More than a century ago, Elie Metchnikoff established the bases of cellular innate immunity when he discovered the mechanism of phagocytosis.
However, during most of the XXth century, adaptive immunity (also known as specific immunity) focused most of the interest of the researchers, until Emile Janeway and Polly Matzinger revisited the definition of immunology. What was called “non-specific immunity” was renamed “innate immunity”, and the understanding of the sensing of the exogenous or endogenous dangers signals, and their identification revolutionized our understanding of the early mechanism aimed to defend the integrity of the host against any type of attacks including pathogens.
Nowadays, how bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi are sensed by the infected host, have been mostly deciphered. Similarly, the mechanisms of the host involved to defend its integrity against infectious process have been decoded. This MOOC describes the players and the whole orchestra involved in innate immunity against pathogens.
Jean-Marc Cavaillon got his Doctorat-ès-Sciences in 1980 (University of Paris VI). After completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, he joined the Institut Pasteur (Paris). He is now professor and Head of the research Unit "Cytokines & Inflammation".
At Institut Pasteur, he has been Director of the "General Immunology Course" (1997-2002), Scientific Director of the "Euroconferences" (2002-2006), and director of the Department "Infection and Epidemiology" (2006-2009). He has chaired the committee of evaluation of the scientists of the Institut (2012-2015).
Jean-Marc Cavaillon’s researches focus on inflammation and innate immunity, particularly on cytokines, bacterial endotoxins and other Toll-like receptors agonists, endotoxin tolerance, activation of monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils and more recently NK cells. He has contributed to define the altered immune status in sepsis patients and in patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and contributed to define the reprogramming of circulating leukocytes of sepsis and SIRS patients.
He is Director of Research in the Cytokines and Inflammation Unit and Head of the Innate Immunity team in the Pasteur Institute in Paris. He is working in Innate Immune responses against pathogens. He is conducting several basic and clinical researches in the role of innate immunity in the resistance or protection against viral diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.
His studies in HIV exposed but not infected individuals (EUs) showed a role of NK cells in the resistance against HIV infection. He next identified a subset of NK cell expressing the CD85j receptor as able to inhibit the HIV replication in DC by a mechanism depending in cell to cell contact and none mediated by cytolytic or soluble factors.
He also showed a role of NK cells in the induction of adaptive immune during vaccination (in vitro models and cohorts studies). He also approached the role of NK cells in HIV infected patients having a coinfection like Tuberculosis. He suggested that NK degranulation assay might predict the occurrence of IRIS in HIV-infected patients with TB. These results contributed to the understanding of the role of NK cells in resisting HIV infection and their role in vaccination and opened new directions in NK cell research.