The Inserm unit U1183 comprises four laboratories dedicated to stem cell research and immunotherapies. This unit is dedicated to innovative immunotherapies and stem cell biology and are part of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy (IRMB) associates the University Hospital of Montpellier (CHU Montpellier), the INSERM and the University Montpellier (UM). UMR 1183 gathers scientist and medical expertise on regenerative medicine and innovative immunotherapies with the objectives to increase the knowledge of stem cell biology, reprogramming and interactions between stem cells and immune cells, stem cell niches and homing, as well as the role of epigenetics mechanisms in chronic and age related diseases. These researches include both basic biological aspects and innovative applications of regenerative therapy. The aim of this unit is to facilitate the transfer of research on stem cell biology to clinical applications in consultation with clinical specialists in chronic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, rare genetic diseases, autoinflammatory disorders, diabetes, liver disease, musculoskeletal disorders) with the support of national infrastructures in health biology dedicated to stem cells (ECELLFRANCE and INGESTEM). It participates on national initiatives including Labex, and 2 Infrastructures of excellence. Inserm brings in their extensive experience and infrastructure on generating GMP-compliant and safe iPS cell lines, an essential piece of the envisioned iPSpine advanced therapy.
Dr. Jean-Marc Lemaitre is Director of research at INSERM and Deputy Director of the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Montpellier. His team “Genome and Stem Cell Plasticity in Aging” is internationally renowned and is involved in projects focused on ageing and age related diseases. For several years his research interest is focused on the understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating physiological and pathological proliferation disorders involving stem cells, and his expertise is focused on senescence and reprogramming. Among major achievements, he discovered the missing DNA replication initiating factor responsible for the acquisition of the competence to replicate the genome for embryonic development, postulated 30 years ago by J.Gurdon. He set up a new concept in the DNA replication field, showing that the replication origin selection program for development, could be reprogrammed through a mitotic remodeling of the chromosome structure in mimicking nuclear transfer experiments.
In the last 5 years he obtained numerous grants. He was Mentoring 8 senior scientists (CR1, MCU, MCU/PH), 11 Ph.D. students and 4 Post-Docs, 9 technicians and engineers, participate to thesis committees and HDR (14 in the last 5 years). He was Invited speaker in 48 National and International conferences and seminars in France and internationally in the last 5 years (5 plenary lectures). He presented National as well as International lectures.
Dr. Ollivier Milhavet obtained his Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry in 2000 at the Univey of Montpellier (France) after exploring the cellular mechanisms of spongiform encephalopathies. After a postdoctoral position in Baltimore (MD, USA) at the NIA (National Institute on Aging – National Institutes of Health) to study Alzheimer’s disease and neural stem cells, he was recruited in 2002 as a permanent researcher by the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in Montpellier to develop cell therapy strategies and cellular models for neurological disorders based on neural stem cells and human embryonic stem cells. In 2011, he joined the team of Dr. Lemaitre to develop a method to rejuvenate senescent and aged human cells by reprogramming through the pluripotent state. Now, his researches focuses on cell reprogramming, tissue regeneration and aging. He is also the Associate Scientific Director of the cell reprogramming facility SAFE-iPS at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy in Montpellier.
Dr. Romain Desprat is a Stem Cell biologist with 15 years’ experience in the regenerative field, possessing excellent technical skills and extensive interdisciplinary training. He is the manager of the SAFE-IPS facility at the Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy in Montpellier, France. The goal of this facility is to produce GMP Induce Pluripotent Stem cells. This facility is under the scientific direction of Dr. Lemaitre. Before 2011, he was a manager of another stem cell facility in New York at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Yeshiva University) where he did his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Eric Bouhassira on the timing of replication of genomic DNA. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in Corporate Finance.