Nicolas Glaichenhaus
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : 0493957785
  • Location : Valbonne, France
Last update 2012-05-16 14:42:00.493

Nicolas Glaichenhaus PhD in Immunology

Course and current status

Nicolas Glaichenhaus, PhD, 50 year-old, French

Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IPMC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis (UNS), 660 Route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, France,

Education: I was awarded a Master in Microbiology and Virology from the Université Paris 7 in 1983, and a PhD in Microbiology from the Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis in 1988.

Professional Competencies: Being a molecular biologist by training, I have progressively switched to Immunology during my postdoc at the University of California, and later on, when I started my own lab in 1991. For the past 20 years, my work has been mainly focusing on T cells in both physiological and pathological situations.

Teaching interests: Since I was appointed as Professor in 1991, I have been teaching Immunology and Microbiology to undergraduate and graduate students, typically 60 and 70 hours a year. Whatever I teach, I always try to focus more on “how the discoveries have been made” than “what the very last discoveries are”. I strongly believe this is not only the best way to teach, but also the best method to attract young students to Science.

Research Experience: I was appointed Chargé de Recherche at the CNRS from 1986 to 1991. From 1988 to 1991, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley in Nilabh Shastri’s laboratory and I worked in close collaboration with Dan Littman at the University of California at San Francisco. Since 2001, I have been a Principal Investigator at the IPMC in Sophia Antipolis.

Professional Experience

  • Academic Appointments: I was appointed Professor at the Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis in 1991 (2nd level). I was promoted to the 1st level in 1996 and to the “exceptional level” in 2010.
  • Professional Summary: I have served as a Principal Investigator since 1991. During that period, the size of my team has varied from 4 in 1991 to 9 today with a peak at 16 in 2005. A total of 5 tenured researchers, 13 postdoctoral fellows, 12 PhD students and 6 technicians have been trained in my lab.
  • Administrative Experience: I have been a team leader at the IPMC since 1991. While the IPMC is affiliated to both the CNRS and the Université of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, my team is also affiliated to the INSERM since 2003 (I am therefore appointed as a Research Unit Director by INSERM).

Academic Service

  • University involvement: I have been the head of the Biology Ph.D. Program (Doctoral School) from 2000 to 2005. I was elected Chairman of the University Scientific Council (Dean of research) for a 30 months appointment from 2005 to 2007.

Professional Development

  • International boards: I was a member of the EMBO long-term fellowship committee from 2004 to 2007, member of the Medical Science Review Committee (MSRC) of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) from 2004 to 2006.
  • National boards: I have served as a Member of INSERM Immunology study section from 1999 to 2002, Chairman of the Research National Agency (ANR) Program on Microbiology, Immunology and Emerging Diseases from 2005 to 2007, and Chairman of the Division of Health Sciences at the Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education (AERES) from 2007 to 2011.

Conference Participation

  • Conference Presentations: I usually attend 1 to 2 international conferences a year, sometimes as an invited speaker. Conferences to which I was invited as a speaker include a Gordon Conference (1 invitation), Keystone Symposia (2 invitations). I have also served as a session chairman in several conferences including Keystone Symposia, The 2nd European Congress of Immunology Berlin in 2009 and the World Immunology Regulation Meeting in Davos in 2008.
  • Conference Leadership: I have organized two conferences both in 2000: the Japanese-US-French Immunology Meeting in Nice (25 participants), and the New EMBO member workshop in Sophia Antipolis (300 participants).
  • Invited lectures: I am usually invited to give 5-6 lectures every year among which 2-3 abroad. For example in 2011, I was invited to give lectures at the Institute for Medical Immunology in Brussels, the Medical Research Council at Mill Hill in London and the Istituto Clinico Humanitas in Milano.


  • Total number of papers recorded in ISI on March 6, 2012: 71 including 2 in Cell, 2 in Science, 1 in Nature, 2 in Nat Med, 5 in Immunity, 8 in J Exp Med, 1 in PlosPathogens, 12 in J. Immunol., 3 in Mucosal Immunol, 2 in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 3 in EMBO J, 4 in Infec Immun.
  • Total number of citations on March 5, 2012: 1,333 (31,74 citations per paper)
  • H index on March 5, 2012: 30
  • First author publications: 10 including 2 in Cell, 1 in JI, 1 in The EMBO Journal, 8 in Eur. J. Immunol.
  • Last author publications: Science (1995, 1996), Eur J Immunol (1997, 1998, 2002, 2004), Infect Immun (1999, 2001), J Immunol (2000), J Immunol Methods (2002), Immunity (1997, 2000, 2002a, 2002b), J Exp Med (2002, 2006)
  • Publications signed by a member of my team as last author: J Exp Med (2003, 2008), Immunity (2006), Cell Microbiol (2007), J Immunol (2005, 2006), Eur J Immunol (2011), Nature Medicine (2008, 2010), J Leukoc Biol (2010), Mucosal Immunology (2010, 2011a, 2011b), Plos Pathog (2011)
  • Invited reviews: Eur J Immunol (2004), Immunological reviews (2008, 2011)

