Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy
Bernard Malissen is the Director of the Center for Immunophenomics (Marseille, France) and Director of the Team ‘Integrative Biology of T cells and Dendritic cells’ at Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille Luminy. Bernard Malissen pioneered in the eigthies the use of gene transfer approaches to dissect the function of MHC molecules. He also succeeded reconstructing a full TCR complex and demonstrating that the present-day signaling subunits associated with antigen receptors stem from a common primordial building block. He provided the first evidence for chromosomal inversion during TCR gene rearrangements. His team was also the first to elucidate the atomic structure of an alloreactive TCR in complex with its peptide-MHC ligand, providing a molecular explanation for the basis of transplant rejection and contributing to unveil the structural basis of TCR binding-degeneracy. His recent interests extended to dendritic cells leading his team to disentangle the functional complexity of skin dendritic cells and macrophages. To make sense of the formidable complexity of the signal transduction networks involved in T cell activation, he recently combined “omic” approaches that measure large numbers of parameters and genetic screens leading his team to discover a novel molecule (Rltpr/Carmil2) vital for the function of the CD28 costimulatory pathway.