Congratulations to Sophie Saüc for her brilliant thesis defence!
This past Tuesday, Oct 31st 2017 Sophie Saüc from the lab of Dr. Maud Frieden, in co-supervision with Prof. Nicolas Demaurex and Prof. Laurent Bernheim, successfully defended her thesis entitled “Characterization of the Trafficking and Functional Properties of the Long STIM1 Isoform”, which was awarded with High Distinction.
Sophie began her Ph.D. in 2012, where she embarked in her in-depth characterization of a novel isoform of the endoplasmic-reticulum (ER)-resident calcium signalling regulating molecule STIM1, called STIM1-Long (STIM1L), which was identified recently in the lab of Prof. Bernheim. She compared the properties of this novel isoform, which is most specifically expressed in muscle, to that of the classic isoform of STIM1 and found that STIM1L could induce a larger calcium entry than STIM1, without remodelling the ER, in contrast to the classic isoform. These studies were published in the Journal of Cell Science. Her studies also included characterizing the localization of STIM1L in human muscles with a newly developed STIM1L-specific antibody. Calcium signalling is fundamental to allowing muscle cells to contract, and mutations in STIM1 or its partner channel Orai lead to muscular defects. Sophie’s work may therefore not only help us understand the role of this new isoform in muscle calcium homeostasis it may lead to a deeper understanding of diseases where muscle calcium signalling is abnormal.
In addition to her first-author publication, Sophie wrote a book chapter on the role of TRPC calcium channels in neurological and motor disorders. She also helped in the preparation of a JoVE video-protocol describing how to prepare and measure calcium signalling in human muscle cells, and participated in a research collaboration, altogether leading to 3 additional publications.
Wishing Sophie all the best in her future endeavours!
Posted by: P. Nunes-Hasler8 November 2017