Our team joined the unit in July 2010. Our project is focused on Myasthenia Gravis (MG) disease. This neuromuscular disease mediated generally by antibodies to anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is still incapacitating. Despite important efforts to understand this disease, the pathogenic mechanisms involved in their initiation are not elucidated and there is still a need to improve their diagnosis and treatment. Our specific objectives are to discover the triggering factors at the origin of MG disease by focusing on the role of pathogens and sexual hormones, to address the mechanisms of physiopathology and to understand why this disease is chronic by analyzing the molecular and cellular defects both in the thymus (effector organ) and the muscle (target organ), and to bring the proof of concept of new cell therapies based on the modulation of the immunoregulatory function. This project is performed in close collaboration with several European research centers and with the center of Reference on neuromuscular disorders of the institute of Myology (Pr B. Eymard).
Our team has been largely involved in the coordination of European projects on Myasthenia Gravis: FP5 (Mechanisms of MG), FP6 (Myastaid, www.myastaid.org), a DG –SANCO grant that aims to improve the communication between the scientists, clinicians and patients ( www.euromyasthenia.org ) and we are currently coordinating the FP7 FIGHT-MG project ( www.fight-mg.eu) including twelve European teams.
• Sonia Berrih-Aknin, DR2 INSERM, Team leader
• Rozen Le Panse-Ruskoné, CR1 CNRS
• Frederique Truffault, Research Assistant
• Jacky Bismuth, Research Assistant
• Nadine Dragin-Mamavi, researcher
• Angeline Gradolatto, researcher
• Dani Nazzal, researcher
• Mélinée Cuvelier, Project Manager
• Julia Weiss, PhD student
• Perrine Cufi, Research Assistant
• Margot Schmolinsky, Administrative Assistant