Melanocytes have completely different micro-environments according to the tissue where they are located (skin, heart, meninges, cochlea, etc.) but also according to their localisation within these tissues. For example, acral (sole of the feet, palm of the hands) and cutaneous skins are very different because of their different functions and constraints to which they have to respond. Melanocytes are cells that communicate a lot with their microenvironment, notably in the skin with the surrounding keratinocytes to transfer them the melanin to pigment the skin. My role is to explore further interactions between the melanocytes and their micro- and macro- environment to understand how the melanocytes localization impact these communications between cells and ultimately their biology. their development and their tumorigenesis. I will use a combination of transgenic Zebrafish models and in vitro 3D-reconstructed skin to assess the importance of the microenvironment for melanocyte development and tumorigenesis.
I’ve received my Ph.D. in cancerology from the University Paris Sciences-Lettres (PSL) in 2021 conducted under the supervision of Drs. V. Delmas and L. Larue in Institut Curie, France. My work focused on the interaction between melanoma cells and their environment within the lungs to produce metastasis. I discovered a sex-dependent pathway inducing metastasis in women. After my PhD. I did a short postdoc in the same laboratory during which I uncovered a new mechanism leading to carcinomas and melanoma sensitivity to oestrogen. I then joined Prof. White’s lab to continue to explore the interactions between cancer cells, especially melanoma, and their micro- and macro-environment.