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Fanny Lafouresse - Postdoctoral Researcher

Fanny Lafouresse is a postdoctoral researcher. She is part of Dr. Girard’s research team. Specialized in immunology and cancer research, she has been working for the labex TOUCAN for a year.

What is your research about?

I study the communication between the cancerous cells and the immune cells, known as “white blood cells“. I currently work on the chronic lymphoid leukemia which is characterized, in its worst phase, by a concentration of cancerous cells (The B lymphocytes) in the ganglions.

My main aim is to understand how to stop cells before they reach the ganglions.

   
Are there any treatments for this type of cancer?

Yes and no. In the first phase, when the cells touched are still in the blood, chemotherapy is efficient. However, when these cells concentrate in the ganglions, current treatments are useless.
   
Which paths are you going to explore ?

My main aim is to understand how to stop cells before they reach the ganglions. To do so, I experiment “in vivo” on cells from sick people. The methodology used consists in observing a mouse’s blood flow. I inject these cells into the mouse. I then observe and note, thanks to a microscope and a movie camera, the flow of these cells so I can understand the entry mechanisms in the ganglions. The experiment lasts at least an hour but I re-watch the film dozens of times so I can analyze results and draw some conclusions.
   
What do you like most in your work as a researcher ?

I chose this position as I wanted more than anything else to avoid routine in my work. In my field of research, you always test new hypotheses, tasks are various between two experiments, the analysis and the writing of scientific papers are also rewarding. It’s, as well, a real asset to work for a Labex. Each researcher is involved in a team which is in constant relation with the others. This avoids solitude and you seem to work as part of a team. In addition, I think this type of structure will be able to provide a better visibility to each researcher’s work.
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