Karine Loulier PhD Neurosciences

Course and current status

09/2018 – present     Institut for Neurosciences Montpellier – INSERM U1051 – Montpellier, FRANCE 

                                 Atip-Avenir Group leader – Team “Corticogenesis” : “Neural cell diversity in brain development and pathologies” advanced molecular biology, mouse genetic engineering and surgery, 2D and 3D microscopy, histology


07/2009 – 08/2018  Vision Institute – INSERM UMR S_968 - PI: Dr. Jean LIVET - Paris, FRANCE 

         “Novel genetic engineering approaches for neural stem cell interactions and lineage analysis” advanced molecular biology, mouse genetic engineering, confocal microscopy

02/2006 – 06/2009  Center for Neuroscience Research at the Children’s Research Institute - Children National Medical Center – PI: Dr. Tarik Haydar - Washington D.C., USA 

         “Cellular and molecular biology of neural stem cells in the developing mouse cortex” organotypic slice culture and electroporation, mouse, adult and in utero electroporation, multiphoton time-lapse imaging, confocal and two-photon microscopy

09/2001 – 01/2006  Institut de Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard - CNRS UPR 9040 -  Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire

 PhD Supervisors: Dr Elisabeth TRAIFFORT / Dr Martial RUAT - Gif-sur-Yvette, France 

“Hedgehog signalling and neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain” In vivo stereotaxic injections of growth factors and adenoviral vectors in adult mouse brain

07/2000 - 07/2001        IBDML - INSERM U382 - Dir. C.E. HENDERSON – Marseille, France   Development and Pathology of Spinal Motoneurons

“Reelin and the neuronal migration in the mouse embryonic spinal cord” Under the supervision of Dr Patrick Carroll - Mouse embryo dissection, spinal cord whole-mount in situ hybridisation, molecular biology.

Scientific summary

My research has been focused on the biology of neural stem cells (NSCs) and their signaling pathways essential for both the development of the CNS and its adult maturation and function. Throughout my career, I have developed and applied cutting-edge techniques (such as stereotactic injections of growth factors and adenoviral vectors, in utero electroporation, and multiphoton time lapse imaging) to explore NSCs properties and understand the complex and highly regulated balance between physiological and pathological neurodevelopmental processes. My research experience have started with an undergraduate training (Master 2) in the laboratory of Dr. C.E. Henderson (IBDM, Marseille), under the supervision of Dr. P. Carroll, I have studied the cellular and molecular aspects of Reelin-dependent neuronal migration in the developing hindbrain and adult forebrain. Afterwards, I enrolled in a PhD program at University Paris XI Sud and joined Dr. M. Ruat's team (INAF, Gif-sur-Yvette) to characterize the expression pattern of several actors of the Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway in the developing brain using molecular and biochemical techniques and to investigate its role in the adult forebrain. Our work led to unravel two functions of Shh in the proliferation of oligodendroglial precursors in various brain regions and in the migration of neuroblasts towards the olfactory bulb. During my postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. T.F. Haydar (Center for Neuroscience, Washington D.C), I have contributed to uncover a novel requirement of integrin/laminin binding for the physical organization of the stem cell niche lining the lateral ventricle of the developing cerebral cortex. Using cutting-edge techniques such as in utero electroporation and multiphoton time lapse imaging, we have demonstrated how this interaction controls NSC division and morphology and further show how a disruption of this binding leads to cortical malformation. Since then, I have joined Pr. Sahel’s Institut de la Vision (Paris) to work in Dr. Jean Livet's group and have the opportunity during this second postdoctoral experience to acquire the expertise on molecular genetics and transgenic tools essential to develop a one-step further level of identification and tracking of multiple NSCs simultaneously. Recruited in 2012 as tenured Research Fellow (Chargé de Recherche) at INSERM, my projects in Jean Livet’s team has consisted in investigating the dynamic properties, interactions and lineage of individual NSCs in their native environment during forebrain cytoarchitecture establishment using novel multicolor genetic tools and transgenic mice. My efforts using state-of-the-art techniques have increased our knowledge of NSCs potentialities and of signaling pathways involved in their regulation during brain development and maturation. Furthermore, I have actively contributed to generate multicolor mice and strategies critical to investigate the clonal architecture of neural cells that can be transposable to numerous biological contexts. Laureate of Atip/Avenir program, I joined the Institut for Neurosciences located in Montpellier where I have established my team. Focusing on mouse cortical progenitors and their progeny encompassing neurons and glia, my research aims now at deciphering cellular and molecular mechanisms accountable for neural diversity generation and adequate subsequent neuron-glial partnerships in normal resting brain and disabling pathologies. 


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