Antoine Louveau, currently a research scientist at the University of Virginia, under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Kipnis received a travel award from LE&RN to attend the 2016 Gordon Research Conference in Lymphatics held in Ventura, CA. We asked Antoine to share his thoughts on that experience with us and tell us a bit about his research and future plans.
What did you get out of the conference? Why did you feel it was important to attend?
I had the privilege to be awarded a travel grant to attend the 2016 GRC conference on lymphatics. This was for me a great experience. As a newcomer in the lymphatic field, this conference allowed me to learn about the most recent and cutting edge research that is currently being conducted in the lymphatic field. Being able to present my work to experts in the field was very important in order to receive their feedback and advice for the advancement of my research.
What are your areas of interest in research?
Trained as a neuroscientist, my research is focused on the function of the recently discovered meningeal lymphatic vasculature in the maintenance of brain function under physiological and pathological conditions. This discovery is shedding new light into several aspects of brain function that were not fully understood so far, and bring a new exciting hypothesis on how the brain is being drained and how immune surveillance and immune responses are occurring in the brain.
What are your hopes and plans for your career and your research?
I hope that my research will demonstrate the importance of the meningeal lymphatic drainage in the regulation of immune response occurring in the brain during Multiple Sclerosis and how the meningeal lymphatic vasculature is a major player in the establishment of the brain immune surveillance. My goal is to establish myself as an independent researcher in the next couple of years and continue investigating the role of the meningeal lymphatic vasculature under normal and pathological conditions.
Why do you believe that, in general, lymphatic research is important? What might the field accomplish within the next years?
The lymphatic field is a rising field right now. It’s getting recognized as a major part of the vascular system and, more importantly, we start to discover how the tissue-specific lymphatic vasculature is necessary for the function of specific organs. Lymphatic research is therefore important to enable us to provide potential treatment for people suffering from lymphatic related diseases. But in my opinion we will also discover that we can use the lymphatic vasculature to ameliorate other disorders affecting specific tissues. Over the next years, I think that we will have good evidence that the lymphatic vasculature within different tissue specialize their function to potentiate the function of the organ that will enable us to design specific treatments.