Frédéric Geissmann

The Project

Differentiation and Function of Cells of the Mononuclear Phagocyte System.


Dr  Frédéric Geissmann
INSERM, Necker-Enfants Malades Research Institute (IFR94)
Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital
University of Paris-Rene-Descartes medical school
149 Rue de Sevres Paris 75015


Geissmann, aged 42, already has a strong and long publication record in immunology and haematology, and is widely used as a reviewer both for international funding agencies such as the Wellcome Trust, and top peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He qualified in medicine at the University of Paris in 1996, and later worked as a postdoctoral fellow in molecular immunology in the Laboratory of Dan Littman in the Skirball Institute, New York from 2000 - 2003. Geissmann is currently Assistant Professor in cell biology and pathology and group leader at the Necker-Enfants Malades Research Institute.

He said: “This is wonderful news for my team and the project, which relies on the latest technology such as intravital microscopy for observing biological processes in real time as they happen. This fine award means we will have all the equipment and resources we need.”

Provisional Award

€ 1,250,000

Project description

Gene targeting strategies have led to significant progress understanding the role of lymphocytes and their differentiation in the adaptive immune response during the last decade. However cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) in the innate immune response, such as blood monocytes, tissue macrophages, dendritic cells, liver Kupffer cells, bone osteoclasts, and brain microglial cells, have resisted modern biological approaches. This project aims to redress that balance and improve our understanding of the MPS, by building on recent development of animal model systems such as reporter mice. It will exploit contemporary methods in flow cytometry, adoptive transfer, histology, and in vivo confocal microscopy, to identify progenitors of these MPS cells, along with genes and external cues that govern their differentiation. It will also address the role of the MPS in human tumours, by investigating the pathophysiology of the group of tumour diseases known as histiocytoses. Apart from tumours, the MPS is engaged in the clearance of toxins, immune surveillance on behalf of the adaptive response, and general inflammatory process, so it constitutes a vital field of study.