Microenvironment & Immunity

Pro-inflammatory cells, stromal cells and microbiota interact to define health and immunity of the host, and its interaction with the environment.





Pro-inflammatory cells expressing the nuclear hormone receptor RORgt play a fundamental role in mucosal and skin defense, as well as in the development of lymphoid tissues. RORgt+ cells are also involved in inflammatory pathologies, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and arthritis, and are the target of a new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs blocking RORgt. RORgt+ cells include innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) that are programmed to induce the development of lymphoid tissues and induce early mucosal and skin immunity against microbes, as well as subsets of T cells, such as Th17 cells that react to microbiota.

We develop mouse models to understand how RORgt+ cells control mucosal and skin immunity, and how they respond to and shape microbiota. More generally, we aim at deciphering the mechanisms of the dialogue between microbiota and pro-inflammatory cells, a dialogue that affects host homeostasis and development of inflammatory pathologies. An important partner in this dialogue is the stromal microenvironment, including vessels, perivascular cells and fibroblasts, which have essential roles in lymphocytes recruitment and survival through expression of adhesion molecules, chemokines and cytokines. When inappropriately activated by injury, specific subsets of stromal cells, such as ADAM12+ perivascular cells, contribute to pathogenesis by exacerbating inflammation and fibrosis. Stromal cells play therefore fundamental roles in homeostasis, inflammation and pathology.

We propose that the lymphocyte-stroma-microbiota trilogy is the functional unit that determines the reactivity of the host to infection, injury and cancer, and drives homeostasis. As perturbation of this trilogy generates inflammation and pathology, we aim at defining the underlying crosstalk and mechanisms in order to develop new avenues for prevention and therapy.


Gérard EBERL

+33 (0)1 44 38 94 46



+33 (0)1 44 38 94 27


Positions available

Two postdoctoral or PhD positions are available.


One position is to study the regulation of immune responses by stromal cells, in particular in chronic pathologies such as fibrosis and cancer.



The second position is to study the regulation of the microbiota, metabolism and adaptive immune system by innate lymphoid cells (ILCs).


The positions are open for 2016. Applicants should have a strong background in cellular immunology, cell biology or physiology, be highly motivated to do research in this competitive and exciting area, and show an innate ability to work as a team.


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