• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 5 62 74 45 22
  • Location : Toulouse, France
Last update 2019-12-12 18:47:31.2

Audrey FERRAND PhD In Pharmacology and Cell Biology. Research programs on Interrelationship between epithelial cells and their environment in colorectal diseases

Course and current status

  • 2000-04:  PhD Student, INSERM U531, Toulouse, France
  • 2000-04: Lecturer in Cell Biology and Pharmacology, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • 2002: Visiting Scientist, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Medicine department, Worcester, USA
  • 2003: Visiting Scientist, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Medicine department, Worcester, USA
  • 2005-06: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • 2006-09: Medical Scientist, University of Melbourne, Department of Surgery, Melbourne, Australia
  • Since 2009 : INSERM permanent researcher-Principal Investigator (CR1), INSERM, Toulouse, France​
  • Since 2018: Group Leader at the IRSD (INSERM u1220), Toulouse, France

Scientific summary

 Colorectal epithelial cells constantly interact with their microenvironment, particularly with the fibroblasts which represent the major cell population within the stroma. Under physiological condition or during inflammatory bowel diseases or cancer, these interactions between the epithelium and the stroma regulate the phenotypes and behaviour of the cells in these tissues. For example, fibroblasts surrounding colorectal crypt actively participate to the colorectal stem cell niche by regulating their proliferation, differentiation but also the migration process involved in the renewal of the colorectal epithelium. Under tumoral or inflammatory conditions, these interactions are altered which contributes to the disease development, including the metastasis process in cancer.
           By combining morphological, functional, pharmacological and microfluidic approaches to 3D cell primocultures of colorectal organoids and fibroblasts, coupled to orthotopic grafting on murine models, we study the interactions between normal or cancer stem cells and fibroblasts in the various stages of colorectal tumorigenesis.

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