Rachel Marion-Letellier, director of IRIB

Rachel Marion-Letellier, director of IRIB

  • Introduce yourself ! What is your background?

Since 2015 I have been a lecturer at INSERM ADEN – Nutrition, Inflammation Unit (UMR 1073) at the UFR Santé of the University of Rouen Normandie. In the last few days I have also been director of the IRIB (Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation). Before getting there, I studied biology at the URN where I discovered the essential role of the intestine and its importance in defending the metabolism. I therefore decided to do a thesis on nutrition and intestinal inflammation under the supervision of Professor Pierre Déchelotte. After a post-doc atImperial College London, I returned to the University of Rouen in Normandy. Today, in parallel with my research activities, I am co-head of the Master’s Degree in Biology at the UFR Sciences et Techniques where I teach physiology. It is also this discipline that I approach future nurses, pharmacists, doctors of UFR Santé as part of their training.

  • What are your research topics?

My research is grouped around 2 main themes. First, I work on inflammatory bowel disease and more specifically intestinal fibrosis. Today there is no specific treatment even though this disease impacts the lives of more than 200,000 people in France. With my teams, we try to understand how it works and then determine the best pharmacological approach. This work takes place within the INSERM ADEN Unit and also mobilizes the care teams of the Rouen Normandy University Hospital and more particularly the team of Professor Guillaume Savoye, hepato-gastroenterologist. This is called translational research. With this approach, doctors and researchers work as a team to serve the patient. The observations made with the patient help guide the fundamental aspect of the research to jointly find experimental models in the laboratory that make sense from a clinical point of view. Geographical proximity is a real advantage for carrying out these exchanges between our teams.
The last part of my research focuses on severe acute malnutrition. Also in this case it is a collaborative work because we carry out this research work with the Norman company Nutriset which has set itself the goal of feeding vulnerable populations in developing countries. This collaboration is part of an industry agreement for education through research (Cifre) which, through the research work of a PhD candidate within the laboratory and with the company, promotes innovation and strengthens our ties with the world socio-economic.

  • On November 25, 2022 you are organizing the symposium “Impact and regulation of steroids in pathophysiology” at UFR Santé. What is it about ?

This symposium will be the occasion for several groups from Normandy who have developed research in recent years on steroid hormones in the endocrine, reproductive, digestive and cardiovascular systems to present their results. External speakers will present their work on the role of steroids in the renal and nervous systems. This symposium brings together several IRIB teams (U1239, U1073, U1096) who have obtained RIN STEROIDS funding. Its purpose is to take stock of the results achieved and strengthen the partnership between our teams. This symposium on multidisciplinary and transversal research topics will be open to students, researchers, teacher-researchers, healthcare professionals, engineers and technical personnel. It will contribute to the influence of the IRIB, the promotion of its laboratories and the enhancement of its scientific research.

  • If it’s aimed at scientists, you also want to share your research work with the general public: can you tell us about these projects? Why this singular choice?

For several years now I have been involved with my laboratory at the Fête de la science in the village of Madrillet. During this type of event, outside the walls, it is a challenge to disseminate our research but it is always a very enriching experience for the little ones and their parents. To make future citizens better understand the importance and mechanisms of fundamental research and to help these young people find their bearings by discovering scientific professions, I am also pleased to welcome them to the laboratory, especially as part of the Declic project. Sometimes I also organize visits for patients from the CHU which is right across from our office. Finally, recently, I participated in the creation of the exhibition “Odyssey of health, from the microbiota to Normandy!” visible for some time at the Atrium in Rouen and which offers the general public the opportunity to take an interest in their digestive system and to discover the research being done on this subject.

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