Laureate of the L'Oréal-UNESCO "Young Talent" grant 2016
Growing up in the Lyon countryside in a family where “nobody was a scientist or pursued long studies,” Pauline Nauroy was a good student, and she was directed towards a scientific specialty. After her scientific baccalaureate, she enrolled in biology with little enthusiasm. That quickly changed: “A discussion with one of my teachers during my first year at Lyon 1 University made me realize that I really wanted to study biology, to understand living organisms. Then there was my first experience in a research lab, and that’s when it clicked!”
Pauline Nauroy is interested in the zebra fish because of this small vertebrate’s extraordinary regeneration capacities, which enable it to regenerate an amputated fin in 10 days. Her thesis work aims to identify the proteins of the extracellular matrix orchestrating the fin’s regeneration.
That matrix is a sort of protein cement between cells, that’s dynamic and able to control the behavior and evolution of cells. “Better understanding this biological process could greatly benefit regenerative and reconstructive human medicine,” explains Pauline Nauroy, who is pursuing her PhD at the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon (IGFL), in the team “Biology and pathology of extracellular matrix” led by Florence Ruggiero.
Using the technique of high throughput DNA sequencing, she was able to map the genes coding for the proteins of the extracellular matrix involved in the regeneration process. This study helped identify key proteins, collagens, as important actors of this regeneration. A discovery that could be used in human medicine for tissue regeneration, for instance for skin for serious burn victims.
On top of research, Pauline has another passion: “I’ve been riding horses since I was 10. It’s part of my balance. And in the end maybe it’s not for noth¬ing that I became passionate about riding. There too you’re constantly learning new things, you have to be patient, often challenge yourself and always persevere!”
The L’Oréal-UNESCO grant for women and science will allow Pauline Nauroy to advance in her research by collaborating with an American team, and also to better prepare her future, which will include a postdoc internship abroad.
A short bio
- 1989: Born in Vénissieux
- 2007: Scientific baccalaureate, section Earth and Life Sciences at the René Descartes high school in Saint-Genis-Laval
- 2007- 2011: Bachelor’s of Genetics and Cell Biology, Lyon 1 University
- 2010: First voluntary biology internship, at the ENS de Lyon, LBMC, in the team of Alexandre Méjat
- 2012: Finishes third of her class, Master’s in Genetics and Cell Biology, Lyon 1 University
- 2013: Finishes second of her class, Research Master in Genetics and Cell Biology and Pathologies, Lyon 1 University
- 2013: Winner of the Concours des bourses doctorales ministérielles, a competition for doctoral grants, at the doctoral school of Integrative, Cell and Molecular Biology
- 2013: starts her thesis at the ENS de Lyon, under the direction of Florence Ruggiero (IGFL)
- 2016: obtains a fourth year grant from the Foundation for Medical Research