Group Leader, CNRS Researcher (CR)
Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience (CNRS UMR 5297 – Université de Bordeaux), Bordeaux, France
In most Mammals, olfaction is a central sensory modality as it supports an array of crucial behaviors such as feeding, reproduction, maternal behavior and social interactions. Although specific odors can trigger innate responses, most odor stimuli acquire behavioral significance upon learning and experience. The goal of Lisa Roux and her team is to identify the network mechanisms underlying the formation of olfactory memory traces across distributed brain regions. More generally, it aims at understanding how sensory information is routed and processed in the brain to integrate lasting memories.
General research framework
Odors are powerful cues for eliciting memories. The smell of a perfume can bring us back to a familiar place or remind us of a cherished person. Explanations for these subjective observations may partially be found in the way our brain is wired: the olfactory system presents direct anatomical connections with key brain regions involved in memory function. Yet, the link between olfactory and memory networks has rarely been explored as compared to other sensory modalities. Lisa Roux’s research program aims at identifying the neural substrates of olfactory memory formation across distributed brain networks.
Towards this goal, her team uses a combination of advanced methods that allow monitoring and manipulating in real-time neuronal ensembles in freely moving rodents towards a deep mechanistic understanding of brain functions. These methods include chronic multi-site high-density electrophysiological recordings (“silicon probes”), 3D behavioral tracking, respiration monitoring and closed-loop optogenetic manipulations in behaving rodents.
Neural bases of olfactory identity
In rodents like in most Mammals, social chemosignals (olfactory cues produced by individuals’ body) represent efficient communication cues carrying important information such as territory ownership, location of resources and identity. Despite the importance of social chemosignals in rodents’ behaviors, we have little knowledge about how these signals are processed and stored in the brain for future recall.
Lisa Roux and her team aim at identifying the brain-wide mechanisms underlying the contribution of social chemosignals to spatial and social memory in mice – namely memory for an individual and memory for its territory. It focuses on the interactions between the main olfactory system and the hippocampus, a brain region central to these two fundamental memory functions. Overall, their work should provide insights on the network mechanisms of memory function and contribute to our understanding of social behaviors.
• 2018 Appointed Research Associate (CNRS CR, permanent position) and Group Leader, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Institute, Bordeaux, France
• 2012-2017, New York University School of Medicine, Institute for Neuroscience, New York, U.S.A., Buzsáki Laboratory
• 2007-2011 PhD, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Collège de France, Paris, France, supervisor: Christian Giaume
• 2019 ERC Starting Grant (2019)
• 2018 Paoletti Prize awarded by INSB, CNRS
• 2017 Laureate of the ATIP-Avenir programme
• 2017 Recipient of an IdEx Chair of Excellence from the University of Bordeaux
• 2017 Laureate of a Neurocampus Chair from the Conseil Régional Nouvelle-Aquitaine
• 2015 Laureate of a K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award
• 2013 Bettencourt-Schueller Foundation Young Researchers Award
Jun 2017, Nat Neurosci.
Nov 2015 , J Neurosci
Aug 2015, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Nov 2011, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A