Isabelle Loubinoux

INSERM Research Director (DR2) TONIC (INSERM-UT3)


Isabelle Loubinoux is an engineer from AgroParisTech, Institute National Agronomique Paris‑Grignon, and obtained her PhD in Medical Imaging from University of Paris XI. She monitor with diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging the progression of the ischemic lesion in experimental rodent models of stroke and tested pharmacological treatments to salvage the ischemic penumbra. After a post-doctoral training in the Inserm unit of François Chollet in Toulouse, she became an Inserm junior researcher. Her project was to find pharmacological treatments to improve motor recovery of impaired post-stroke patients. Hemiplegia is the more common deficit. First cause of handicap, stroke has a heavy economical cost. She tested serotoninergic and mono-aminergic drugs. She obtained a “Contrat d’interface 2006-2011: Innovative strategies in Stroke” with the Toulouse University Hospital. She used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to demonstrate that such drugs were able to specifically modulate motor cerebral activation when a patient uses his/her hand in correlation with improved motor performance. Thus, functional imaging showed that ipsilesional activity must be promoted in motor brain regions. Today, no pharmacological treatment has been validated in human clinics when deficits are constituted. She demonstrated that fluoxetine, Prozac®, apart from being an antidepressant, is a serotoninergic drug that significantly improved motor outcome and augmented the ratio of independent patients (Chollet F et al., I Loubinoux, Lancet Neurology, 2011, Top status 1‰). Isabelle Loubinoux has conducted the Inserm team “Therapeutic innovations in cerebrovascular disease” in 2010-2015. She became a senior Inserm Researcher in 2011. She will continue to lead the Inserm iDREAM team in 2016-2020: “Innovation in Drug, Regenerative mEdecine, stimulAtion, and modulation of Motor plasticity and recovery”. The research program of the team relies on neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques promoting cerebral plasticity, with the aim of improving recovery. The team has three axes. Axis 1: Therapeutics after acute brain injury and MRI biomarkers, Axis 2: Characterization of Acute Brain injury with MRI, PET Imaging and EEG, Axis 3: Regulation of voluntary and involuntary motricity. Neurobiomechanics, mechanisms in healthy subjects and patients. The team includes scientists in neuroimaging, biomechanics, and cellular biology, and clinicians in neurology, neurorehabilitation, neurophysiology, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, and psychiatry. The expertise of the group is highly translational since it goes from cells, rodents, non-human primates to humans (healthy subjects and patients). The project aims to determine experimentally the therapeutical strategies that will have a major clinical impact on future clinical treatments for stroke specifically in highly invalidated patients. Apart from serotoninergic drugs, other hopes also rely on cerebral neuro-implants (cellular therapy combined with biomaterials) making long-distance bridges between brain areas. Her team made the proof of concept that neuro-implants, oriented biomaterials with predifferentiated stem cells on it inserted in the cortical lesion, improved motor performance in rats (Vaysse et al., Biomaterials 2015).

Isabelle Loubinoux published 59 publications, 1 book chapter, was invited to give 26 conferences, and supervised 8 PhD students and 1 post-doc researcher. She is member of the doctoral school Clesco. She was elected at the Inserm Scientific Council CSS Technology for Health n°8 2012-2016. She is member of StrokAvenir and member of the Scientific Council of the « Fondation pour la Recherche dans les AVC » (Stroke).