PhD Thesis Prize SBCF 2018: Candice Kutchukian
Each year, the SBCF awards a yearly PhD thesis prize of 1500 €, to reward outstanding work contributing to a significant advance in the field of cell biology.
This year, the SBCF PhD thesis prize was awarded to Candice Kutchukian for her work on for her work on calcium signaling and excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle: modulation by certain phosphoinositides and associated alterations in two centronuclear myopathies, which she published in Proc. journals Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. in 2016 (doi: 10.1073 / pnas.1604099113) and The Journal of Physiology in 2017 (doi: 10.1113 / JP274990). Candice Kutchukian did her thesis in the laboratory “Excitability and calcium signaling in normal and pathological muscle” under the direction of Dr. Vincent Jacquemond at the NeuroMyoGene Institute in Lyon.
SBCF wishes her all the best for the continuation of her career.
Abstract of Candice Kutchukian’s PhD thesis
Muscle excitation-contraction (EC) coupling is the process whereby plasma membrane electrical activity generates a transient cytosolic Ca2+ elevation that triggers contraction. Based on a combination of electrophysiology and confocal imaging on muscle fibers from control mice and from 2 mouse models of centronuclear myopathy (CNM), my PhD has provided insights into how phosphoinositides regulate EC coupling and into how Ca2+ homeostasis defects play a role in CNMs. Of specific therapeutic interest, my results proved that a pharmacological treatment targeting phosphoinositide metabolism alleviates the most severe form of CNM.