Director of Research INSERM-UJF U823, Institut Albert Bonniot, Grenoble, France
Head of the Team 5 “CANCER TARGETS AND EXPERIMENTAL THERAPEUTICS”, see www-iab.ujf-grenoble.fr
Head of the OPTIMAL platform for Small animals optical imaging a core facility of our Institute.
Head of the OPTIC CLINIC platform for clinical optical imaging.
Ph.D. degree in Biology, C. Bernard University of Lyon, 1992
Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches Université J. Fourier, Grenoble, 1999
I earned my Ph.D. degree in “Differentiation, Genetic and Immunology” at the University of Lyon. My research interest was focused on the study of the external-pH regulation of several genes in Escherichia coli.
I then moved to the Burnham Institute in La Jolla (San-Diego, USA), to study the role of vinculin, an adhesion protein. I knocked-out this gene and demonstrated the role of vinculin in cell adhesion and cancer progression.
I came back to France in 1994 to continue working on cancer in the Centre de lutte contre le cancer Léon Bérard in Lyon. During 4 years, I started a gene therapy program, using non-viral delivery systems like cationic lipids and polymers (PEI).
Since 1999, I moved to Grenoble where I developed a new team at INSERM U823. I still continue my gene therapy project, but enlarged it to the targeted delivery of all kind of large-molecules including peptides, siRNA and nanoparticles. More recently, we started also to use clinical grade human mesenchymal stem cells.
My goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms developed by lung cancer cells to resist conventional treatments and apotosis, in order to deliver adapted toxic molecules, genes or cells to cure these tumours and their metastasis. For this purpose I generated several new synthetic delivery systems linked to near-infrared fluorescent optical contrast agents thus combining non-invasive tracking, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches (theranostic). I am also deeply involved in the generation of new instruments for using optics in preclinical, veterinarian or clinical applications, and especially optical-guided surgery. Several of our molecules and instruments are now commercialized (see www.fluoptics.com)
To complete this research, I installed "Optimal" a “small animal imaging facility” in our Institute and "Optic Clinic" a technical plateau within the University Hospital of Grenoble dedicated to the translation of optics in clinical trials. My main objective is to translate the use of nano-vectors and optical systems from the lab to the bed side, for diagnostic, surgery and targeted treatment of cancer.