Skip to main content

ACTERIA Early Career Research Prize 2013 in Immunology

Dr.Nicolas Manel

During his Ph.D. studies, he identified the receptor for the human T cell leukemia virus envelope, GLUT1 (Cell). He then contributed to showing that this protein is expressed by a thymocyte subset and that GLUT-1 is a transporter of vitamin C in red blood cells. During his postdoctoral work, Dr. Manel demonstrated that RORᵧT is necessary for the production of IL17 and that HIV infection leads to a specific perturbation in Th17. In mice, he contributed to the demonstration that a single bacteria, the segmented filamentous bacteria, is sufficient for Th17 induction in the gut. More recently, Dr. Manel’s research interests have focused on the infection of dendritic cells (DC) by HIV1 and HIV2.

The natural history of HIV-2 infection tends to be more benign than that of HIV-1, and most patients infected solely with HIV-2 do not progress to AIDS. Previous research suggests that HIV-2 infection protects against subsequent HIV-1 infection and, in cases of dual infection, slows the rate of HIV-1 disease progression. Dendritic cells are main actors in the generation of protective adaptive immune responses, and Dr. Manel was the first to describe a cell-intrinsic cryptic sensor in DC that recognizes the viral capsid and protects the cells from HIV1 infection. On the other hand,he described a viral variant of HIV2 able to activate DC, thereby inducing a strong stimulation of HIV-specific CD8 T cells. His continued work will undoubtedly generate important data in the design of an HIV-1 vaccine.

Institute Curie, Paris (France)