Caroline Leroux obtained her Ph.D. degree in 1995 from the Lyon1 University for her work on the genetic evolution of ovine and caprine lentiviruses and the seminal definition of the SRLV (small ruminant lentivirus) group. She is the Director of Research at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France (INRA), which is a French institute dedicated to agronomical research since 2002. She is in charge of the Retrovirus Evolution and Cancer Group, which is a part of the joined research unit entitled “Retrovirus and Comparative Pathology” in Lyon, France. She worked as a Research Associate from 1995 to 1999 at Pr Ron C. Montelaro's Lab, at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA. She described the dynamic evolution of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) genomic quasispecies associated with sequential disease cycles in experimentally infected equids and tissue-specific evolution of HIV-1 in asymptomatic infected males. Back in France, she developed a research program aiming to define the molecular and cellular steps leading to a natural lung cancer in JSRV- (Jaasgiekte Sheep RetroVirus-) infected small ruminants. Interestingly, this cancer is clinically, radiologically, and histologically closely related to human pneumonic lung adenocarcinomas also known as human bronchioloalveolar cancers (BAC). The link between her group and the Pulmonary Department of the Hospital is a unique opportunity to conduct research on the animal and human forms of this peculiar lung cancer. She mainly focuses her research on alveolar type II cells, the natural targets of the virus, and the epithelial cells of the deep lung at the origin of the tumors and their interplay with JSRV using targeted (Ki-ras, EGFR, Pi3K pathways) or generic (transcriptomic, proteomic, metabololic) approaches. Dr. Leroux also continues her research on genetic evolution of field isolates of EIAV mainly from Eastern Europe and of SRLV from wild small ruminants.
Biography Updated on 5 December 2010