Fanny-Selena Prize 2020

26 August 2020

Due to the rare nature of esophageal pathologies, research project that aim to improve awareness and the treatment of these pathologies are few and far between. Since 2007, the French Association for esophageal atresia (AFAO – Association Francaise de l’Atresie de L’Oesophage) has regularly asked for applications for the Prix Fanny-Selena (prior to 2017, the Prix Fanny) in memory of two girls who passed away as a result of their desease.
The prize has enabled research to be initiated with a clear focus on the esophagus; an essential, functional but under-researched organ.

The proposals are reviewed and adjudged by a scientific panel selected by the AFAO. This panel  studies the projects and designates the winner of the Prix Fanny-Selena.

The Professor Christophe Faure won the Fanny-Selena prize 2020 with his project “Induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with esophageal atresia and healthy subjects for deciphering the mechanisms of normal and abnormal development of esophagus and trachea”, led at the Esophageal Development and Engineering Laboratory, Sainte-Justine Research Centre (Montreal, Canada).

Project Summary :

“Esophageal atresia with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) is the most frequent congenital anomaly of the esophagus affecting 1 in 2,500 to 3,500 births, where the upper segment is not connected to the lower part of the esophagus and the stomach. The mechanisms underlying the embryonic and fetal development of EA/TEF are poorly understood. Therefore, this project aims to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained from healthy individuals and patients with EA/TEF to mature esophageal and tracheal epithelium. We will also dissect events responsible for esophageal or tracheal fate using single-cell transcriptome profiling. We expect the iPSCs to respond to the signaling molecules targeting specific signaling pathways to generate the esophageal or tracheal progenitors up to the mature esophageal or tracheal epithelium. RNA nanopore sequencing will help identify the molecular pathways and regulatory genes involved in the cellular differentiation of esophageal and tracheal lineages. This project will help to generate data on the differentiation of mature esophageal and respiratory epithelium using induced pluripotent stem cells to better understand the developmental pathways involved in the healthy development of the esophagus and trachea.”

> See the project’s presentation (play the video from 3:00 to 12:00)


Scientific panel :

Professeur Frédéric Auber

Chirurgien Pédiatre
Hôpital Jean Minjoz

Professeur Pierre Cattan

Chirurgien digestif (adulte)
Hôpital Saint-Louis

Docteur Célia Cretolle

Chirurgien Pédiatre – Responsable du MAREP –
Hôpital Necker Enfants-Malades

Professeur Ralph Epaud

Pneumologue, Pédiatre
Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal

Dr Myriam Jugie

Pédiatre  réanimateur
Hôpital Necker Enfants-Malades

Professeur Stanislas Lyonnet

Directeur de l’Institut Imagine

Docteur Véronique Rousseau

Chirurgien Pédiatre
Hôpital Necker Enfants-Malades

Docteur Rony Sfeir

Chirurgien infantile
Centre de Référence des Affections Malformatives de l’Œsophage (CRACMO)
CHU Lille


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