Catherine Alix-Panabières, PhD

Dr Catherine Alix-Panabières received her PhD degree in 1998 at the Institute of Virology, University Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg in France. In 1999, she moved to Montpellier where she did a postdoctoral research in the Department of Immuno-Virology of the University Medical Centre of Montpellier, France. During this last decade, Dr Alix-Panabières has focused on optimizing new techniques of enrichment and detection of viable disseminating tumor cells in patients with solid tumors. She is the expert for the EPISPOT technology that is used to detect viable tumor cells in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow of patients with breast, prostate, colon, head & neck cancer and melanoma. This technology has been recently improved to detect functional CTCs at the single cell level and is called EPIDROP.

In 2010, she achieved getting a permanent position at the Hospital and at the Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier (MCU-PH), a wonderful mixture of giving teaching lessons to medical students on Cancer Biology in combination of developing this field of tumor cell dissemination at the hospital for the cancer patients, leading strongly translational clinical research. As an associate professor, she became the new director of the Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH) in the Department of Pathology and Onco-Biology.

In this unique platform LCCRH, they isolate, detect and characterize circulating tumor cells using combinations of the EPISPOT assay, the CellSearch® system (Silicon Biosystem - Menarini), the flow cytometry, the CellCollector (GILUPI), the molecular biology (AmpliSpeed device), the Parsortix system (Angle) and the DEPArray (Silicon Biosystem - Menarini) for single cell sorting. She has authored or co-authored >60 scientific publications in this field during the last years including 10 book chapters, she is the inventor of three patents in the liquid biopsy field and she is part of French national projects: for ex, PANTHER (FUI project) as well as of big European projects: CTC-SCAN (Transcan project), CANCER-ID (IMI project), PROLIPSY (Transcan project) and European Liquid Biopsy Academy (ELBA, Marie-Curie project).

After she got the Scientific Prize given by the Region Languedoc-Roussillon in 2008, it was a great honor for her to receive the Gallet et Breton Cancer Prize, the highest honor conferred by the French Academy of Medicine in November 2012 and, very recently, the 2017 AACR Award for the most cited scientific article in 2015 (Cayrefourcq et al. Cancer Res).