Short CV/Education and training

  • 1972
    Ecole Normale Supérieure (option Physical Sciences)

  • 1981
    PhD thesis (University Paris 7)

  • 1974 – 1981
    PhD student at Institut Jacques Monod (Paris) (director of thesis: Klaus Scherrer)

  • 1981 – 1987
    Research assistant, Institut Jacques Monod (Paris) (Head of group: Jean-Claude Weill)

  • 1987 – 1991
    member of the Basel Institute for Immunology (Basel, Switzerland)

  • since 1992
    Director of Research (CNRS), INSERM U373 "Développement du Système Immunitaire" (Faculté de Médecine Necker Enfants-Malades – Paris) (head of group: Jean-Claude Weill 1992-1996, Harald von Boehmer 1997-1999)

  • 2000
    DR1 C.N.R.S

  • 2001
    head of INSERM U373 (now U783), «Développement du système immunitaire» – Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine

Selected publications

  • Reynaud, C.A., Anquez, V., Grimal, H. and Weill, J.C. A hyperconversion mechanism generates the chicken light chain preimmune repertoire. Cell 48, 379-88 (1987)

  • Reynaud, C.A., Garcia, C., Hein, W.R., and Weill, J.C. Hypermutation generating the sheep Ig repertoire is an antigen-independent process. Cell 80, 115-25 (1995)

  • Faili, A., Aoufouchi, S., Guéranger, Q., Zober, C., Léon, A., Bertocci, B., Weill, J.-C. and Reynaud, C.-A. AID-dependent somatic hypermutation occurs as a DNA single-strand event in the BL2 cell line. Nature Immunol. 3, 815-21 (2002)

  • Weller, S., Braun, M.C., Tan, B.K., Rosenwald, A., Cordier, C., Conley, M.E., Plebani, A., Kumararatne, D.S., Bonnet, D., Tournilhac, O., Tchernia, G., Steiniger, B., Staudt, L.M., Casanova, J.-L., Reynaud, C.-A. and Weill, J.-C. Human blood IgM "memory" B cells are circulating splenic marginal zone B cells harboring a pre-diversified immunoglobulin repertoire. Blood 104, 3647-54 (2004)

  • Bertocci, B., De Smet, A., Weill, J.-C. and Reynaud, C.-A. Non-overlapping in vivo function of DNA polymerases mu, lambda and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase during immunoglobulin V(D)J recombination. Immunity 25, 31-41 (2006)

  • Delbos, F., Aoufouchi, S., Faili, A., Weill, J.-C. and Reynaud, C.-A. DNA polymerase eta is the sole contributor of A-T modifications during Ig gene hypermutation in the mouse. J. Exp. Med. 204, 17-23 (2007)

  • Weill, J.-C and Reynaud, C.-A.. DNA polymerases in adaptive immunity. Nature Reviews Immunol. 8, 302-12 (2008).

  • Dogan, I., Bertocci, B., Vilmont, V., Delbos, F., Mégret, J., Storck, S., Reynaud, C.-A. and Weill, J.-C. Multiple layers of B cell memory with different effector functions. Nature Immunol. 10, 1292-9 (2009)

  • Weill, J.-C., Weller, S. and Reynaud, C.-A. Human marginal zone B cells. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 27, 267-85 (2009)

  • Mahévas, M., Patin, P., Huetz, F., Descatoire, M., Cagnard, N., Bole-Feysot, C., Le Gallou, S., Khellaf, M., Fain, O., Boutboul, D., Galicier, L., Ebbo, M., Lambotte, O., Hamidou, M., Bierling, P., Godeau, B., Michel, M., Weill, J.-C. and Reynaud, C.-A. B-cell depletion in immune thrombocytopenia reveals splenic long-lived plasma cells. J. Clin. Invest. 123, 432-442 (2013)

Selected projects

  • Molecular and cellular strategies of development and diversification of B lymphocyte subsets

    Our lab has a long-lasting interest in the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the development and diversification of the B cell repertoire. These approaches, initially focused on species like birds and ruminants in the 80-90s, have uncovered an unsuspected diversity in the modes of repertoire formation, involving mechanisms like gene conversion and somatic mutation in the formation of the pre-immune repertoire in these species.

    More recently our approaches have focused, on the molecular side, on the contribution of non-replicative DNA polymerases to the process of V(D)J recombination and somatic hypermutation: this involved the identification of two new polymerases, Pol mu and Pol lambda, and their contribution to the non-homologous end joining process occurring during the assembly of a complete immunoglobulin gene; for the hypermutation process taking place during immune responses, this involved the identification of the key role played by DNA polymerase eta, and the striking back-up achieved by enzymes of the same family upon its inactivation, both in humans and in mice.

    On the cellular side, we have characterized marginal zone B cells in humans as a specific subset susceptible of repertoire diversification outside T-dependent and independent responses, as well as their distinct differentiation and survival requirements. We have also developed a new mouse reporter line allowing the follow-up of B cell memory subsets generated during an immune response, and identified multiple layers of B cell memory with distinct functional characteristics: an "effector memory" subset endowed with the capacity to rapidly expand and differentiate into immunoglobulin secreting cells, and a "central memory" subset capable of re-initiating a germinal center response.

    Our present interests focus on investigating the discrepancies observed between mouse models of immune responses and observations performed in humans, with the aim of understanding the relative contribution of intrinsic, species-specific developmental differences vs. the impact of the radically different experience of the outside infectious world that laboratory mice and human beings undergo.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Selected adminstrative responsabilities

  • Member of committee «biologie-santé» of the ANR blanc program, 2005 – 2007

  • AERES Scientific delegate for Immunology, 2009 – 2010

  • Member of the EMBO longterm fellowship committee, 2008 – 2012

  • Director of the Structure Fédérative de Recherche Necker, 2014 – 2018


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