David M. Foureau, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Blumenthal Cancer Center
Department of General Surgery Research
|Prior Positions and Experience
||Doctoral Fellowship, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, N.H., and Department of Parasitology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
||Master Fellowship, Department of Infections and Epidemiology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
||Research Technician, Department of Plant - Microorganism Interactions, National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), Angers, France
||Research Assistant, Department Plant - Microorganism Interactions, National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA),Angers, France
Research Assistant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA)Tours, France
PhD in Microbiology and Immunology: 2008, Tours University (France)
M.S. in Immunology: 2004, Paris VI University (France)
Laboratory Technician degree in Microbiology: 1999, Angers University (France)
Research Interests: biological treatment of skin cancer:
My research focuses on interleukin-2 (IL-2) immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma.
Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer that arises from transformation of melanocytes. Advanced melanoma, particularly if the tumor has metastasized, is particularly difficult to treat with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. The poor prognosis and lack of treatment options has led to intense interest in developing alternative approaches such as immunotherapy. Cytokines (such as IL-2) are proteins released by immune cells that regulate diverse biological effects including the enhancement of the immune response to promote cancer clearance. Interleukin-2 therapy is FDA approved to treat metastatic melanoma, with cancer remission typically being evidence in 15-20 percent of patients.
My research, under the supervision of Drs. McKillop (Ph.D) and Salo (M.D.), employs in vivo and in vitro models of melanoma to identify novel cellular and molecular mechanisms triggered by IL-2 therapy. These studies are being performed in collaboration with Drs. White and Amin (clinicians in Blumenthal Cancer Center) to identify early biomarkers that will allow us to measure and predict patient responsiveness to IL-2 therapy. In doing so, the analysis of human samples will allow us to better understand why patient's exhibit different responses to IL-2 therapy.
In addition to our ongoing laboratory and translational efforts, we have also recently initiated collaboration with Dr. Gloria Elliot (UNC at Charlotte) and Dr. Douglas MacFarlane (Monash University, Australia) to determine whether we can better stabilize IL-2. This project arose from the clinical observation that some patients have to discontinue IL-2 therapy due to the dosing regime employed. Specifically, patients must undergo relatively high dosing levels due to the instability of IL-2 in solution. Prolonging ex-vivo IL-2 stability should thus allow physicians to administer the same total dose of IL-2 to patients at a lower infusion rate over a longer period of time.
My work is currently sponsored, in part, by research grants from the Carolinas HealthCare Foundation and a collaborative seed grant from CHF-UNCC.
Peer Review Publications
Foureau D.M., Mielcarz D.W., Menard L.C., Schultess J., Werts C., Levasseur V., Ryffel B., Kasper L.H., Buzoni-GAtel D. TLR9-dependant induction of intestinal alpha-defensins by Toxoplasma gondii. 2010 The Journal of Immunology 184:7022-29. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0901642
Ochoa-Reparaz J., Mielcarz D.W., Ditrio L.E., Burrough A.R., Foureau D.M., Haque-Begum S., Kasper L.H. (2009). Role of gut commensal microflora in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. 2009 The Journal of Immunology 183:6041-50. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0900747
Begum-Haque S., Sharma A., Kasper I.R., Foureau D.M., Mielcarz D.W., Haque A. & Kasper L.H. (2008). Downregulation of IL-17 and IL-6 in the central nervous system by glatiramer acetate in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The journal of neuroimmunology (epub ahead of print). [PMID: 18804287]
Schulhess J., Foureau D., Darche S., Meresse B., Kasper L., Cerf-Bensussan N. & Buzoni-Gatel D. (2008). Mucosal immunity in Toxoplasma gondii infection. Parasite 15(3): 389-95. [PMID: 18814712]
Menard L.C., Minns L.A., Darche S., Mielcarz D.W., Foureau D.M., Roos D., Dzierszinski F., Kasper L.H. & Buzoni-Gatel D. (2007). B cells amplify IFN-gamma production by T cells via TNF-alpha-mediated mechanism. The Journal of Immunology 179(7): 4857-66. [PMID: 17878385]
Minns L.A., Menard L.C., Foureau D.M., Darche S., Ronet C., Mielcarz D.W., Buzoni-Gatel D. & Kasper L.H. (2006). TLR9 is required for the GALT response following oral infection of Toxoplasma gondii. The journal of Immunology 176(12): 7589-97. [See Article]