Research team website  





Hélène Castel (PhD, HDR)

Nationality - French

Research Director at Inserm (DR2)

● Team leader : “Astrocyte and Vascular Niche”, Inserm U1239, Normandie Rouen University, France
● Leader of the “Preclinical Axis” of the French National platform “CancerandCognition”

Professional Address : Laboratory of Neuronal and Neuroendocrine Cell Communication et Differentiation, DC2N, Inserm U1239, Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation, IRIB, University of Rouen Normandie, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan, FRANCE.
  Researcher ID : B-8675-2009
  ORCID : 0000-0002-8972-5555
Website :
Electronic CV :
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  E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  Phone : 33(2)35-14-66-23
Born January 2, 1972, married, 3 children

University Diplomas
1994-1995  Master of science and Technology, Cell Biology and Neurosciences, University of Rouen Normandie (Honors)
2000           PhD in Sciences, Cell Biology and Neurosciences, University Rouen Normandie
                   (Congratulations from the Jury)
2011           Habilitation to Direct Research, University of Rouen Normandie

1995-1998    Recipient of the Ministry of Research and Teaching Instructor, University of Rouen Normandie, France
1998-2000    Temporary Recipient of the Ministry of Teaching and Research, University of Rouen Normandie, France
2000-2002    Post-Doc, Welcome Trust Fellow, at University College London, London, UK
2002             Tenure Researcher (PI) at Inserm (CR2 and CR1), Rouen, France
2010             Team leader : Inserm Team Astrocyte and Vascular Niche-ASTROVASC
2016             Director of Research at Inserm (DR2)

Production and Scientific Activity
● 88 publications sur ISI web and book chapters
● 40 conferences and seminars including 35 invited lectures and oral communications in national
  and international meetings
● 3 patents as Principal Investigator
● 7 contracts with private pharmaceutical companies (Janssen, Novartis, Natsuca, Manros therapeutics…), 3 maturation funding (OSEO, Seinari, COPOC Inserm Transfert), contracts with Charity (LNCC, Géfluc, FRM, Fondation ARC), academic grants (INCA, ANR, European Interreg and transchannel programs…)
● Scientific investigator and associated investigator of 8 clinical trials
● 8 meeting and workshop organizations
● Direction of 7 thesis (past and current), 6 post-doc and 7 engineer/technicians

Highlights of the Work
● Pharmacology and roles of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in gliovascular pathologies including subarachnoid hemorrhage and high-grade glioma
● G protein-dependent and independent signaling in chemotactic glioma migration
● Impacts of cancer and cancer therapies on brain function
● Local strategies for glioblastoma treatment and pre-clinical cognitive rehabilitation

National and International Missions
2008-    Member of the steering committee of the Northwest Canceropole, France
2010     Member of the steering Committee of the LARC-Neurosciences Network,  France
2010     Co-coordinator of the Cancer and Neurosciences Axis of the Northwest Canceropole (CNO), France
2012     Member of the Institute of Research and Biomedical Innovation (IRIB), France
2015     Member of the International Cognition and Cancer Task Force (ICCTF)
2015     Member of the GDR-GPCR “From Physiology to Drugs”, France
2016     Member of the steering committee of the Charity “Ligue Normandie”
2017     Member of the steering committee of the OncoNeuroTox Network, France
2017     Coordinator of the preclinical and biomarker axis of the cancer and cognition platform
2017     Board member of the French speaking charity ANOCEF
2019     Board member of the Management Committee of the European COST Action ERNEST
2019     President of the Ligue contre le Cancer Normandie
2019     Board member (Secretary) of the International Regulatory Peptide Society

Member of Evaluation Bodies
2008-          Reviewer/president of the jury for thesis (13) and HDR (4)
2011           Expert for ANR bio emergence, Euro. Tyr. SCi. Foundation, Europ. NSC Poland, Canceropole SIRIc/PACA
                   and CNO, Transcan jtc  “Translational research on rare cancers” 2017
2014-2015  Consulting for Novartis and Janssen
2008-          Reviewer of a number of scientific publications (Neuropharmacology, Human immunology, Brain pathology,
                   Cancer treatment reviews, Journal of Cell Science, Cell Death and Differentiation, PlosOne,…)
2003-2005  Elected member of the Commission Administrative Paritaire of Inserm
2008-2012  Elected member of the Commission Scientifique Spécialisée CSS1 Inserm-Neurosciences
2013           Member of the Comité Contrat d’Interface Hospitalier Inserm
2010           Jury member for recruitment of Assistant-Professor, Chair of excellence and Professors,
                   Universities in France
2012-2014  Member of the Jury Bpi France
2012-2015  Member of the Comité de Recherche en Matière Biomédicale et de Santé Publique -CRBSP-
                   of Rouen, France

