Professional and Academic Career
Patricia's initial training is as MD in neurology and neuropathology (diploma in 1983). In parallel she trained as a PhD in Biochemistry and neuropsychopharmacology. After completing medical residency, and being mother to 2 children (1979, 1980), she chose an academic research career. She obtained a full time research position at the INSERM (Institut pour la Santé et la Recherche Médicale) in 1986, a position as group leader in 1995, and laboratory director in 2003. She retired from this position in January 2019 and is presently INSERM Director Emeritus, working at the Paris Brain Institute in Paris, in the junior team of Dr Nicolas Renier (ERC funded).
Patricia started University in Tunisia and completed medical school in Paris (Université Pierre et Marie Curie). She had the opportunity to work for 2 years abroad, first as an MD in Tunisia, (Center of Neurology of Tunis :1979-1980) then as a visiting professor in the US (University of Vanderbilt : 1990-91).
Honours & Awards
Sackler Award –Lecture (1999)
Camille Woringer –Prize (2012)-Foundation de la Recherche Médicale
Alfred Fessard Lecture (2013)-Fernch Society of Neuroscience
Irvine Page Lecture (2018) of International Society for Serotonin Research.
Administrative & Organisational Experience
Throughout her career, Patricia has been involved in a number of general interest tasks, for evaluation of research.
At the National level she participated to 2 Inserm boards for recruitment/evaluation of researchers (Inserm CSS6,&Avenir program : 2003 to 2012), At the University Paris &Marseille she was on several boards for recruiting professors. In the AERES boards, the task was to evaluate full research structures in France (e.g. Lyon, Marseille, Rouen). She also participated in several scientific boards of funding agencies (e.g. FRM, Fondation de France 97-2004), to IBRO and the French Society for Neuroscience (2000-2004).
At an international level she participated to ERC senior grant evaluation (2017, 2019).
She is part of a Swiss National Foundation panel (Ambizione ) since 2017. (yearly) Aim is to recruit future professors.
Since 2019, she is part of the Scientific panel of ICREA (Barcelona) and the IMBB-FORTH (Crete).
The main aim of Patricia's current research is to bring mechanistic insights into the understanding the developmental basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. A large part of her research efforts over the years has focused on the developmental role of serotonin (5-HT) and its implications for pathology. Using molecular and genetic approaches in mice they demonstrated the developmental role of 5-HT on neural circuit maturation underlying behavioral changes. Analyzing the molecular mechanisms they uncovered the transient developmental expression of serotonin transporters and receptors in defined neural circuits. This also allowed linking activity-dependent mechanisms in the refinement of brain maps and serotonin signaling. Among the current research themes in the laboratory are projects aimed to identify mechanisms underlying diversity of 5-HT raphe neurons, and their implication in parental behavior and early life stress; both of which could contribute to vulnerability to psychiatric diseases.
Soiza-Reilly, M; Meye, FJ; Olusakin, J; Telley, Ludovic; Petit, E; Chen, X; Mameli, M; Jabaudon, Denis; Sze, J-Y; Gaspar, P; (2019) SSRIs target prefrontal to raphe circuits during development modulating synaptic connectivity and emotional behavior,Molecular psychiatry,24,5,726-745.
Teissier, A; Le Magueresse, C; Olusakin, J; da Costa, B LS Ae; De Stasi, A M; Bacci, A; Kawasawa, YI; Vaidya, V A; Gaspar, P; (2019) Early-life stress impairs postnatal oligodendrogenesis and adult emotional behaviour through activity-dependent mechanisms, Molecular psychiatry,1-16.
Fernandez SP, Cauli B, Cabezas C, Muzerelle A, Poncer JC, Gaspar P. (2016) Multiscale single-cell analysis reveals unique phenotypes of raphe 5-HT neurons projecting to the forebrain. Brain Struct Funct. ; 221: 4007-4025.
Narboux-Nême N, Evrard A, Ferezou I, Erzurumlu RS, Kaeser PS, Lainé J, RossierJ, Ropert N, Südhof TC, Gaspar P. (2012) Neurotransmitter release at the thalamocortical synapse instructs barrel formation but not axon patterning in the somatosensory cortex. J Neurosci., 32:6183-6196.
Kiyasova V*, Fernandez S*, Laine J, Stankovski L, Muzerelle A, Doly S, Gaspar P. (2011) A genetically defined morphologically and functionally unique subset of 5-HT neurons in the mouse raphe nuclei. Journal of Neuroscience, 31:2756-68.. (* equal contribution).
Nicol, X., Voyatzis, S, Muzerelle, A., Narboux-Nème, N, Südhof, T, Miles, R, and Gaspar, P (2007) cAMP oscillations and retinal activity are permissive for ephrin-signalling during the establishment of the retinotopic map. Nat.Neurosci , 10, 340-345.
Gaspar,P., Cases,O. & Maroteaux,L. (2003) The developmental role of serotonin : news from mouse molecular genetics. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4, 1002-1012.
Cases,O., Vitalis,T., Seif,I., De Maeyer,E., Sotelo,C. & Gaspar,P. (1996) Lack of barrels in the somatosensory cortex of monoamine oxidase A- deficient mice: role of a serotonin excess during the critical period. Neuron, 16, 297-307.
Gaspar,P., Duyckaerts,C., Alvarez,C., Javoy-Agid,F. & Berger,B. (1991) Alterations of dopaminergic and noradrenergic innervations in motor cortex in Parkinson's disease. Ann.Neurol., 30, 365-374.
Gaspar,P. & Gray,F. (1984) Dementia in idiopathic Parkinson's disease. A neuropathological study of 32 cases. Acta Neuropathol.(Berl), 64, 43-52