Océane Dufies, PhD student at the Mediterranean Center for Molecular Medicine C3M (University of the Côte d’Azur/INSERM) received the Young Talent Award France 2021 – L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science.
As part of Dr. Laurent Boyer‘s team at C3M, Océane Dufies studied the detection of the CNF1 toxin in uropathogenic Escherichia coli, the leading cause of urinary tract infection and, in the most serious cases, of bacteraemia. His research has shown that the CNF1 toxin is detected by the immune system during bacteremia via the activation of the Pak1 kinase and the NLRP3 receptor. This receptor then forms an inflammasome, responsible for the secretion of Interleukins-1ß and 18 allowing bacterial clearance. This work has provided a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the detection of pathogenic bacteria by innate immunity.