In addition to being a regular researcher at the CHU of Quebec-Laval University Research Centre, and Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Infectiology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University, Dr. Gilbert is Program Director of postgraduate studies in microbiology and immunology at Laval University.
Since 2008, Dr. Gilbert has pursued two lines of research that fit perfectly with the priorities of the infectious and immune diseases axis: the study of the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, and that of the lectin DCIR (Dendritic Cell Immunoreceptor) in the early stages of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) infection as well as in immune response disorders in infected patients.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are among the first cells to internalize the virus and orchestrate the immune response. They migrate to the secondary lymphoid organs where the internalized virus is transmitted to LTCD4s, causing, among other things, the apoptosis of these cells, as well as the development of a less effective immune response. Dr. Gilbert has been actively involved in early studies demonstrating the role of C-type lectin, DCIR (Dendritic Cell Immunoreceptor) in viral attachment, as well as in the transfer of apoptotic CDs or LTCD4s virus to other LTCD4s. Through these studies, three patents were obtained, and the benefits of these discoveries continue to be reaped in her laboratory. She has also shown that, following viral infection, CDs can release EVs, which act as intercellular communicators. These EVs, which are found in biological fluids, have also allowed her team to identify miR-155, a microRNA with a broad immunomodulatory potential, in the plasmas of HIV-1 patients. She demonstrated that the release of EVs by CDs involves the activation of DCIR. Her research program, based on these observations, therefore includes both a fundamental and translational aspect. Indeed, the development of therapeutic strategies blocking the interaction of DCIR with HIV-1, and consequently the release of EVs with immunosuppressive properties, may help to understand the early events of HIV-1 infection and lead to the design and development of new therapeutic tools. Finally, EVs are considered to play an important role in cell communication and transformation, as well as being potential biomarkers of immune activation in HIV-1 patients. In recent years, enthusiasm for these vesicles can be explained by their strong theranostic potential, and Dr. Gilbert’s laboratory differentiates itself by the biochemical methods she develops to better characterize them.
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Early events in the activation of Fc gamma RIIA in human neutrophils: stimulated insolubilization, translocation to detergent-resistant domains, and degradation of Fc gamma RIIA.Journal Article
J Immunol, 168 (8), pp. 4042-9, 2002, ISSN: 0022-1767.
- Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Subvention, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec - Université Laval, Centres de recherche affiliés, from 2017-01-01 to 2099-12-31
- Deciphering the role of DCIR in HIV-1 pathogenesis, Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention Projet, from 2018-04-01 to 2023-03-31
- Discovery of Novel Extracellular Vesicle Biomarkers for the Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease, Subvention, Secrétariat des programmes interorganismes à l’intention des établissements, Nouvelles frontières en recherche, from 2020-03-31 to 2022-03-30
Recently finished projects
- Détermination du rôle de DCIR dans la pathogenèse associée à l’infection par le VIH-1, Subvention, MITACS Inc., Bourse de formation à la recherche MITACS-UL, from 2020-07-10 to 2020-11-09
- Efficacité in vivo de quatre antagonistes du DCIR à limiter l’infection par le VIH-1, Partenariat, Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation, Programme de soutien aux organismes de recherche et d’innovation (PSO) - International Volet 2C(Ancien PSR-SIIRI), from 2020-02-03 to 2020-12-31
- Salaire d'un professeur, Subvention, CHU de Québec – Université Laval – CHUL, from 2009-07-01 to 2019-06-30