• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 2 47 42 72 94
  • Location : Nouzilly, France
Last update 2016-10-26 11:46:49.004

Julie LE MERRER PhD Behavioral Neurosciences

Course and current status

2014-: Research Associate at CNRS (CR1), team leader: “Deficits of Reward, GPCR and Sociability” at PRC, Nouzilly.

2006-2014: Post-doctorate researcher at IGBMC, Strasbourg, team “Opioid systems and brain function”; advisor: Pr. B.L. Kieffer,

2003-2006: Post-doctorate researcher in the Department of Experimental Psychology of the University of Sussex, United Kingdom; advisor: Pr. D.N. Stephens,

1997-2002: Ph.D. student in Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Bordeaux 1; obtained February 21 2002; supervisor: Dr. P. Cazala,

1999-2000: State Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Bordeaux 2, obtained December 15 2000; supervisor: Dr. C. Mironneau.

Scientific summary

The current research project of the team aims at better understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of social deficit disorders, among which autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We previously identified mice lacking the gene coding for mu opioid receptor (Oprm1-/-), known for their deficient reward processes, as a unique animal model of ASDs. The first aim of our project is to challenge the hypothesis that social deficit disorders result from blunted reward processes. In a second aim, we are testing the impact of striatofugal imbalance on social behavior and other autistic-like symptoms, based on the hypothesis that ASD may result from such imbalance. Finally, we are assessing the therapeutic potential of several candidate GPCR targets to treat social deficit disorders. Chronic administration of innovative compounds obtained from chemical or biomedical (nanobodies) engineering are currently studied in the team and tested in mouse models of autism.

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