Director of Research
Prof. Nathalie Rouach is director of research at the College de France and the main goal of her group is to determine whether and how astrocytes play an active and direct role in information processing. Her group wants to unravel the molecular modalities and functional outcomes of neuroglial interactions in physiological and pathological conditions. More precisely, they want to understand how neurons and glia communicate in various regimes of activity and determine the outcome of disrupting their communication on neuronal functions, including their excitability, synaptic transmission, plasticity and synchronization. To overcome the present conceptual and experimental difficulties in the field of neuroglial interactions, her group have developed a challenging novel interdisciplinary approach combining electrophysiology, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, mathematical modeling and new pharmacological strategies and molecular tools targeted to astrocytes, which permit to analyze and act selectively on populations of astrocytes. Indeed, a particularly original aspect of Prof. Rouach research in this field consists in using tools targeting specifically astrocytes: either pharmacological tools, delivered intracellularly in single astrocytes through a patch pipette and then diffusing in the gap-junction mediated network, molecular tools, such as knockout mice for astrocytic proteins, novel engineered lentiviral vectors targeting specifically astrocytes or mathematical simulation tools.