The pancreas consists of multiple cell types which support its endocrine and exocrine functions. Its proper functioning is ensured by genes specifically acting within these cell types. For exocrine pancreas, disruption of gene activity lead to the development of diseases, such as cancer, pancreatitis, or rare hereditary and congenital disorders of the exocrine pancreas.
Several genes important for pancreatic disease have been identified, and much focus has been put one KRAS whose mutations are associated with pancreatic cancer. However, other genes required for proper pancreatic physiology have yet to be identified. In this context, we (i) study the normal and pathophysiological role of KRAS in the pancreas and determine in which exocrine cell type(s) it is active ; (ii) identify genes involved in hereditary and congenital disorders of the exocrine pancreas and characterize the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms.
Our studies rely on the use of state-of-the-art molecular and cell biology technology applied to cell and animal models. We ensure multidisciplinarity in collaboration with clinicians, who provide access to patient data and samples.
Work in the team is performed in close collaboration with the group of Frédéric Lemaigre who investigates liver development and cancer. The two groups share space, equipment and expertise.