Background and Past Research

  • I started my research activity in 1998 as an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr E.T. MacKENZIE in the University of Caen, France, investigating the influence of reperfusion following middle cerebral artery occlusion in the non-human primate using non-invasive imaging techniques (MRI and PET scanns)
  • In 1999, I joined for 6 month the laboratory of Dr O. Martin in the immunology department of the CHUL of the University of Laval, Quebec, Canada. where I worked on the host/cell interaction between Leishmania donovani and macrophages in vitro.
  • From 1999 to 2004 I obtained my Ph.D. studying the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). During that time I tried to get an understanding of the influence of cholinergic neuronal loss on cortical cerebral blood flow, glucose use and neuronal activity in rats. This led me to acquire or strengthen several in vivo and in vitro skills including microsurgery, behaviour assessment, immunohistological techniques, and microscopy (optical, fluorescence and electronic).
  • In June 2004, I joined the laboratory of Pr G.L. Wenk first located at the University of Arizona in Tucson then moved with him to the Ohio State University in late 2005 until late 2008. During that time, I explored the influence of neuroinflammation on AD and normal aging, notably the part played by chronic inflammation in the onset of the disease. 
  • From 2008 to 2010, I held a Faculty position in the Psychology Department at the Ohio State University, where my research interest was to determine pharmacological approaches to delay the onset of AD notably by targeting inflammation and neurogenesis.
  • From 2010-2014, after obtaining a European Union Reintegration grant of 4 years (Marie Curie program), I have joined NICN CNRS UMR 7259 at Aix-Marseille University, France, to study the modulatory role of metalloproteinases and endocannabinoids in the regulation of inflammation on the onset of AD using transgenic mice models.

Current Research/Projects

I have been actively working for the past 15 years on different aspects of normal and pathological ageing (behavioral and biochemical approaches), particularly in Alzheimer's disease (AD, more precisely on the cholinergic hypothesis, neuroinflammation processes and their implication), leading to several innovative publications in the field. My work has drawn attention to the role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of neuroinflammation associated with AD. 

Most recently, I have been particularly interested in:
  • The effect of WIN-55, 212-2, an agonist of the GPCR endocannabinoids type 1 and 2, for its anti-inflammatory properties in a mouse model of AD (5xFAD).
  • The role of the deletion of MT5-MMP in the progression of AD in 5xFAD mice.

Current projects involve the study of the exact role on inflammation in the onset/progression of AD. Indeed, despite evidence in diagnosed patients and post-mortem tissues, neuroinflammation has not been definitely demonstrated as major risk factor in AD.

Because of the highly collaborative environment provided by the Neuroscience Program at CMU, some pilot projects (among others) will aim at identifying the implication of endocannabinoids in stem cell development/migration as well as the role of neuroinflammation in normal brain aging using specific dietary contexts.