Fondation ARC: Eva Pangou awarded Passerelle grant

Recherche IGBMC |

Congratulations to Eva Pangou, from Izabela Sumara's lab, who has been awarded the Passerelle Post-doc Fellowship from the Fondation ARC. This prestigious grant will enable her to expand her research into the crosstalk between chromosome segregation and mitochondrial dynamics in pancreatic cancer. A project whose ambition is to uncover new factors associated with pancreatic tumorigenesis and provide a better understanding on the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of this disease.

Credits: Théo Brisset, IGBMC

Eva Pangou focuses on investigating how mammalian cells coordinate the processes of chromosome division and mitochondrial distribution as a means to maintain genome fidelity. Until now, our understanding of how mitochondrial inheritance is synchronized with chromosome segregation during mitosis is limited. The scientist has uncovered a new pathway involving mitochondrial fission factor (MFF) and protein kinase D (PKD) that directly links chromosome segregation to mitochondrial fidelity (Pangou et al, 2021, Cell Reports).

This connection between mitochondrial activity and chromosome segregation has notable implications, especially in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, a severe form of cancer. Eva Pangou's project aims to characterize this relationship to uncover the mechanisms behind cancer development and identify potential targets for treatments.

The first step of her project is to identify the molecular signatures of pancreatic cancer cells that can be targeted based on their dependency on the PKD-MFF pathway. After generating a series of CRISPR-knock in pancreatic cancer cell lines from different genetic backgrounds, Eva Pangou will monitor their mitotic progression and mitochondrial network morphology during the cell cycle via time-lapse video microscopy. Moreover, the scientist will characterize how modulation of the PKD-MFF signaling affects the proliferation, invasion capacity, and mitochondrial-dependent metabolism of these cancer cells.

In the long-term, Eva Pangou will also be collaborating with Karl Vivot from Romeo Ricci's team, whose expertise will allow to expand the investigation on the role of the PKD-MFF axis in regulating pancreatic tumorigenesis in vivo.

Rewarding the originality of her research, the robustness of her preliminary data and her skills in directing independent research, this grant will allow Eva Pangou to fund one whole year of salary and experimental costs. A great step towards a possible future transition as research team leader!

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