• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 4 37 91 52 98
  • Location : Lyon, France
Last update 2011-04-11 17:02:03.186

Marie-Françoise Suaud-Chagny Senior Neuroscientist, PhD

Course and current status

Marie-Françoise Suaud-Chagny,  54 years old

Education: PhD Analytical chemistry (1984), Research Director Ability (2006); Specialized diploma: Schizophrenia (2007)

Present Position:  Directeur de Recherche Inserm (2007); Past positions: Ingénieur de recherche Inserm (1993); Chargée de recherche Inserm (1998)

Research functions: senior scientist - EAM 4166 Vinatier Hospital-University Lyon1 «Vulnerability to schizophrenia» Bat. 520 - CH le Vinatier - 95 bd Pinel - 69677 BRON Cedex-France

Grants: Investigator in a Cooperative Programme supported by NATO grant, partners IFNL-Lyon, France/Newcastle, RU/Moscow, Russia (2003); From “Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale” (1991); From big pharma: Dolisos (1985); Servier (1987-1989); Specia (1988); Sanofi-Aventis (from 1998 to 2005)

Pub: 46 international articles with referees.

Expert for Big Pharma: Neuropsychiatric departement of Sanofi-synthelabo keywords:neuroscience-psychiatry-animal models-neurotransmission          

Expert for international and national grant applications (NSERG/CRSNG-Canada, FRSQ-Canada; FAST-Australia; DGRS-Tunisie; Alsace BioValley)  keywords: neuroscience-psychiatry-animal models-dopamine-rTMS

Reviewing for Analytical Chemistry, Journal Neurochemistry, Journal of Neuroscience Research, Hippocampus, Experimental Neurology  keywords: neuroscience-psychiatry-animal models-dopamine-behaviour-neurotransmission

Academic functions: In charge of courses (2nd and 3rd cycle–Medical School-Lyon1-University (France) Supervisor of student training (School of Pharmacy, master and PhD in Neurosciences)

Administrative functions: member of the direction committee of the Federative Institute of Neurosciences-Lyon (2000-2010); appointed member of the National Committee of the University (psychiatric subsection) (2004-2007), vice-chairman of the neurological section (2004-2007), Designated member of a visiting scientific committee for CNRS evaluation (2004).

Others: supervisor of Neurobiotec Services, a specific agency with molecular and cellular biology facilities, depending on the Federative Institute of Neurosciences-Lyon (2000–2005)

Scientific summary

The originality of my work is to develop translational approaches in psychiatric research by conducting parallel studies in humans and animal models from the same hypotheses to specify the poor known underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia, to develop effective treatments and propose biological markers.

A part of my past research strategy layed on the dopaminergic (DA) concept, drawn from my previous results and underlining the importance to consider, beyond the changes in basal DA activity, the changes in DA reactivity. Such concept has contributed to the revision of the DA hypothesis of schizophrenia.


1-I am developing translational animal models for studying schizophrenia and for the genetic at-risk state of schizophrenia. This include the STOP null mice generated by disrupting a gene involved in various interactions with cytoskeletal and leading to connectivity disorders supposed to occur in SCH and  The rat with excitotoxic neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions (NVHL rats) considered as a heuristic neurodevelopmental model for studying SCH.

Animal approaches have been useful in testing standard antipsychotic drugs and developing new ones often in collaboration with the Big Pharma.

 2-In Humans, my research is devoted in highlighting biological and neuropsychological markers of schizophrenia vulnerability as well as in providing a proof of concept of new therapeutic approaches adapted to psychiatric symptoms refractory to drug treatments that include peripherical brain stimulations (rTMS, tDCS). Studies incorporate magnetic resonance spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, and fMRI approaches,

At the pathophysiological level, peripherical brain stimulations are used to decipher the brain alterations associated with symptoms refractory to drug treatments.

At the therapeutic levels, clinical efficacy of rTMS, tDCS, biological mechanisms underlying clinical effect and predictors of treatment outcome are studied.


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