Lab members – CHETELAT'S LAB

Lab members

– Team leader –

Gaël Chételat

I am very proud to lead this fantastic team, to see all the different characters, cultures, backgrounds and functions to form a harmonious entity guided by a common motivation and all working with enthusiasm and energy in the same direction.

– Research | Post-doc –

Géraldine Rauchs

I am collaborating with Gaël for several years. I am a sleep scientist in the research unit NIMH (Inserm U1077). I am interested in the role of sleep in memory consolidation and the impact of sleep disturbances on structural, functional and molecular brain alterations.

In the AGEWELL project, I am responsible of sleep examinations and I co-supervise with Gaël two PhD students (Valentin Ourry and Pierre Champetier). We work in close interaction with the Sleep department of the University Hospital and with the neuroimaging experts of Gaël’s team.

Anne-Lise Pitel

I have been working on the effect of chronic and heavy alcohol consumption on brain and cognition for almost 20 years. I have significantly contributed to the understanding of the cognitive and brain pathophysiology of alcohol use disorder and Korsakoff’s syndrome.

I now aim at setting-up and testing non-pharmacological intervention protocols to improve cognitive abilities and to favor the reduction of alcohol consumption or abstinence in patients with alcohol use disorder. By joining Gaël’s lab, I plan to extend my investigations to older subjects with alcohol use disorder in order to determine the contribution of alcohol consumption to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

Géraldine Poisnel

Leader of the work-package management of EU-funded Silver Santé Study and project manager on a large longitudinal multimodal neuroimaging multicentre project, I have an ideal background as I graduated in Project Management and previously worked on neuroimaging biomarkers and Alzheimer’s Disease in Pharma industry and during my PhD in Biology-Pharmacology.

Adept of the multitasking, I work also on the biological aspects with a special focus to uncover mechanisms underlying age-related changes in brain using blood markers.

Robin De Flores

I’m interested in characterizing medial temporal lobe (MTL) alterations in normal and pathological aging. More precisely, I use and develop neuroimaging tools, including structural and functional MRI, to better understand how MTL structures and networks are affected by different conditions.

I did my PhD, entitled “Structural, functional and molecular alterations of hippocampal subfields and their networks in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease”, under the supervision of Gaël Chételat from 2013 to 2016. I then moved to Philadelphia for a two-year postdoc to continue exploring the MTL with Dr David Wolk and Dr Paul Yushkevich. I came back to Caen in January 2020, riding a seahorse.

Julie Gonneaud

After a PhD in Psychology under the supervision of Dr Béatrice Desgranges (Inserm U923, Caen), a first postdoc in Dr Gaël Chételat’s lab and a second postdoctoral experience in Dr Sylvia Villeneuve’s lab (Douglas Research Institute/McGill University; Montreal, Canada), I returned to Chételat’s lab in November 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher. I use multimodal neuroimaging to further understand the physiopathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the factors that could influence the risk of developing AD in cognitively unimpaired individuals. My work will mainly focus on the influence of lifestyle factors (e.g. cognitive, physical and social activity, diet) on AD brain and cognitive markers and how these factors can interact with other risk factors (e.g. sex, genetics) to modulate AD risk.

– Research | Phd Student –

Elizabeth Kuhn

Since 2017, I am a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Gaël Chételat and the co-supervision of Pr Vincent de La Sayette. My research interest focuses on the evolution of awareness of one’s own cognitive abilities during Alzheimer’s clinical syndrome. I am interest in the brain substrates of self-awareness, its links to cognitive decline and the impact of 18-month non-pharmacological interventions based on cognitive training or meditation training on self-awareness.

Edelweiss Touron

I joined the Chételat’s lab since my internships of a master’s degree in neurosciences and behavioural sciences in 2017. I am currently a PhD Student supervised by Gaël Chételat and Géraldine Poisnel (2018-2021). The aim of my project is to better understand the links between subclinical depressive symptoms and neuroimaging and blood biomarkers in ageing and to assess the impact of the 18-month mental training of meditation on depressive symptoms and their different substrates. 

