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Acteria Doctoral prize in Allergology

Dr. Nicolas Gaudenzio

(PhD 2012), France, SFI (for his post-doctoral work on neural regulation of immune responses

Nicolas Gaudenzio, 35, graduated from the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. Following a 4-year postdoctoral period in the laboratory of Stephen J. Galli, Department of Pathology, University of Stanford (CA USA), he became in 2019 Principal Investigator at Inserm, France. He published first and senior author articles in Nature Immunology, Journal of Clinical Investigations, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Current Opinion in Immunology and Annual Review of Immunology. His postdoctoral carrier was supported by the Foundation for Medical Research (FRM, France), the NIH R01 Program (USA) and the Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (Europe). Later he received support from the National Agency for Research (ANR, France). He was awarded a French ATIP-Avenir grant and a European Research Council (ERC) Starting grant.

The skin is innervated by an intricate network of nociceptive sensory neurons, known as nociceptors, with cell bodies located in the dorsal root or trigeminal ganglia. Their primary function is the trans- mission of sensations of temperature, pain and itch to elicit appropriate behavioral responses such as withdrawal (to avoid tissue injury) and scratching (to remove irritants). Nociceptors may be involved in manifestations of allergic skin inflammation by promoting itch and scratching behavior. While much remains to be learned about itching sensations, peripheral neurons also have the potential to influence immune cells and inflammatory responses. Dr. Gaudenzio’s research activities focus on understanding how skin nociceptors and immune cells interact to regulate allergic skin inflammation. He develops a trans-disciplinary approach combining immunology, neurobiology, clinical dermatology, imaging and transcriptomic to better understand the etiology of allergic skin inflammation. These methods and bioinformatics approaches will be used together to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms governing neuro-immune interactions in the skin.

Dr Gaudenzio pursues his research on the role of skin-projecting nociceptors as regulators of immune-driven damage during allergic contact dermatitis at the Toulouse Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases (Infinity), Inserm - CNRS - University of Toulouse.