AREA OF RESEARCH Neuropharmacology, Neurobiology of anxiety/depression, Animal Models of Psychiatric Disorders. SPECIALIZATION Contribution of neurotrophin and hippocampal neurogenesis to pathological states such as depression and anxiety. RESEARCH THEME After graduating from Paris-Sud XI University for his master, Denis David chose the psychopharmacology department for his PhD at the University of Nantes in France. During this period, he became interested in progression of behavioral pharmacology and how to improve animal model of anxiety/depression to mimic these psychiatric disorders. To advance his training in neuropsychiatry and learn molecular biology and histology, in 2003, with a grant from the French Pharmaceutical companies association, Denis David chose to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in Pr René Hen’s laboratory at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (New York, USA). Pr Hen’s group combines the use of mouse genetics, electrophysiology, and pharmacology to study psychiatric disorders at the level of genes, circuits and behavior. As part of his fellowship, he studied mainly the role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the behavioral responses to antidepressant drugs. He was then recruited as Assistant Professor in Pharmacology in 2004 in the team of Pr Alain Gardier at the University Paris-Sud XI. He pursued the characterization of a new animal model of anxiety/depression, in collaboration with Pr René Hen’s lab using various approaches, such as neurochemical, biochemical and behavioral approaches. Thus, using an ablation strategy of the hippocampal neurogenesis in this new animal model of anxiety/depression, he has shown that hippocampal neurogenesis is required for some of the behavioral effects of antidepressants. Novel antidepressant therapies aimed at targeting directly or not hippocampal neurogenesis are currently under investigation in this new model of anxiety/depression.
Univ. Paris Saclay