My research project is focused at deciphering the impact of TCR-ligand affinity on the functionality of tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells and its optimization to improve immune responses against cancer.
My PhD project was conducted in the lab of Pr Feron at the Université Catholique Louvain, Belgium.
I am interested in understanding the T-cell based immune responses against cancer cells or following immunotherapies, using different approaches including single cell sequencing, T cell engineering, affinity measurement and multi-functionality.
Before joining the laboratory of Dr Nathalie Rufer, I obtained my PhD in 2014 from the University Lyon 1, France working on the impact of the adipose micro-environment on the resistance of cancer cells to therapeutic antibodies.
Our work focuses on understanding the impact of TCR affinity on T cell responsiveness through molecular and structural dissection of TCR-pMHC interactions. We aim at maximizing the function of effector CD8+ T cells by redirecting them with highly potent, tumor-specific TCRs selected and engineered for high reactivity, but low self-reactivity. Careful analysis and selection of those therapeutic TCRs is crucial and will help improve the efficacy of adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy.
I am a passionate researcher and experienced mentor, specialized in T cell-based cancer immunotherapy. I studied biology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where I obtained a Master’s in Developmental Biology (control of Hox genes) in 2001. In 2008, I obtained a PhD in Genetics at McGill University, working on the developmental control of the cell cycle in C. elegans. In 2009, I joined the laboratory of Dr Nathalie Rufer as a postdoctoral fellow, then becoming research associate. Since 2018, I am also a qualified part-time teacher working to spark genuine interest in the next generation of biology students and researchers.
Immunotherapies can induce long-term persisting responses in a fraction of cancer patients. I am particularly interested in deepening our understanding in how cancer cells interact with and reshape immune cells to further improve these therapies.
After a Master’s in Molecular Chemistry at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille, France and a master’s in life sciences at EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne I undertook a PhD in the laboratory of Pr Radtke at EPFL. During my thesis, I studied the role of Notch1 in the initiation and development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia using a mouse model.
Ludwig adjunct scientist
Laboratory N. Rufer
Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne
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