• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 4 67 61 24 28
  • Location : Montpellier, France
Last update 2016-09-01 17:05:06.987

Virginie LAFONT PhD immunology, HDR.

Course and current status

2012-present: Research scientist (CR1 INSERM), IRCM, INSERM U1194, Montpellier, France. Role of γδ T cells in the tumoral environment.

2007-2011: Research scientist (CR1 INSERM) CPBS, CNRS UMR 5236, Montpellier. Role of γδ T cells and NKT cells in the anti-infectious response.

2003-2006: Research scientist (CR1 INSERM) INSERM U431, Montpellier, France. Role of γδ T cells in the anti-infectious response.

2001-2003: Research scientist (CR2 INSERM), INSERM U431, Montpellier, France. Biological functions of γδ T cells.

2000-2001: Postdoctoral fellow, INSERM U431, Montpellier, France. Head: Dr J.P. Liautard

1997-1999: Postdoctoral fellow, Lymphocyte Activation Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK. Head: Dr Doreen Cantrell

1992-1996: PhD, INSERM U65, Montpellier, France. Supervisor: Dr J. Favero.

Scientific summary

Research programs developed in our group aim at a better understanding of the relationship between cancer cells and the immune system, with a special interest on the role of inflammatory mediators in the differentiation of anti-tumor effectors, particularly γδ T cells. Nevertheless, the presence of γδ T cells in the tumor microenvironment has also been associated with poor prognosis in breast and colon cancers suggesting that γδ T cells may also display pro-tumor activities. Our preliminary results indicate that IL-21, a cytokine found in the microenvironment of many solid cancers, favors immunosuppressive functions of γδ T cells and thus could impact the anti-tumor response. 
Our research program aims 1 / to better define γδ T cell sub-populations with suppressive and pro-tumor functions, 2 / to describe the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the development of these functions and 3 / to highlight the presence of human pro-tumor γδ T cell sub-populations within the tumor microenvironment from breast and colon cancer patients.

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