Nabila Jabrane-Ferrat
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : 562748369
  • Location : Toulouse, France
Last update 2016-12-21 14:27:44.282

Nabila Jabrane-Ferrat PhD, HDR in Molecular and Cellular Immunology

Course and current status

  • More than 30 years of experience in molecular and cellular immunology both in academic and industry setting. 
  • We use immunology, virology, molecular biology and genetics to tackle human pregnancy, cancer and regenerative medicine. New paradigms have been forthcoming from these different studies. Our ultimate goals are to use this accumulated knowledge to understand the contribution of the local microenvironment and how viral pathogens take advantage of the hyporesponsiveness during pregnancy.

Scientific summary

Over the last five years, my group investigates 1) The cellular events underlying Natural killer cell responsiveness and 2) How maternal immune system limits pathogens transmission to the fetus. In both areas, we study NK cell effector functions in the periphery and at the maternal-fetal interface as well as their impact in the pathogenesis of viral infections.

  • We are particularly intrigued by the unique features of decidual NK cells at the maternal-fetal interface both in the context of healthy pregnancies [Nat Commun. 2015-PMID: 2666668, Immunology. 2014-PMID: 24256296; PMCID: PMC3956423] as well as pregnancy complications due to viruses or other pathogens [PLoS Pathog. 2013-PMID: 23592985; PMCID: PMC3617138].
  • Congenital infections constitute an important public health problem. Our pioneer studies on human cytomegalovirus indicate that NK cells play an active role in limiting viral spread across the placental barrier and preventing congenital infection. Using an organ culture model for virus spread, we showed that decidual NK cells engage preferential lytic immunological synapse with infected cells at the maternal-fetal interface. We are currently, investigating whether this defense mechanisms is deployed for the defense against ZIKA and hepatitis E viruses than can cause congenital infections [Sci Rep. 2016- doi: 10.1038/srep35296].
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