Sophie Dautricourt

I am a neurologist with a special interest in cognitive disorders and neurodegenerative diseases and am currently a PhD student in Gaël Chételat’s lab, working on the Silver Santé Study. My research lies in understanding how brain network connectivity is affected in Alzheimer’s disease. I’m studying the changes in anterior temporal and posterior medial hippocampal network connectivity in Alzheimer’s disease patients. I’m also investigating if specific brain network connectivity patterns are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in ageing people and how they are influenced by lifestyle and psycho-affective factors. Finally, I aim to investigate how mental training based on stress and emotion regulation, through meditation practice, could influence cerebral connectivity patterns and potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Valentin Ourry

I joined the team in 2016 as a research assistant, I worked on lifestyle and neuroimaging. I also took part in data acquisition. In 2018, I started a PhD under the supervision of Géraldine Rauchs (Inserm U1077 NIMH) and I work on sleep, lifestyle and multimodal neuroimaging in the context of aging.

Not all the secrets of the brain have been discovered, that’s exciting!

Cassandre Palix

Hi, I’m a PhD student under the supervision of Géraldine Poisnel and Gaël Chételat (UMR-S 1237).

My really cool thesis project aims at understanding the impact of mental training (meditation and English learning) on the allostatic load (a cumulative measure of different blood biomarkers), an index of successful aging! I also take part in data acquisition.

Francesca Felisatti

I joined the team in 2018 as a research assistant in the Age-Well project, and I am now doing my PhD on the interactions between lifestyle factors (e.g., cognitive, physical and social activities) and brain markers of Alzheimer’s disease. My interest lies in understanding how modifiable factors such as environment and lifestyle impact brain structure and function, and how they can be targeted to delay cognitive decline in healthy aging as well as in neurodegenerative diseases.

Pierre Champetier

Since September 2019, I have been a PhD student under the supervision of Géraldine Rauchs (Inserm U1077 NIMH). I would like to see if meditation practice can help to preserve sleep quality, and if this can help to prevent cognitive and brain alterations due to aging.

Sacha Haudry

Hi, I joined the team in 2018 as an intern for my master degree and I am now working as a research assistant before beginning my PhD next year.

My project aims at understanding the impact of a meditation practice on the brain of healthy older adults by measuring its changes in volume, metabolism, amyloid deposits and functional connectivity.

Léa Chauveau

I joined Gaël Chételat’s team during a master 2 internship and will now start a PhD thesis under the supervision of Robin de Flores using Silver Santé Study longitudinal data. This thesis mainly focuses on functional connectivity of medial temporal lobe networks and its links with modifiable life factors and biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. It also aims to investigate the effects of both meditation and English practice on this functional integrity and how these potential changes translate from an emotional and cognitive point of view.

Ilana Moreau

I am a neuroscience master student and I joined the team under the supervision of Julie Gonneaud. I’m studying the interactions between sexual hormone rates and physical activity practice on Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers.

Camille Delahaie

I am a neuroscience student and I joined the team as an intern for my master degree. I work on sleep disturbances under the supervision of Géraldine Rauchs. My project aims at understanding how white matter is altered by obstructive sleep apnea in the elderly.

– Clinicians –

Vincent de La Sayette

Principal Investigator

I am neurologist, hospital physician, associate professor of neurology at the University of Caen and responsible of the CMRR (Center of Memory) of Caen.

There are more than 25 years old that I have a consulting activity specialized in the field of cognitive disorders.

Anne Chocat

I am a medical biologist from Caen, with a liberal and hospitable experience. During my postgraduate training, I felt the relevance of a therapeutic approach through meditation and mindfulness (MBSR courses – MBCI certificate – Mindfulness Based on Compassion and Insight -, Medicine Meditation and Neuroscience).

