Jessica Chevallier

Spatial mapping of gene expression to decipher the thymic cellular crosstalk controlling central immune tolerance

Team: Magali Irla (CIML) - Denis Puthier (TAGC) - Arnauld Serge (LAI)

Her background

October 2021 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2021 | Master of Science in Structural Biology and Genomics
Specialization: Genomics and Data Analysis, University of Aix-Marseille

2019 | Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Biological Engineering, University of Toulon

About her PhD project

The thymus plays a critical role in the immune system through its unique ability to support T-cell development. This organ is composed of diverse cell types, i.e. distinct stromal and developing T cells, which reciprocally control their respective differentiation, a process referred to as thymic crosstalk. The main objective of this PhD project is to determine in situ the impact of normal and pathological T cells on the transcriptional programs governing the stromal cell heterogeneity. Recent transcriptomic tools allow to spatially resolve genome-wide gene expression in individual tissue sections at a subcompartment or near single-cell levels. In contrast to single-cell RNA-seq, these cutting-edge technologies conserve the footprint of the tissue structure in which the cellular crosstalk dictates cell fates. We will interrogate both spatial transcriptomic and single cell data in correlation with highly resolved imaging data sets to generate a comprehensive model of the complex cellular interplay between stromal cells and developing T cells.