I am an evolutionary and molecular biologist with a particular interest on studying host/symbiont interactions, from the phenotypic level to the genomic aspects of the relationship.
I have completed my PhD degree in France (Université de Poitiers, December 2012) focusing my research on the immediate and evolutionary consequences of symbiont horizontal transfers on host life-history traits, using the Wolbachia-woodlouse model. I have investigated patterns of virulence to the invertebrate hosts following injection of different strains of the intracellular bacteria Wolbachia from related host species, as well as the impact of transmission mode (vertical vs. horizontal) on the evolution of Wolbachia‘s virulence.
Since March 2013, I am part of Dr. Tim Anderson’s Lab at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute as a Postdoctoral scientist first then as Staff Scientist, and I am involved in several projects related to the schistosome biology, from the phenotypic level to the genetic/genomic side of the parasitic interaction, as well as from the lab work to the data analysis:
- The genetic basis of virulence/transmission in the human blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni: using classical genetic crosses approach followed by Next-generation exome sequencing and quantitative genetic, we have identified several regions of the S. mansoni genome involved in this particular trait.
- The genetic basis of praziquantel (PZQ) resistance (the only drug available on the market to treat schistosomiasis) in S. mansoni: using a lab population, polymorphic for PZQ resistance, a genetic association approach followed by bulk segregant analysis, we have pinpointed a QTL involved in PZQ resistance and we are working on functional validation of genes identified.
- A large field population genomic study of S. mansoni and S. haematobium using larval samples directly collected from patients feces/urine in Africa (in collaboration with the SCAN) and South America, to understand the populations structure of field parasites and go on the tracks of the South American colonisation of S. mansoni using exome-wide markers.
- The exome sequencing of several genetic crosses of S. mansoni to refine a genome: using our genetic crosses (F0 to F2), genetic map and linkage analysis we helped to improve and correct the assembly of the S. mansoni reference genome (in collaboration with the Sanger institute).
- The development of many new methods and protocols to improve the molecular toolkits available for Schistosome parasites.
Download my PhD thesis (French version only):
- Horizontal transfers of Wolbachia in terrestrial isopods: Immediate and evolutionary consequences for both hosts and symbionts.