Photo report

Valérie Castellani, 2018 CNRS Innovation medalist

A CNRS researcher specialized in developmental biology and affiliated with the Institut NeuroMyoGène (CNRS / INSERM / Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University), Valérie Castellani studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the generation of neurons in the embryo, their migration, and the establishment of their nerve connections. Her work has led to the development of various experimental approaches that she has in turn applied to research into pediatric cancers. Castellani has developed a patented innovation that allows cancer cells sampled from patients to be inserted into bird embryos, where they may develop just as they would in the patients' bodies, providing an accurate model of tumor evolution. This is a major breakthrough for personalized medicine. The technique is now used by the start-up Oncofactory, cofounded by Castellani and Céline Delloye-Bourgeois, also a CNRS researcher at the Institut NeuroMyoGène.

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