The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Light, vision and the brain

Team leaders: Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl & Frank Pfrieger

Our team is interested in molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating retinal physiopathology and its connections with the brain. Using a wide range of models and methods, we study how cell-cell interactions control retinal function, development, aging and vulnerability to diseases, and how their integration conveys information to the central circadian clock and to other brain regions regulating behaviour.

Team projects


Researchers / Professors / Associate professors

Amandine Bery
(Associate professor)

Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl
(Senior researcher)

David Hicks
(Senior researcher)

Virginie Laurent-Gydé
(Associate professor)

Jorge Mendoza
(Senior researcher)

Viviane Pallage

Frank Pfrieger
(Senior researcher)

Daniela Verra

Postdoctoral fellow / Ph.D. students

Udita Bagchi

Noëmi Billon

Shumet Gegnaw

Bastien Leclercq

Nadia Mazzaro

Nemanja Milicevic

Fabiana Sassone

Guillaume Vanotti

Engineers / Technicians

Amélie Bathélémy

Cristina Sandu

Selected publications

Demais V, Barthélémy A, Perraut M, Ungerer N, Keime C, Reibel S, Pfrieger FW. Reversal of pathologic lipid accumulation in NPC1-deficient neurons by drug-promoted release of LAMP1-coated lamellar inclusions. J Neurosci (2016) 36: 8012-8025. PMID: 27466344.

Felder-Schmittbuhl MP, Buhr ED, Dkhissi-Benyahya O, Hicks D, Peirson SN, Ribelayga CP, Sandu C, Spessert R, Tosini G. Ocular Clocks: Adapting Mechanisms for Eye Functions and Health. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. (2018) 59:4856-4870. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24957.

Laurent V, Sengupta A., Sánchez-Bretaño A., Hicks D., Tosini G. Melatonin Signaling Affects the Timing in the Daily Rhythm of Phagocytic Activity by the Retinal Pigment Epithelium. Exp. Eye Res.; Dec; 165:90-95.

Salaberry NL, Hamm H, Felder-Schmittbuhl MP, Mendoza J. A suprachiasmatic-independent circadian clock(s) in the habenula is affected by Per gene mutations and housing light conditions in mice. Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Jan;224(1):19-31. doi: 10.1007/s00429-018-1756-4.

Verra DM, Sajdak BS, Merriman DK, Hicks D. Diurnal rodents as pertinent animal models of human retinal physiology and pathology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2019 Sep 6:100776. doi:10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.100776.


The French National Centre for Scientific Research