Olivier Meilhac
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +262 6 93 40 65 45
  • Location : Saint-Denis de La Réunion, France
Last update 2020-07-23 07:11:41.528

Olivier Meilhac PhD Medical Biochemistry

Course and current status

Dr Olivier Meilhac (DOB march 18th 1973) gained his master degree in 1994 from Paul Sabatier and Autonoma Universities (Toulouse, France and Madrid, Spain). He holds a PhD degree in Medical Biochemistry from Toulouse University. Currently, Dr Meilhac is the head of the INSERM unit 1188-Université de La Réunion, France (French National Institute of Health). He has published over 150 papers on cardiovascular diseases. Since 2001, Dr Meilhac’s research has focused on atherothrombosis and stroke (biomarkers and therapies using high-density lipoproteins) and more recently, on the interactions between infectious agents and cardiometabolic diseases, in particular diabetes.

Scientific summary

Cardiovascular disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world, and atherothrombotic remodelling of the vascular wall is one of the main determinants of morbi-mortality, related to coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease or ischemic stroke. The search of biomarkers in atherosclerosis is of major importance in order to predict the onset of clinical complications, to evaluate the efficacy of treatments and to understand its pathophysiology, in order to define new therapeutic targets.

Reunion Island is a French overseas region particularly affected by diabetes and associated vascular complications. 

To specifically target potential biomarkers of diabetes and complications such as atherothrombosis, we analyze the proteins released by normal and pathological arterial walls from patients affected by atherosclerosis in diabetic or non diabetic patients. We hypothesized that the patterns of protein secretion could be different between these pathological conditions. Our quest of innovative biomarkers is performed using proteomic, lipidomic, and metabolomic tools such as mass spectrometry and NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance). 

We have also developed a strategy focusing on high density lipoproteins (HDL) that diffuse directly from atherosclerotic lesions and isolated from plasma, that may be appropriate to discover new peptides/proteins associated with these lipoproteins and also to identify molecular effectors of anti-atherogenic properties of HDL. Reconstituted HDL particles are successfully used as therapeutic tools in different pathologies including stroke, emphysema, sepsis, abdominal aortic aneurysm.

More recently, our lab research interest has focused on better understanding the causes of chronic inflammation underlying cardiometabolic diseases. In particular, we are interested in the interactions between exposure to infectious agents of bacterial (periodontal or sepsis) or viral origin (Dengue, SARS-Cov2) and vascular components. 

Our aims are thus:

- to unravel proteins/peptides associated or not with HDL that could be used as biomarkers for cardiovascular pathologies and give insights in the pathophysiology of diabetes or atherothrombosis.

- to use HDL as a vector of protective molecules including antioxidants found in the vegetal biodiversity of Reunion Island.

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