Scientific animations
2006            Conferences at Summer University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2008-2019  Teachings (32h/year) Master 1 et 2 Neurosciences Rouen-Caen; Co-coordinator of the
                    Neuro-oncology module
2011            NeuroMed school “Neuroglia, energy metabolism and brain imaging », Blida, Algeria
2011-           A number of Lay public conferences, 2 TV reports (BFMbusiness, 2015 ; magazine de la
                    santé, 2011), 2 publications in national media (le Figaro magazine, 2016,
                    Lymphom’Action n°34, 2018).

Main Publications

  1. Clavier T, Mutel A,  Desrues L, Lefevre-Scelles A, Gastaldi G,  El Amki M,  Dubois M,   Melot A, Wurtz V,  Curey S, Gérardin E, Proust F, Compère V and Castel H. Association between vasoactive peptide urotensin II in plasma and cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a potential therapeutic target. J Neurosur 2018 oct 19: 1–11.
  2. Winocur G, Johnston I, Castel H. Chemotherapy and cognition: International cognition and cancer task force recommendations for harmonising preclinical research. Cancer Treat Rev. 2018 Jun 1;69:72-83.
  3. Besnier E, Clavier T, Tonon MC, Selim J, Lefevre-Scelles A, Morin F, Tamion F, Dureuil B, Castel H*, Compère V*. Ketamine and Etomidate Down-regulate the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in an Endotoxemic Mouse Model. Anesthesiology. 2017 Aug;127(2):347-354 - * co-last authors
  4. Denouel A, Heutte N, Escudier B, Kurtz JE, Dos Santos M, Longato N, Desrues L, Dauchy S, Lange M, Sevin E, Rieux C, Clarisse B, Castel H, Noal S, Joly F. Sexual Disorders of Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (mRCC) Treated With Antiangiogenic Therapies. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2018 Oct;16(5):369-375.e1.
  5. Lange M, Heutte N, Noal S, Rigal O, Kurtz JE, Lévy C, Allouache D, Rieux C, Lefel J, Clarisse B, Leconte A, Veyret C, Barthélémy P, Longato N, Tron L, Castel H, Eustache F, Giffard B, Joly F. Cognitive Changes After Adjuvant Treatment in Older Adults with Early-Stage Breast Cancer. Oncologist. 2019 Jan;24(1):62-68.
  6. Lange M, Laviec H, Castel H, Heutte N, Leconte A, Léger I, Giffard B, Capel A, Dubois M, Clarisse B, Coquan E, Di Fiore F, Gouérant S, Bartélémy P, Pierard L, Fizazi K, Joly F. Impact of new generation hormone-therapy on cognitive function in elderly patients treated for a metastatic prostate cancer: Cog-Pro trial protocol. BMC Cancer. 2017 Aug 16;17(1):549.
  7. Castel H, Desrues L, Joubert JE, Tonon MC, Prézeau L, Chabbert M, Morin F, Gandolfo P. The G Protein-Coupled Receptor UT of the Neuropeptide Urotensin II Displays Structural and Functional Chemokine Features. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2017 Apr 25;8:76.
  8. Castel H, Denouel A, Lange M, Tonon MC, Dubois M, Joly F. Biomarkers Associated with Cognitive Impairment in Treated Cancer Patients: Potential Predisposition and Risk Factors. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 21;8:138.
  9. Coly PM, Gandolfo P, Castel H, Morin F. The Autophagy Machinery: A New Player in Chemotactic Cell Migration. Front Neurosci. 2017 Feb 16;11:78. 9
  10. Coly PM, Perzo N, Le Joncour V, Lecointre C, Schouft MT, Desrues L, Tonon MC, Wurtz O, Gandolfo P, Castel H, Morin F. Chemotactic G protein-coupled receptors control cell migration by repressing autophagosome biogenesis. Autophagy. 2016 Dec;12(12):2344-2362.
