Team 1 : Cellular therapies in brain disease

Presentation/Research interests

Our research is focused on developing therapies, using neurons from fetal tissue or derived from embryonic as well as adult stem cells, in order to replace and repair damaged neural tissue in the adult brain.

We are more specifically interested in motor cortex lesions, such as observed after traumatic brain injury, and to brain damages induced by Parkinson disease.

We have demonstrated in animal models of motor cortex lesion as well as Parkinson disease that damaged neuronal networks can be repair by fetal neurons graft. Moreover, our results show that this network reconstruction is accompanied by a functional improvement.

The main limits of this therapeutic approach are on one hand, ethical and logistic problems related to the use of fetal cells and on the other hand, the choice of the most appropriate time window between the lesion and the graft.


Our research project goals are:

1)   to determine the appropriate time window to graft neurons after the lesion

2)   to obtained an unlimited and reliable source  of specific neurons from stem cells

3)   to study the functional outcome of grafts using electrophysiological and behavioral approaches

4)    to identify molecules guiding axons from grafted neurons to their appropriate targets.



Grant / Funding

2015-2018: Region and Academic Excellence Research Chair in cell therapy using stem cells to repair brain and liver lesions.

2015-2016: Fondation de France. Reconstruction of the nigrostriatal pathway after transplantation of embryonic stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PI : A. Gaillard.

2015: Fédération pour la Recherche sur le Cerveau. Restoration of lesioned cortical pathways after transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived cortical neurons. PI : A. Gaillard (prizewinner).

2012-2014: Institut de Recherche sur la Moelle Epinière. Spatiotemporal dynamics of inflammation following cortical lesion and transplantation. PI : A. Gaillard.

2012, 2015: Association France Parkinson. Intranigral versus intrastriatal transplantation of  stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease : Neuroanatomic and functional comparison. PI : A. Gaillard.

2009-2014: ANR-MNP. Repair of traumatic lesions using transplantation of embryonic stem cell-derived neurons. PI : A. Gaillard.

2010: Institut de Recherche sur la Moelle Epinière. Relation between vascularisation and axonal growth of grafted neurons using in vivo two-photon imaging. PI : A. Gaillard.

2009: Fondation de France. Functional evaluation of intranigral cell graft and identification of axon guidance molecules in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Co-PI: A. Gaillard.

2009: PIR CNRS « vieillissement ». Neuroprotection in animal models of Parkinsons’disease. PI : A. Gaillard.

2009: Institut de Recherche sur la Moelle Epinière. Endogenous stem cell recruitment after lesion. PI : A. Gaillard.

2008: Fondation de l’Avenir. Cell therapy in Parkinsonian monkeys. PI : A. Gaillard.

2008: Institut de Recherche sur la Moelle Epinière. Analysis of factors that could influence the survival of neurons grafted in the lesioned motor cortex in mice. PI : A. Gaillard.

2007: Fondation de France. Cell therapy using intranigral transplantation of embryonic dopaminergic neurons in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Co-PI: A. Gaillard.

2003: Association France Parkinson. Transplantation of embryonic dopaminergic neurons in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. PI : A. Gaillard.

2002, 2003: CNRS/FNRS. Ephrins involvement in the development of cortical connections.


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