Dr Nicolas Pionnier

Post Doctoral Research in Medecine Assistant

Areas of interest

Immune responses to parasitic infections; filarial nematodes (lymphatic filariases, onchocerciasis and loasis); innate immune cells (neutrophils, macrophages, eosinophils, dendritic cells, innate lymphoid cells) and their functions (in particular neutrophil extracellular traps –NETs- release, granulomas, degranulation, antigen-presenting cell –APC- function) ; flow cytometry


Nicolas Pionnier graduated from the University of Avignon (France) in 2006 with a French equivalent to a B.Sc. in Biology and then graduated from the University of Montpellier 2 (France) in 2008 with a French equivalent to a M.Sc. in Epidemiology and Parasites Ecology. He joined the University of Keele (UK) in 2009 for a Ph.D. in fish immunology under the supervision of Prof. Dave Hoole as a Marie Curie fellow. He therefore joined the “Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) NEMO: Training Network on Protective Immune Modulation in Warm Water Fish by Feeding Glucans” and obtained his Ph.D. in late 2012 with his work on the effect of glucan or infection on innate acute phase proteins in common carp Cyprinus carpio. In October 2012, as a post-doctoral research assistant, he joined Drs. Coralie Martin and Françoise Bachelerie, respectively at the French Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, in Paris (France) and at the UMR 996 Cytokines, Chemokines and Immunopathology, Clamart (France). In their groups, he worked on the immune response to filariases infections and especially focused on the role and therapeutic potential of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its CXCL12 ligand in the progression of the filarial infection. In April 2015 Nicolas joined Dr Joseph Turner’s group in the Parasitology department as a post-doctoral research assistant and carry on investigating immune responses to filariasis infection.

Research in Medecine

Developing susceptible in vivo filariasis models by investigating and manipulating the mechanisms of innate and adaptive host resistance to Brugia malayi, Loa loa and Onchocerca ochengi in mice. An immediate application of these basic immunobiological studies will advance testing of new treatments against onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).

Other relevant expertise, professional memberships etc.

.Member of the British Society for Parasitology (BSP) since 2010, of the British Society for Immunology (BSI) since 2016, and a member of the French Society for Parasitology (SFP) since 2016

Selected publications

  • Selected recent publications

    (2017) Karadjian G, Fercoq F, Pionnier N, Vallarino-Lhermitte N, Lefoulon E, Nieguitsila A, Hoerauf A, Specht S, Carlin L and Martin C. The Filaria Litomosoides sigmodontis Has an Early Pulmonary Phase Associated with S100A8/9 High Expressing Neutrophils. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11(5):e0005596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005596

    (2017) Aljayyoussi G, Tyrer H, Ford L, Sjoberg H, Pionnier N, Waterhouse D, Davies J, Gamble J, Metuge H, Cook D, Steven A, Sharma R, Guimaraes A, Clare R, Cassidy A, Johnston KL, Wanji S, Turner JDT, Taylor M and Ward SA. Short-Course, High-Dose Rifampicin Achieves Wolbachia Depletion Predictive of Curative Outcomes in Preclinical Models of Lymphatic Filariasis and Onchocerciasis. Sci Rep. 2017 7: 210 (2017). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-00322-5

    (2016) Tamarozzi F + Turner JD + Pionnier N (all co-first), Midgley A, Guimaraes AF, Johnston KL, Edwards SW & Taylor MJ. Wolbachia endosymbionts induce neutrophil extracellular trap formation in human onchocerciasis. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 18;6:35559. doi: 10.1038/srep35559.

    (2016) Pionnier N, Brotin E, Karadjian G, Hemon P, Gaudin-Nomé F, Vallarino-Lhermitte N, Nieguitsila A, Fercoq F, Aknin M-L, Marin-Esteban V, Chollet-Martin S, Schlecht-Louf G, Bachelerie F & Martin C. Neutropenic Mice Provide Insight into the Role of Skin-Infiltrating Neutrophils in the Host Protective Immunity against Filarial Infective Larvae. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2016;10(4):e0004605. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004605.

    (2015) J Miest, M Adamek, N Pionnier, S Harris, M Matras, K Rakus, I Irnazarow, D Steinhagen & D Hoole. Differential effects of Alloherpesvirus CyHV-3 and Rhabdovirus SVCV on apoptosis in fish cells. Veterinary Microbiology 176(1-2): 19-31.doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.12.012  

    (2014) Pionnier N, Adamek M, Miest J, Harris S, Matras M, Rakus K, Irnazarow I & Hoole D. CRP and complement as acute phase reactants in common carp Cyprinus carpio during CyHV-3 infection. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 109(3): 187-199. doi: 10.3354/dao02727