Prof. Déglon received her education, including a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She held several research positions at the Gene Therapy Centre in Lausanne, at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California, and at the Federal Polytechnic Institute of Lausanne, Switzerland where she developed gene therapy approaches for neurodegenerative diseases. In 2003, she joined the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) as Research Director and Deputy Director of MIRCen, a pre-clinical imaging platform for drug, cell and gene therapy. She is currently associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DNC) at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).
Prof. Déglon’s research interests include the development of viral-based genetic models of neurodegenerative diseases and the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases from cell transplantation to gene therapy. In 1997, her group was one of the first to adopt the powerful gene transfer technology with lentiviral vectors for neurotrophic factor delivery to the brain. Papers in this new research line have opened entirely new possibilities for efficient, long-term delivery of therapeutic genes in rodent and primate models of neurodegenerative diseases. She has also played a pioneer role in the modelling of CNS neurodegeneration by overexpressing disease-causing proteins with viral vectors. In 2002, she developed lentiviral-mediated RNA interference and since then we have acquired a large expertise in the design and applications of siRNA sequences to silence dominant, toxic genes implicated in neurological disorders (HD and SCA3). The recent development of gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 system has opened new opportunities for the modelling and treatment of HD.