University of Rennes, France
He is the Director of Research CNRS, Director of the Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes, UMR 6290 CNRS/Univ Rennes1, France and also the Director MRic: Microscopy–Rennes Imaging Center, Head of the Cell Cycle team. He is currently studying the mechanisms that regulate different aspects of mitosis. He is particularly interested in the main mitotic structures, which are the centrosomes, the mitotic spindle and the chromosomes.
Aurora-A kinase is involved in many events controlling cell division specifically during mitotic progression. The protein is overexpressed in various cancers, and its gene amplified in some of them. As many protein kinases, Aurora-A must be phosphorylated in its activation loop on T288 to be active, and an antibody detecting phospho-T288 is now available and often used to estimate Aurora-A activity in cells. He will demonstrate that this phosphorylation event cannot be used as readout to measure Aurora-A activity in vivo. His laboratory has set up a new approach to specifically inhibit Aurora-A activity in cells. He will demonstrate how this approach can be used to estimate the specificity of Aurora-A inhibitors developed by pharmaceutical companies to be used in chemotherapy.