Hélène did her PhD in Alain Trautmann’s team in Paris where she studied T cell migration in human lung tumors through live imaging. She then decided to join the Merad lab in 2012 and learn about myeloid cell biology to develop immunotherapeutic strategies modulating this cell compartment in solid tumors to enhance clinical response to existing therapies. She showed that the paucity of activated CD103+ dendritic cells (DCs) in tumors limits checkpoint blockade efficacy. Expansion and activation of CD103+ DC progenitors at the tumor site promote T cell activation and entry into the tumor mass, improving tumor response to PD-L1 inhibition (Immunity 2016). Taking advantage of her expertise in cell dynamics and the tumor microenvironment, Hélène is now starting a research team focused on the understanding of stroma contribution to tumor immunity.
Fundings: Cancer Research Institute, Genentech