  11. Joly F, Heutte N, Duclos B, Noal S, Léger-Hardy I, Dauchy S, Longato N, Desrues L, Houede N, Lange M, Sevin E, Rieux C, Clarisse B, Castel H, Escudier B. Prospective Evaluation of the Impact of Antiangiogenic Treatment on Cognitive Functions in Metastatic Renal Cancer. Eur Urol Focus. 2016 Dec 15;2(6):642-649.
  12. El Amki M, Dubois M, Lefevre-Scelles A, Magne N, Roussel M, Clavier T, Guichet PO, Gérardin E, Compère V, Castel H. Long-Lasting Cerebral Vasospasm, Microthrombosis, Apoptosis and Paravascular Alterations Associated with Neurological Deficits in a Mouse Model of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Apr;55(4):2763-2779.
  13. Joly F, Giffard B, Rigal O, De Ruiter MB, Small BJ, Dubois M, LeFel J, Schagen SB, Ahles TA, Wefel JS, Vardy JL, Pancré V, Lange M, Castel H. Impact of Cancer and Its Treatments on Cognitive Function: Advances in Research From the Paris International Cognition and Cancer Task Force Symposium and Update Since 2012. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Dec;50(6):830-41.
  14. Lecointre C, Desrues L, Joubert JE, Perzo N, Guichet PO, Le Joncour V, Brulé C, Chabbert M, Leduc R, Prézeau L, Laquerrière A, Proust F, Gandolfo P, Morin F, Castel H. Signaling switch of the urotensin II vasosactive peptide GPCR:prototypic chemotaxic mechanism in glioma. Oncogene. 2015 Sep 24;34(39):5080-94.
  15. Dubois M, Le Joncour V, Tonon MC, Anouar Y, Proust F, Morin F, Gandolfo P, Joly F, Hilber P, Castel H. Evaluation of the impact of the cancer therapy everolimus on the central nervous system in mice. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 1;9(12):e113533
  16. Brulé C, Perzo N, Joubert JE, Sainsily X, Leduc R*, Prézeau L.* and Castel H*, Biased signaling regulates the pleiotropic effects of the urotensin II receptor to modulate its cellular behaviors. FASEB J. 2014 Dec;28(12):5148-62 - * co-last authors.
  17. Jarry M, Lecointre C, Malleval C, Desrues L, Schouft MT, Lejoncour V, Liger F, Lyvinec G, Joseph B, Loaëc N, Meijer L, Honnorat J, Gandolfo P, Castel H. Impact of meriolins, a new class of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, on malignant glioma proliferation and neo-angiogenesis. Neuro Oncol. 2014 Nov;16(11):1484-98.
  18. Pelé J, Moreau M, Abdi H, Rodien P, Castel H, Chabbert M. Comparative analysis of sequence covariation methods to mine evolutionary hubs: examples from selected GPCR families. Proteins. 2014 Sep;82(9):2141-56.
  19. Dubois M, Lapinte N, Villier V, Lecointre C, Roy V, Tonon MC, Gandolfo P,Joly F, Hilber P, Castel H. Chemotherapy-induced long-term alteration of executive functions and hippocampal cell proliferation: role of glucose as adjuvant. Neuropharmacology. 2014 Apr;79:234-48.
  20. Chevalier A, Dubois M, Le Joncour V, Dautrey S, Lecointre C, Romieu A, Renard PY, Castel H, Sabot C. Synthesis, biological evaluation, and in vivo imaging of the first camptothecin-fluorescein conjugate. Bioconjug Chem. 2013 Jul 17;24(7):1119-33.
  21. Chabbert M, Castel H, Pele J, Deville J, Legendre R, Rodien P. Evolution of class A G-protein-coupled receptors: implications for molecular modeling. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19(8):1110-8.
  22. Desrues L, Lefebvre T, Lecointre C, Schouft MT, Leprince J, Compère V, Morin F, Proust F, Gandolfo P, Tonon MC, Castel H. Down-regulation of GABA(A) receptor via promiscuity with the vasoactive peptide urotensin II receptor. