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Sandrine Boyault, Project Leader
Since 2010, Sandrine Boyault has been the project leader of the research program sequencing the entire breast cancer and prostate cancer genomes, a study currently underway at the bioinformatics platform of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation.
Sandrine Boyault is in charge of the technical and logistical coordination of the ICGC (International Cancer Genome Consortium) projects, focusing on the sequencing of breast cancer and prostate cancer, conducted at the bioinformatics platform. She manages the partnerships between project collaborators and organises the sampling of biological specimens: “For the ‘breast’ project, we currently have partnerships with 14 hospital centres throughout France”, Sandrine Boyault explains. “The transfer of tumour or normal biological specimens to the Centre Léon Bérard has to be organised. The DNA and RNA of tumour specimens then have to be extracted and prepared for the ICGC study. Following different assays to evaluate the quantity and quality of the biological material, the specimens are then sent to the various pre-sequencing and sequencing platforms”. The results are subsequently sent back to the bioinformatics platform in order to be processed and analysed by the team of bioinformatics scientists.
I supervise the organisation and monitoring of the entire procedure, from the reception of the tumour/normal specimens to their dispatching for the genomic analyses. The upfront organisation of the network of collaborators is very important.
After having obtained a Diploma of Advanced Studies (“Diplôme d’études approfondies” or DEA) in Pharmacology and a PhD in Cell Biology, Sandrine Boyault was keen on investing as much of her time as possible on the most technical and practical aspects of research. With a strong interest in the field of cancer research, she carried out a post-doc in the “Functional Genomics of Solid Tumours” (“Génomique fonctionnelle des tumeurs solides”) unit of the Inserm (French national institute for health and medical research) in Paris, where she established a link between DNA anomalies, tumour characteristics and clinical data in the case of liver cancers.
Between the years of 2006 and 2010, Sandrine Boyault worked as a research assistant for the Translational Research Laboratory (“Laboratoire de recherche translationnelle”) of the Centre Léon Bérard in Lyon. Her mission was to identify novel anomalies occurring in genes involved in different carcinogenesis signalling pathways in the case of mammary tumours “using standard targeted sequencing”. “At the bioinformatics platform of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation, new methodologies are implemented at the sequencing stage”, says the young scientist. “By joining this team, I was able to discover the field of bioinformatics, applied to a subject close to my heart, cancer”. Dynamic, rigorous and responsive, Sandrine Boyault likes working “at the interface between bioinformatics scientists, biologists and doctors from the centres specialised in the fight against cancer”, but also likes “implementing new technical methodologies to meet the needs of the projects and to optimise their completion”.