Bérangère Pinan-Lucarré PhD, HDR, studying the cell biology of synapses with the nematode C. elegans

Course and current status

Positions and Employment

from 2016. Chargee de recherche INSERM, team 'Genetics and Neurobiology of C. elegans' (PI: J.-L. Bessereau), MeLis, Lyon

2010-2015. Post-doctoral fellow, team 'Genetics and Neurobiology of C. elegans', ENS Paris

2006-2010. Post-doctoral fellow,the Driscoll lab, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.


2015. Prix Académie des Sciences / AXA. "Les grandes avancées de la sciences présentées par leurs auteurs"


Course on C. elegans neurodevelopment (M1 Neurosciences, Lyon)

Course on synapse specificity in C. elegans and beyond (M2 Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences)


2020. HDR, Universite Lyon1

2005. PhD, Universite de Bordeaux

Scientific summary

Research topic: Molecular mechanisms of synapse organization

Synapses are specialized sites of cell communication that connect neurons in vast networks. Very specific sets of molecules, including adhesion and scaffolding molecules, control their formation and their properties. The projects I have developed aim at identifying new molecular mechanisms that control the formation and function of synapses. To achieve this, I use genetics and cell biology approaches in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. More specifically, I conduct genetic screens to isolate mutant worms with defective synapses. This approach is very powerful to discover new synaptic genes, that also play critical role in the human brain.

Selected peer-reviewed publications

1.         Cramer, T., Pinan-Lucarre, B., Cavaccini, A, Damilou,  A., Tsai, Y.-C., Bhat, M., Panzanelli, P., Rama, N., Mehlen, P., Benke, D., Karayannis, T., Bessereau, J.-L., Tyagarajan, S. (2023) Adamtsl3 mediates DCC signaling to selectively promote GABAergic synapse function. Cell Reports 42(8):112947.

2.         Zhou, X., Gueydan, M., Ji, T., Valfort, A., Pinan-Lucarre, B.* and Bessereau, J.-L.* (2020). UNC-40/DCC sets the synaptic content of GABAA receptors by the assembly of a postsynaptic scaffold. Nature Communications 11, 1-18.

3.         Tu, H.*, Pinan-Lucarre, B.*, Ji, T., Jospin, M., and Bessereau, J.L. (2015). C. elegans Punctin Clusters GABA(A) Receptors via Neuroligin Binding and UNC-40/DCC Recruitment. Neuron 86, 1407-1419.

4.         Kratsios, P., Pinan-Lucarre, B., Kerk, S.Y., Weinreb, A., Bessereau, J.L., and Hobert, O. (2015). Transcriptional coordination of synaptogenesis and neurotransmitter signaling. Curr Biol 25, 1282-1295.

5.         Pinan-Lucarre, B.*, Tu, H.*, Pierron, M., Cruceyra, P.I., Zhan, H., Stigloher, C., Richmond, J.E., and Bessereau, J.L. (2014). C. elegans Punctin specifies cholinergic versus GABAergic identity of postsynaptic domains. Nature 511, 466-470.

* Co-authorship

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