Stéphane Hunot PhD Principal Investigator

Course and current status

2013-pres: CNRS Principal Investigator (2nd class Research Director), Brain & Spine Institute Research Center (Pr. Alexis Brice) - Inserm/UPMC UMRS_1127 - CNRS UMR_7225, ICM, Salpêtrière hospital, Paris, France. Neuro-immune interactions in Parkinson disease.

2009-2012: CNRS Principal Investigator (1st class Researcher), Brain & Spine Institute Research Center (Dr. Bernard Zalc) - Inserm/UPMC UMRS_975 - CNRS UMR_7225, ICM, Salpêtrière hospital, Paris, France. Neuro-immune interactions in Parkinson disease.

2002-2008: CNRS Principal Investigator (2nd class Researcher), Inserm U679 (Dr. Etienne Hirsch), Salpêtrière hospital, Paris, France. Cell- and non-cell-autonomous mechansims of neuronal cell death in Parkinson disease.

1999-2001: Postdoctoral fellow, Yale School of Medicine, Section of Immunobiology (Pr. Richard Flavell), Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. Molecular pathways of cell death and apoptosis.

1994-1998: PhD student, Inserm U289 (Prof. Yves Agid), Salpêtrière hospital, Paris, France. Glial cells and inflammatory processes in Parkinson disease.

Scientific summary

The main research interest of our lab is to study the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders and to develop therapeutic strategies. Research projects are based on a strong basic research that aims at the understanding of the causes of the diseases and their molecular and cellular mechanisms and on a clinically oriented research aimed at understanding the neuronal basis of behavioral disorders and their treatment. Current topics point to autonomous mechanisms of neuronal cell death implicated in Parkinson’s disease with a special interest for the role of mitochondrial dysfunction. Yet, since the neurodegenerative process in Parkinson's disease is progressive (even though the etiological factor may be no more present, e.g. in the case of environmental intoxication), our group has also developed a research program to explore the mechanisms that could account for the perpetuation of neuronal cell death in this disorder. In particular, our group got interested in clarifying the role of activated glial cells and inflammatory processes in these mechanisms (non-cell autonomous mechanisms). Taking advantage on a collaborative network initiated with several laboratories of immunology, I have instigated a new disciplinary program looking at the interplay between the immune and nervous system in Parkinson's disease. We are leader in the field of neuroinflammation in Parkinson's disease and have published more than 10 papers on the topic.

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