Laureate of the 2011 ATIP-avenir program
A mutation at the heart of blood diseases
Chloé James returned from Australia to create in Bordeaux a research team focused on a mutation involved in blood diseases and thrombosis.
Thrombosis, a still poorly understood process of blood clots forming in the blood vessels, is behind the vast majority of heart attacks and strokes.
In many cases, no cause can be found. Chloé James is exploring a promising hypothesis: in certain cases of thrombosis, the endothelial cells are prone to excessive adhesion and/or coagulation. The group she has created with the support of the Foundation is exploring the possible causes of these anomalies. Inherent defects could modify the expression of adhesive or anticoagulant cells on the surface of the endothelial cells, in direct contact with the blood. Another possibility is the activation of these molecules through blood or plasma cells, in a process similar to inflammation.
To test these hypotheses, the young team is researching a mutation on the JAK2 gene. This is found in many patients with myeloproliferative diseases, which are frequent in elderly people, where the excessive production of blood cells is associated with unexplained thrombosis. Understanding the respective roles of endothelial cells and blood platelets in these syndromes would enable the rapid development of diagnosis and treatment strategies for thrombosis.
It was during her medical studies that Chloé James discovered hematology, a discipline at the intersection of clinical medicine, biology and research. Under the supervision of Dr. Vainchenker, she discovered during her master’s degree a mutation involved in Polycythemia vera, a disease characterized by an increase in the number and size of blood cells. This mutation impacts the Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2) enzyme, a protein involved in the signaling channels responsible for cell survival and proliferation. During her doctoral work, she continued to study this mutation, named JAK2V617F. Her postdoctoral fellowship led her to work on the regulation of platelet production.
Chloé James is currently studying the roles of platelets and epithelial cells in diseases linked to the JAK2V617F mutation. Several of Dr. James’ discoveries have been patented and JAK2V617F could become a preferred target for treating numerous blood diseases.
- 2000 - 2005Medical internship in Hematology, Bordeaux Hospital (France)
- 2005Doctorate in Medicine, University of Bordeaux (France)
- 2008Doctorate in Cellular Biology, University of Bordeaux (France)
- 2006Participation in a session on “The major French breakthroughs in biology presented by their authors,” French Academy of Sciences
- 2007Specialization in Clinical Hematology, University of Bordeaux (France)
- 2008 - 2010Postdoctoral research, laboratory of Ben Kile, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne (Australia)
- 2008Member of the American Society of Hematology
- 2009Monique Garnier-Semancik prize for the best thesis, University of Bordeaux (France)
- Since 2011Group leader, “interactions between platelets and endothelium” team, Inserm/University of Bordeaux at Haut-Lévêque Hospital (France)
- Since 2013Lecturer and Hospital Practitioner, University of Bordeaux teaching hospital (France)