Our lab is investigating mechanisms of regulation of immune responses and tissue homeostasis by the stromal microenvironment, with a particular focus on inflammatory/fibrotic diseases and cancer.
The stromal microenvironment is emerging as a novel and essential player in a number of human diseases characterized by overactivation or suppression of the immune system, including chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Our research on the stromal microenvironment aims at increasing our understanding of the underlying biological processes, an essential step toward the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches.
Stromal cells are non-hematopoietic cells that support the structure and function of all our organs. In lymphoid organs, specialized subsets of stromal cells play a pivotal role in immune responses by producing chemokines and growth factors, which organize lymphocytes migration and survival, as well as interaction with other immune subsets. Stromal cells therefore are essential for the homeostasis of the immune system. Additionally, stromal cells play key roles in several biological processes including vascular remodeling, tissue repair/regeneration and inflammation. Our lab is investigating the crosstalk of specific subsets of stromal cells with immune cells, endothelial cells and tissue stem cells, and exploring how perturbation of this fundamental stromal crosstalk impact on disease pathogenesis. We, and others, have notably shown that specific stromal progenitors wrapped around vessels have an essential role in the scarring/fibrotic process, a major component of chronic diseases (Dulauroy, Nature medicine 2012). We have also shown that a subset of intestinal stromal cells form a specialized microenvironment around intestinal crypts, providing signals to maintain intestinal stem cells and playing a role in the developement of colitis (Stzepourginski, PNAS 2017). Using several experimental approaches, such as cutting-edge lineage tracing and genetic depletion models, transcriptomics (single cell/bulk RNAseq) and high resolution cell imaging, we are investigating the development and function of stromal cells in inflammation and repair and their impact on disease pathogenesis. Our research is currently focusing on the role of the stromal microenvironment on:
- Regulation of intestinal homeostasis and immune responses
- New mechanisms involved in tissue regeneration/repair and fibrosis
- Role of the stromal microenvironment in tumor immunity and immunotherapies
We are always looking for talented postdocs, PhD students or Master students with a strong interest in stroma-immune crosstalk. If you are interested in joining our team, please send your CV and cover letter to Lucie Peduto (email@example.com)