In order to contribute to the scientific recognition of all the benefits of meditation, I joined the Gaël Chételat’s team as a co-investigator in the Age-Well study (I am the non-geek of team).

Marion Delarue

I’m working as a neuropsychologist and I joined the team in June 2017.

I take part in the passing of the neuropsychological tests in the framework of two research projects: the IMAP (Longitudinal Study in Multimodal Imaging of Alzheimer’s Disease at an Early Stage) and the Silver Santé Study, a European study on aging well.

Léo Paly

I have been part of the team for several years as a neuropsychologist. I take part in the passing of the neuropsychological tests in the framework of research project:

Silver Santé Study, a European study on aging well and sometimes on the IMAP Project (Longitudinal Study in Multimodal Imaging of Alzheimer’s Disease at an Early Stage)

– Clinical and research staff –

Brigitte Landeau

I am engineer in developing applications in our lab and mainly in Gaël’s team since 2008. I implement new innovative methods of processing and analysis in multimodal neuroimaging, mainly in resting-state fMRI. I study the alteration of functional connectivity at rest and links with atrophy, hypometabolism, and amyloid deposits in Alzheimer’s disease.

 I am responsible for training members of the unit to these techniques. I interact with common services in Imaging and Computer of GIP Cyceron.

Florence Mezenge

I’m working as a research assistant Gaël’s team, INSERM U1237, since 2002.

My main role is to coordinate the technical aspects of both IMAP and Age-Well studies. I am also responsible for the acquisition of the imaging data, including both MRI and PET scans.

I am in interaction with the neuroimaging platform of Cyceron and work in close interaction with Brigitte Landeau, for the development of neuroimaging data processing techniques.

Victor Ferment

My name is Victor, I’m from Le Havre and I have a Master’s degree in cellular biology. At Cyceron, I’m a research assistant in clinical research on Gaël Chételat’s team and I work on the Age-Well project. I am mainly in charge of data acquisition and data entry.

Séverine Fauvel

I joined the team in November 2019 as a clinical research technician for Age-Well. I mainly accompany the participants of the study in their examinations (MRI, blood tests, etc) and collect the data.

Valérie Lefranc

I work as a communication officer. I welcome, organize and schedule appointments for study volunteers. My main duty is to participate in the writing and the realization of communication support (flyers, press releases, posters, newsletters, and letters).I also organize events such as public conferences, press relations, interviews and update the website and social networks.

My second mission as a clinical research assistant for the Age-Well project is to welcome, organize and plan the appointments of volunteers as well as support them in their examinations and collect data.

Caitlin Ware

I work as a research engineer for Age-Well. My main role is to plan, organize, and help facilitate the English learning intervention for Silver Santé Study. I am also currently writing my PhD on the subject of bilingualism and Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Paris VII Diderot.

I conduct research on the psychological and cognitive effects of foreign language learning in older adults. My interests are psychoanalysis, cognitive reserve, and the psychological factors involved in learning a second language.

– Administrative staff –

Aurélia Cognet

Administrative for the Team C since October 2015, I am taking care of the administrative part of the Age-Well study.

I am particularly concerned with the organization of missions, meetings, recruitment files, purchases, and protocol compensation.

Sébastien Polvent

After being graduated in web and mobile development in October 2020, I joined the Gaël Chételat’s team in January 2021 to develop a cross-platform mobile application for the « Silver Santé Study » research project. The aim of this mobile app is to disseminate the program and its benefits more broadly, to all the seniors interested in maintaining their brain health as they age.

I am very excited to take part in this amazing project and to build a new mobile app from scratch to fill these goals!

Challenge accepted!

Caroline Roatta

Assistant project manager

I am a French-Colombian journalist with a background in public engagement with science and technology (PEST). I joined the Chételat’s lab for my internship of a master’s degree in Management in Health and Social Care. I work for the Silver Santé Study under the supervision of Géraldine Poisnel.