Gilles Benichou, MD, PhD
Faculté des sciences de Paris (Pierre et Marie Curie University), France
Associate Professor of Surgery and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Our current projects are: 1) investigate the contribution of memory T cells in rejection and tolerance resistance of allografts in mice and primates and, 2) study the role of donor-derived exosomes and MHC-cross-dressing of recipient cells in allorecognition by T cells.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
I have been always fascinated by the question of self vs. non-self recognition by the immune system. This led me to study allorecognition and its relevance to transplantation as well as pregnancy in vertebrates and through evolution of the immune system.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
A better understanding of allorecognition by T cells in vivo and how it shapes the immune response to an allograft has brought some insights into basic questions regarding the physiology of the immune response.
When I was 17 years old, still in high school, and walking the streets of Paris with my friends, I was stopped by a fortune teller who proposed to tell me my future through reading of the palm of my hand. She told me that three letters that would play an important role in my career were: MHC.