Endocrine Abstracts (2004) 7

British Thyroid Association Pitt Rivers Lecture

Jacques Samarut, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon, Hospices Civils de Lyon, France Abstract

I graduated at the University of Lyon in 1981 working on the development of hematopoiesis in chick embryo. At the same time I started working on retrovirus oncogenes and their transformation of hematopoietic progenitor cells. I then moved to the Rockefeller University (New York) in the Laboratory of H Hanafusa to work on the molecular biology of retrovirus oncogenes. There I started working on the v-erbA oncogene which turned out to be a mutant form of thyroid hormone receptor. I then showed that v-erbA specifically blocks the differentiation program within hematopietic progenitor cells and cooperate with other oncogenes like the v-erbB oncogene to induce full leukemic transformation.

After two years at Rockefeller University I moved back to France and joined the Ecole Normal Superieure (ENS) at Lyon, a graduate college belonging to the so-called "Grandes Ecoles". There I developed a research group working on molecular mechanisms of transformation by v-erbA. By 1995 I started working on the role of thyroid hormone receptor isoforms in the development of the mouse using experimental genetics. This work showed that TR isoforms are playing distinct functions in vivo. Since that time my aim has been to decipher the role and molecular mechanisms of action of all TR isoforms.

In 1995 I became the director of department of molecular and cellular biology at ENS, a joint laboratory with CNRS.

In 1997 I was appointed as Director of Life Science Section of CNRS at Paris for two years. In 1999 I was appointed as Director of the Genomic Center in Lyon which I am still leading.

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