Lydia Kerkerian-Le Goff, Research Director at the CNRS and head of the Cellular Interactions, Neurodegeneration and Neuroplasticity team at the Marseille Institute of Developmental Biology (IBDM), was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by Geneviève Rougon on Friday 1 October at the Hexagon, Emeritus researcher at the Institute of Neurosciences at La Timone, in the presence of André Le Bivic, Director of the Institute of Biological Sciences (INSB), Laurent Kodjabachian and Pascale Durbec, Director and Deputy Director of IBDM.
Lydia Kerkerian-Le Goff holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Aix-Marseille and did a post-doctoral internship at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université Laval in Quebec. Recruited by the CNRS, she worked in the laboratory directed by Prof. André Nieoullon in Marseille on the mechanisms that regulate the function of systems that use glutamate as a neurotransmitter. She then individualized a line of research on the involvement of these systems in the normal and pathological functioning of the basal ganglia, brain structures involved in the control of movement, with a focus on the physiopathology and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Since 1999, she has led the “Cellular Interactions, Neurodegeneration and Neuroplasticity” team, which joined the Marseille Institute of Developmental Biology in Luminy in 2006. The work of his team has led to advances in our knowledge of the neuronal networks and mechanisms underlying the expression of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as the beneficial or undesirable effects of the main current treatments for this disease. In particular, they have contributed to the characterization of the mechanisms of action of neurosurgical treatment by deep brain stimulation, as well as to the research and evaluation of new therapeutic targets. She has received numerous awards and recognitions in her career, including the prestigious Aimée and Raymond MANDE prize from the French National Academy of Medicine and was elected President of the French Neuroscience Society from 2015 to 2019.