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Stéphane Lefrançois

Neurodegenerative diseases

Cell biology/biophysics

The goal of my research program is to elucidate the mechanisms cells use to regulate intracellular sorting and trafficking with an emphasis on sorting to and from the lysosomal compartment and the basolateral compartment of polarised cells. The efficient sorting and trafficking to the lysosome is a crucial cellular function that has important implications in human health. Although individually rare, the combined occurrence of the more than 50 Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs) have been reported at 1:5000 live births. Interestingly, proteins required in lysosomal sorting and trafficking have been implicated in various other diseases, notably muscular dystrophy, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Using a multifaceted approach that includes cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, high content image acquisition/image analysis, live cell imaging and Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET), we will identify and characterize key regulators that control intracellular sorting and trafficking that will increase our knowledge on the fundamental aspects of this system and could serve as therapeutic targets for these various diseases. 

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