Helene Knævelsrud: When should you stop eating yourself? Termination of autophagy from fruit flies to cancer cells
Abstract: Cells in a living organism need to be able to readily respond to changes in nutritional status. Upon starvation, certain tissues respond by activating autophagy to provide energy and building blocks necessary to sustain essential cellular functions. Importantly, these cells must also turn off autophagy when nutrient supplies are replenished, or as an adaptation to prolonged starvation, because unrestricted autophagy is harmful to the fitness of the organism. Surprisingly little is known about how autophagy is terminated. Therefore, our team is focused on understanding the mechanisms and regulation of this process. We study termination of autophagy in vivo in fruit flies, and findings there have also brought us to further investigations in kidney cancer.
Charlotte Boccara: How brain regions “talk” with each other while we sleep to create new memories
Abstract: Memory can be described as a two-step process. Step one is the learning – or encoding of new information in a temporary storage – the hippocampus – one of the first brain region affected by Alzheimer disease. Step two is the consolidation of newly learnt information and their transfer into a long-term storage in the cortex, where it will be accessible for later recall if a need arises. Such transfer of information is thought to heavily relies on a good dialogue between the hippocampus and the cortex, especially during sleep. While the two-stage memory model is widely recognized, we have very little data on (i) how and when the hippocampocortical dialogue happens and (ii) how it affects memory neural code. To finally bridge this important knowledge gap, we have concomitantly recorded from the CA1 region of the hippocampus and the medial entorhinal cortex of rats while they learn new goal locations, sleep and have their memory tested after.