Sophie Halliez Associate Professor of Biology, University of Lille

Course and current status

2016 – present time: Associate Professor (Cell Biology, Genetics, Cellular Neurobiology), University of Lille, France; Researcher in the “Alzheimer & tauopathies” team headed by Luc Buée, LilNCog - Lille Neuroscience & Cognition, France

2015 – 2016: Assistant Professor (non-permanent position: ATER), University of Paris 7, France; Postdoctoral fellow under Valérie Serre’s supervision in the “Mitochondria, Metals and Oxidative Stress” team headed by Jean-Michel Camadro, Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, France

2009 – 2014: Postdoctoral fellow under Vincent Béringue’s supervision in the “Protein macro-assembly and Prion diseases” team, Molecular Virology and Immunology, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas, France

2009       Ph.D. in Genetics, University of Paris 7, France

2005 – 2009: PhD student. PhD director: Piotr Topilko, Patrick Charnay’s laboratory, Inserm U784, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

2005       Magistère Degree in Genetics, University of Paris 7, France

Scientific summary

Sophie Halliez is associate professor at the University of Lille (France) since 2016. She works in the Lille Neuroscience & Cognition research centre in the Inserm laboratory “Alzheimer & tauopathies”.

After a PhD in Genetics and Developmental biology (Genetic ablation of the Schwann cell population in the mouse) obtained in 2009, she turned to the study of neurodegenerative disorders and more specifically proteinopathies. At the INRA institute (2009 - 2014), she focused on the prion diseases via transgenic mice susceptible to a wide range of prion strains. She investigated the role of the myelinating Schwann cells in the spreading of prion from the periphery to the central nervous system. She developed new models to titrate prion agents, to study the cell tropism of distinct prion strains but also to evaluate therapeutic approaches. She also explored the role of the cellular prion protein in the normal development of the mouse embryo and highlighted its presence at the primary cilium basis during neurogenesis. Then, she made a brief encounter with the drosophila model in order to understand the mechanisms underlying the development of the Friedreich ataxia in the brain. During this time, she was also assistant professor at the University of Paris 7 (2015 - 2016).

In parallels of her teaching activities, she now studies the cell-to-cell transfer of tau and the cell vulnerability phenomenon underlying the spreading of tau pathology through the brain during Alzheimer’s disease and other taupathies. To do so, she develops and characterizes models of ex vivo neural networks and new technological tools.

She is also member of the Inserm Commission Scientifique Spécialisée (CSS) 4 – Neurosciences since 2022.

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