MissionHead of the Joint Chair EPFL Unil CHUV
Laboratory of Stem Cell Dynamics, LDCS
And Experimental Surgery, CHUV
BiographyYann Barrandon graduated in Medicine in Paris where he also trained as a dermatologist and completed his PhD on the long term cultivation of human haematopoietic stem cells in 1982 under the direction of Dr. Catherine Dresch (Centre Hayem, St Louis Hospital). He worked as a post-doctoral fellow (1982-1983) with Pr. Marvin Karasek in the Department of Dermatology at Stanford University CA, and then with Pr. Howard Green, a pioneer in cell therapy, in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Harvard Medical School (1983-1990). During this period, he participated in the world's first transplantations of epidermal stem cells on extensive third degree wounds and contributed several seminal findings including the demonstration of stem cells in cultures of human keratinocytes (PNAS 1987), and that human keratinocyte stem cells could be efficiently transduced by retroviral vectors (Science 1987), in collaboration with Richard Mulligan at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (Massachussets Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA). He has also participated to the transfer of the stem cell technology from Harvard University to a spin off biotechnology company, now part of Genzyme Corp.
He returned to France in 1990 as Director of Research at the INSERM and Head of Lab at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris. During this period, he demonstrated the presence of multipotent clonogenic stem cells in hair follicles (Cell 1994, 2001) and successfully brought stem cells from bench to bedside demonstrating the usefulness of a fibrin matrix to transplant epidermal stem cells. (Transplantation, 2000). Following his move to Lausanne, Yann Barrandon has shown that oligopotent stem cells are present in the mammalian cornea (Nature 2008), challenging previous dogma. He has also contributed to the characterisation of several skin diseases (Nature Genetics, 1993a, 1993b, 2000, 2005) and towards gene therapy of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. He is a partner in several EEC stem cell consortia (FP6: Therapeuskin and EuroStemCell, FP7: EuroSyStem, OptiStem, BetaCellTherapy).
Current research targets the role of small microenvironmental variations on stem cell behavior, and exploring the potency of stem cells of stratified epithelia (skin, esophagus, ocular surface) and of thymic epithelial cells. The lab is also involved in understanding the factors that regulate stem cell engraftment to improve epithelial cell therapy. An important aspect of the research aims at setting up a pilot clinical trial to demonstrate the feasibility of ex vivo gene therapy to treat Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa, a rare but horrendous congenital disease of the skin that results in continuous blistering of the skin, chronic wounds, fusion of fingers and development of carcinoma.
Yann Barrandon was a member of the Faculty Council of the EPFL School of Life Sciences 2006-2008, of the Board of Swiss Stem Cell Network, 2004-2009, and is a member of the EPFL Ethics Committee since 2008. He is a reviewer for major scientific journals and for major granting agencies abroad. He is a member of the board of Directors of the International Society for Differentiation (ISD) and of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) and was a Member of the Board of Directors of the European Tissue Repair Society, 1990-1995. He was elected as EMBO member in 2009.
He has given over 300 invited conferences and seminars worldwide on the biology and the therapeutic use of cutaneous stem cells including:
Gordon Research Conferences, Tissue Repair and Regeneration, June 2005, New London, USA,
Keystone Symposia on Stem Cells, April 2006, Whistler, Canada
Keystone Symposia, Stem Cell Interactions with their Microenvironmental Niche, March 2007, Keystone, USA
Keystone Symposia, Stem Cell Niche Interactions, April 2009, Whistler, Canada
Gordon Research Conferences, Epithelial Stem Cells, June 2009, Les Diablerets, Switzerland
7th Meeting of the International Society Stem Cell Research, July 2009, Barcelona, Spain
16th International Society for Developmental Biologists, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Sept 2009
Yann Barrandon has given multiple media interviews and participated to different reportages:
LCI, TF1, France 2, France 3, RSR (Radio Suisse Romande), TSR (Television Suisse Romande), and articles in newspapers: Figaro, La Croix, Le Temps, LHebdo, Le Nouvelliste, etc. He was also a participant in the movie A Stem Cell Story, EuroStemCell, Best TV/video production, Tromsø Science Media Festival; Best short film, Scinema (Australia); In competition, Science Film Festival (Bangkok), BaKaFORUM 2007, Vedere la Scienza
He organized the second EuroStemCell international conference Advances in Stem Cell Research supported by the EMBO and held in Lausanne 8-10 September 2006. He regularly participates as faculty to the EEC funded Stem Cell Summer School held in Hydra Greece since 2005.
Selected Publications> Barrandon, Y., Green, H. (1987). Three clonal types of keratinocyte with different capacities for multiplication. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 84: 2302-2306.
> Barrandon, Y., Green, H. (1987). Cell migration is essential for sustained growth of keratinocyte colonies: the roles of transforming growth factor-α and epidermal growth factor. Cell 50: 1131-1137.
> Morgan, JR., Barrandon, Y., Green, H., Mulligan, RC. (1987). Expression of an exogenous growth hormone gene by transplantable human epidermal cells. Science 237, 1476-1479.
> Barrandon, Y., Morgan, JR., Mulligan, R., Green, H. (1989). Restoration of growth potential in paraclones of human keratinocytes by a viral oncogene. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86, 4102-4106.
> Kobayashi, K., Rochat, A., Barrandon, Y. (1993). Segregation of keratinocyte colony-forming cells in the bulge of the rat vibrissa. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 7391-7395.
> Rochat, A., Kobayashi, K., Barrandon, Y. (1994). Location of stem cells of human hair follicles by clonal analysis. Cell 76: 1063-1073.
> Ronfard, V., Rives, J.-M., Neveu, Y., Carsin, H., Barrandon, Y. (2000). Regeneration of human epidermis on third degree burns transplanted with autologous cultured epithelium grown on a fibrin matrix. Transplantation 70, 1588-1598. (with a commentary article).
> Oshima, H., Rochat, A., Kedzia, C., Kobayashi, K., Barrandon, Y. (2001). Morphogenesis and renewal of hair follicles from multipotent stem cells. Cell 104: 233-245. Cover and press release.
> Ellis*, T., Gambardella*, L., Tschanz, S., Capol, J., Jochum, W., Barrandon, Y., Busslinger. M. (2001). The transcriptional repressor CDP (Cutl1) is essential for epithelial cell differentiation of the lung and hair follicles. *Co-first authors. Genes and Dev. 15, 2307-2319.
> Claudinot, S., Nicolas, M., Oshima, H., Rochat, A., Barrandon, Y. (2005). From The Cover: Long-term renewal of hair follicles from clonogenic multipotent stem cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 102: 14677-82. Epub 2005 Oct 3. Cover and Press release. Editor choice, Science 2005, 310: 407.
> Vauclair, S., Majo, F., Durham, A. D., Ghyselinck, N. B., Barrandon, Y., Radtke, F., (2007). Corneal epithelial cell fate is maintained during repair by Notch1 signaling via the regulation of vitamin A metabolism. Dev Cell 13, 242-253.
> Gurtner, G. C., Werner, S., Barrandon, Y., Longaker, M. T. (2008). Wound repair and regeneration. Nature 453, 314-321.
> Majo, F., Rochat, A., Nicolas, M., Abou Jaoudé, G., Barrandon, Y. (2008). Oligopotent stem cells are distributed throughout the ocular surface. Nature 456: 250-254. Epub 2008 Oct 1. Research Highlights in Nature Reports Stem Cells Epub Oct 9, 2008 release)