of Rangueil in Toulouse (FRANCE). I worked on apelin signalling and pancreatic adenocarcinomas.
- 2011-2014 : Research Center in Oncology of Toulouse.
My present work is to establish the link between apelin signalling and the development of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We already demonstrated that the expression of apelin gene is highly and frequently upregulated in pancreatic adenocarcinomas. The next question is when this upregulation occurs during the sequential evolution of the disease, from the preneoplastic state to the metastatic transformation. Another question is what drives the gene upregulation and if it can result from the activation of oncogenes or the inactivation of tumor supressors.
In parallel, we have identified an antagonist of apelin receptors which should represent a new drug for treating this type of cancer.