About Prof. Alain Chédotal

Since 2008, Alain Chedotal is the Directeur de Recherche (group leader, INSERM U968) at INSERM  and coordinator of the Department of Development, Vision Institute in Paris, France.

Before becoming a Chargé de Recherche and then a PI, he was Research fellow, at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada.

His Education:

• 1988 : Admitted to the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France
• 1995 : Ph. D. in Neurosciences, University Paris 6 UPMC, France, Constantino Sotelo’s lab
• 1995-1997 : Post-doctoral fellow (EMBO long term fellow), UC Berkeley, USA, Corey S Goodman’s lab

He also received several honorific Awards among them:

• Remedios Caro Almela Prize in Developmental Neurobiology, 2017 
• Team Foundation for the Medical Research (FRM), 2012
• European Society of Neurochemistry, Young Investigator, 2001
• Team Foundation for the Medical Research (FRM), 2006



About his interest and research:

Alain Chédotal is interested in deciphering how one hand migrating neurons and on the other hand neuron extensions to establish connections between one another (axons) are guided in the developing brain. He is also working with his team on new technologies allowing the visualization of developing neurons. Their research should determine whether molecules involved in axonal guidance are also players of diseases of the visual system or demyelinating pathologies like multiple sclerosis or certain cancers.


More precisely, Alain Chédotal and his team are working along four lines of research :

 1/ analysis of the role of guidance molecules in neuronal connections : they particularly study axon growth at the central nervous system midline (notably the optic chiasma in the visual system)

2/ utilization of new microscopy analysis methods to study the organizations of neuronal connections in sensorial nervous systems (visual and auditory)

3/ study of the function of axonal guidance molecules (in particular slits and semaphorins) in the control of neuronal migration control during development and in the adult brain. They are trying to determine whether those molecules control neural stem cell migration in normal and/or pathological conditions

4/ study of the role of axonal guidance molecules in the process of myelination. They are developing new methods in video-microscopy to study myelination.


The discovery of neural stem cells in the adult brain was a major finding of the recent years. In many models of lesion of the nervous system, neural stem cells can be derived from their usual migration pathway to integrate the injured region. Alain Chedotal and his team are characterizing new molecules controlling neural stem cell development and physiology and determine their ability to promote the regenerative potential of neural on stem cells. These studies could lead to the development of new therapeutic tools to stimulate stem cell migration and differentiation in the visual system.

Publication list

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