Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire

SFBBM- Maurice Nicloux Prize 2020

Célia Plisson CNRS (Biology Integrative Center) UMR 5099, Toulouse

Attracted by the study of biological complexes at the molecular level, Célia Plisson-Chastang completed her PhD thesis under the supervision of Drs. Daniel Thomas and Patrick Bron in Rennes (France) from 2000 to 2003. She learned there transmission cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and image analysis that she used to characterize structures of phytoviruses in order to better understand the mechanisms underlying their transmission and infectivity.

She did a postdoc at Birkbeck College in London from January 2004 to December 2006, in the group of Prof. Helen Saibil and Dr. Elena Orlova where she improved her expertise in cryo-EM and single particle analysis (SPA). She determined there the 3D structure of various molecular machines (bacteriophage SPP1, chaperone Hsp104, tumor suppressor p53...), allowing to better characterize their functioning.

After a one year parental leave – and convinced that structural biology needed to be directly combined with functional analyses to be more efficient - Célia joined in 2008 the group led by Pr Pierre-Emmanuel Gleizes at the LBME in Toulouse. She introduced cryo-EM and SPA in this laboratory to study the maturation mechanisms of eukaryotic ribosomal subunits. Thanks to the technological developments of this method, she was one of the first to determine the atomic structure of human pre-ribosomal particles. She is now trying to understand how defects in ribosome biogenesis or function can lead to certain cancers or other human pathologies.