Research Grants

Since I started by scientific career, I have obtained several grants from national as well as international funding agencies including one grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, two grants from the European Union (as a network participant), several grants from the Cancer Research Association (ARC), the National League Against Cancer (LNCC), the Medical Research Foundation (FRM), the Overcome Cystic Fibrosis Association and the National Research Agency (ANR, 3 grants obtained as a PI, and 1 as a participant). My team has also received annual endowments from the University, the CNRS and INSERM. In addition, members in my lab have been supported by fellowships from the French Ministry of Research (12 fellowships in 20 years), the EMBO, the Human Frontier Science Organization and the FRM (3 fellowships).


  • Scholarships and fellowships: I have been a Fellow of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) from October 1980 to September 1985. I was awarded postdoctoral Fellowships from EMBO from 1988 to 1989, a complementary fellowship from NATO from 1988 to 1989 and a postdoctoral fellowship from the NIH from 1989 to 1991.
  • Distinctions: I was elected EMBO member in 1998. I was appointed member of the French University Institute (IUF), first at the Junior level from 1995 to 2000, then at the Senior level from 2005 to 2009 with a renewal for 5 years starting in 2010.
  • Professional recognition: I was a member of the Editorial Boards of Eur. J. Immunol. from 2000 to 2005, and a regular contributor of the Current Opinion in Immunology Paper Alerts from 1995 to 2000. For the past 20 years, I have been an Adhoc Reviewer for Immunity, J. Exp. Med., Nature Immunological Reviews, Infect. Immun., Journal of Autoimmunity, Microbes and Infection, Intern. Immunol., Diabetes, Gene Therapy, J. Immunol., Eur. J. Immunol., The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Autoimmunity.
  • Prizes: I have been awarded prizes from the French Academy of Sciences in 1996 (Breant Prize) and in 2008 (The Major Discoveries of the Year in Biology), from the Medical Research Foundation (FRM) in 1997, and from the Bernard Halpern Association in 1998.

Funding ID

  • Current research grants:
    • ANR research grant (2011-2014): “Investigating the interactions between airway epithelials cells and Aspergillus fumigatus and their contribution to the development of the immune response” (PI: Glaichenhaus, Participants: Latgé, Chignard)
    • Medical Research Foundation (2012-2013): “Identify genes involved in the maintenance of FoxP3 expression in regulatory T cells using a genome-wide screening approach (PI: Glaichenhaus)
    • Cancer Research Association (2012-2013): “Investigating the role of G protein-coupled Receptors in the homeostasis of regulatory T cells” (PI: Glaichenhaus)

Scientific summary

One of our goals during the past 10 years has been to investigate the mechanisms involved in the priming, differentiation and effector function of pathogen-specific T cells in mice infected with Leishmania major and Listeria monocytogenes. In the L. major model, we identified a specific dendritic cell (DC) subset that present parasite peptides in vivo. We generated a monoclonal antibody that reacted to a parasite peptide bound to MHC molecules and we successfully used this antibody to monitor the distribution of these molecules in the cellular compartments of infected cells. We found that L. major induces the early activation of Natural Killer (NK) cells in draining lymph nodes and we successfully used intravital microscopy to monitor for the first time the behavior of these cells in vivo. In the L. monocytogenes model, we found that memory CD8-positive T cells mediated antibacterial immunity via a previously unknown mechanism that is dependent on CCL3 activation of a specific subset of phagocytes. Our second goal was to investigate the mechanisms involved in the development of asthma and to explore new strategies to protect susceptible individuals. One of our important discoveries in this field was the demonstration that the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 is required for airway inflammation by promoting T helper cell survival and maintenance in inflamed lung. On another topic, we discovered that mice that are breastfed by allergen-exposed mothers are protected from asthma and that this phenomenon relies on the transfer of the allergen or allergen-IgG complexes from the mother to the newborn through milk. Lastly, we have attempt to identify the factors that contribute to the spatial segregation and to the observed patterns of lymphocyte movement in secondary lymphoid organs. In close collaboration with D. Ronald Germain at NIH, we found that the fibroblastic reticular cell (FRC) network regulates naïve T cells access to the paracortex and also supports, guides, and restrains T cell movement within this domain, whereas a distinct follicular DC network similarly controls the movement of follicular B cells. 

Image d’exemple