Celine Berthier, PhD

Associate Research Scientist

Celine has been working for the last 10 years in the area of systems biology of inflammatory glomerular diseases with a focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of diabetic nephropathy (DN) first, then IgA nephropathy (IgAN), and lupus nephritis (LN). As the leader of the research projects on systems biology of LN (and IgAN) in our research team, one of her research goals is to develop innovative approaches that will provide new perspectives on our understanding of comprehensive human renal gene expression datasets. This requires novel ideas and sophisticated technical skills to develop and carry out very complex system biology analyses.

As highlighted in her recent publications, systems biology technologies allow the integration of current knowledge with large scale experimental data to generate insight into the regulatory events occurring in LN. One of her current focuses is to use recent systems biology tools to discover new and more specific therapeutic opportunities in human LN, as well as new biomarkers for clinical disease stage or outcome. To this aim, she has analyzed renal macrophage and kidney genome-wide expression profiling data from three different mouse models of LN, as well as from human LN kidney biopsies. This will help the scientific community to select the appropriate mouse model depending on their research topic of interest, as well as to analyze new LN therapeutic targets.

By combining her expertise in molecular and systems biology with her knowledge of renal disease mechanisms, her other research focus is to integrate disease molecular signatures with clinical parameters for LN and IgAN with the hope of shedding some light on any shared pathways in disease pathogenesis. She has thus defined common characteristics among patient groups. These characteristics could be useful for improved classification, outcome prediction, and for defining new therapeutic targets.

In addition, still with the goal of characterizing promising biological targets for the development of new drugs and diagnostics in LN, she has been one active member of one awarded group led by Betty Diamond in the NIH Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program. She has been optimizing protocols for isolating and storing renal single cell suspensions from human tumor nephrectomy samples as well as biopsies from LN patients and urine samples.