Neuron derived from the mouse hippocampus, which is the major brain region affected by aging
Franck Oury and his research group are investigating how hormonal systems influence brain development and cognitive functions. Hormones are crucial for the maintenance of whole-body homeostasis by mediating crosstalk between organs. However, many of them can also reach the central nervous system where they help shape the developing brain, affect cognition, and contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
The major axes of his current research are: i) To study whether additional hormonal signaling pathway(s) are involved in the regulation of brain development and cognitive functions ; ii) To determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms elicited by hormones in neuronal cells; iii) To characterize the deleterious effect of hormonal imbalances during aging on the cognitive decline and development of neurodegenerative diseases.Indeed, the work proposed here may open a new area of investigation in endocrinology and neurobiology, and lead to novel therapeutic avenues for metabolic and cognitive disorders.
The hormones are essential to ensure proper regulation of our physiological functions by mediating dialogue between organs. However, the roles of many of them, are not limited to peripheral organs but some of them are known to converge to the central nervous system where they influence brain development, modulate cognitive functions and strongly influence the central regulation of whole-body metabolism. Moreover, changes in their circulating levels with aging may have deleterious effects on neuronal plasticity and contribute to the age-related cognitive decline. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that the hormonal homeostasis of our body is essential for the regulation of the CNS, including its more sophisticated functions. While the impact of these hormones on the brain is undeniable, it is now essential to understand how hormonal homeostasis impacts brain functions in normal and pathological conditions, but also during brain aging.
Our main research goals are:
(i) To identify novel hormonal signaling pathway(s) that contribute in the brain to the central regulation of metabolic and cognitive functions
(ii) To determine the molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating the influence of the hormones in neurons
(iii) To test the causality between hormonal imbalances and hippocampal-dependent memory decline during normal brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
To that end, we are currently using an interdisciplinary approach that combines mouse genetics, behavioral and metabolic analyses, primary neuronal cultures, cellular and molecular methodologies, and collaborative translational studies.
We believe that these research goals proposed here will address several important and novel questions regarding the link between hormonal homeostasis and cognitive functions in young and elderly mice. Hence, this project proposes to lay down the bases for a novel paradigm in the study of cognitive functions and endocrinology. Indeed, even though this proposal relies on the use of mice, it is translational in essence, opening a new potential therapeutic area to treat metabolic and cognitive disorders, but also to extend mental health-span during brain aging.
• 2014: Group leader position, Institut Necker Enfants-Malades (INEM), Université Paris V, Paris, France
• 2011-2013: Associate Research Scientists, Columbia University – Medical Center, New York, USA, Dept: Genetics and Development, Laboratory: Gérard KARSENTY
• 2007-2010: Postdoc, Columbia University – Medical Center, New York, USA, Dept: Genetics and Development, Laboratory: Gérard KARSENTY
• 2002-2006: PhD, Institut de Génétique et Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire (IGBMC) - Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France, Dept: Development, Laboratory : Prof. Filippo RIJLI
• Human frontiers Science Program - Career Developmental Award (CDA), 2015
• Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale - Amorcage Jeunes équipes Program, 2013
• Rupert Timpl Award - International Society for Matrix Biology, 2014
• Blavatnik Young Investigator Award (The New York Academy of Sciences), 2011
• ASBMR Young Investigator award, 2011
• EMBO long-term fellowship awards, 2008
• Bettencourt-Schueller Fondation Young investigator award, 2007
• Philippe Fondation Young investigator award (prize September, 2007
Oct 2013, Human Frontier Science Program article
Jun 2013, J Clin Invest
Mar 2011, Cell
Oct 2010, Genes Dev