Jean-Pierre Mothet PhD in Neurosciences

Course and current status

Course and current status

Jean-Pierre Mothet is a former PhD student of Doctor Ladislav Tauc in Gif-sur-Yvette. He received his MSc in Physiology at the University of Lyon in 1992 and then his PhD in Neuroscience from the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 1996. After his Ph.D, he moved to the USA to carry out postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Solomon H. Snyder at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. There he worked at deciphering the functions and the synthesis pathway of brain D-amino acids with a special focus on D-serine. He discovered serine racemase the enzyme that synthesizes D-serine and that D-serine rather than glycine is the endogenous coagonist of synaptic N-Methyl D-Aspartate subtype of glutamatergic receptors in the hippocampus. In 1999, he took a second postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Jacopo Meldolesi in Milano, Italy, in the Department of Neuroscience at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University where he worked on the molecular mechanisms of regulated and constitutive exocytosis. In 2000, he took his first research appointement at the French National Center for Research (CNRS) in the laboratory of Dr. Maurice Israel then of Gérard Baux at the Institute of Neurobiology Alfred Fessard in Gif-sur-Yvette, and in 2006, he moved to Bordeaux at the Neurocentre Magendie. In 2011, he was appointed as the leader of 'Gliotransmission and Synaptopathies' team at the Centre de Recherches en Neurobiologie et Neurophysiologie de Marseille. In 2012, he was elected President of the French Club of Glial Cells. He is the member of the Editorial board of Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience and of PlosONE.

Positions and Employment

  • 2011-: Group leader of the team 'Gliotransmission and Synaptopathies', CRN2M CNRS UMR 7286, Marseille, Dir. Alain Enjalbert
  • 2006-2011:   CNRS Researcher at Neurocentre Magendie, INSERM U862, Bordeaux, Dir. Pier Vincenzo Piazza
  • 2000-2006: CNRS Researcher, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, CNRS UPR9040, Gif-sur-Yvette, Dir. Gérard Baux
  • 1999-2000: Postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Pr. Jacopo Meldolesi, Department of Neuroscience at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milano, Italy.
  • 1996-1999: Postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Pr. Solomon H Snyder, Department of  Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
  • 1993-1996:   PhD student, Laboratory of Dr. Ladislav Tauc, CNRS UPR9040, Gif-sur-Yvette.

Honors and Awards

  • 2015 :   FRM Team Award
  • 2012:    Co-recipient of France-Berkeley Fund
  • 2012 :   Editor with SH Snyder of the issue of Amino Acids on ‘Brain D-amino acids'
  • 2009 :   ANR Operating grant, program MNP, project PsychoSer
  • 2005 :   ANR Operating grant, program MNP, project ASTREX
  • 1999 :   Postdoctoral fellowship from FP4 EU-TMR program
  • 1996 :   Postdoctoral fellowship from SANOFI
  • 1993 :   Ph.D fellowship from DGA/DRET

 Honorary activities

  • 2013 :         Science Advisory Board member for Bit’s Neurotalk2013
  • 2012-2015 :  President of the French Club of Glial Cells
  • 2012- :        Associate Editor Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
  • 2012- :        Academic Editor PlosONE
  • 2007-2012 : Deputy Secretary of Club des Cellules Gliales
  • 2008-2010 : Membre du Collège Chercheur du CA, INSERM U862, Bordeaux
  • 2007-2010 : Fondateur et membre responsable Plateforme Chimie Analytique, INSERM U862
  • 2004-2006 : Comité fondateur et organisateur des séminaires de l’INAF, Gif-sur-Yvette
  • 2002-2003 : Membre ingénieur de sécurité de l’UPR 9040, Gif-sur-Yvette

Scientific summary

We are exploring the role of the atypical brain messenger D-serine and other D-amino acids in the normal and pathological nervous system using an unique and multiscale analysis. We combine biochemistry, cell biology, analytical chemistry together with cellular electrophysiology and live cell imaging to uncover the molecular and cellular cascade of events driving gliotransmission (ie the way glial cells release neuroinformative molecules) and study its functional relevance in patterning synapses and neuronal network activities in the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and in the enteric nervous system. We aim at advancing frontiers on the functions of brain D-amino acids and glia in the physiopathology of synapses with strong efforts to translate bench work to brain therapy and with the goal of developping novel technologies.

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