Our team has a long-standing interest in professional phagocytes that play a major role in innate and adaptive immune responses. Phagocytosis, the mechanism of capture and degradation of invading microorganisms or debris, is crucial for homeostasis, bacterial clearance and to control the outcome of immune responses. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms of phagocytosis, especially of cell debris or microorganisms.
We dissect the mechanisms used by phagocytes, in particular the coordinated activities of signaling pathways, membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton dynamics, and their related mechanical constraints, in order to mediate uptake of particulate material (project 1). We are also investigating the related cell activation and the fate of the internalized materials, from the mechanisms of their degradation to their release as non-degraded material that can be recognized by the B lymphocytes (project 2).
Additionally, we are deeply interested in understanding how viruses, including HIV-1, Zika virus and respiratory viruses such as the Human Rhinovirus and SARS-Cov2, impair the clearance and activation functions of phagocytes, leading to associated pathologies such as neuronal damage or bacterial superinfections, with a special focus on the role of the type I interferon response (projects 3 and 4).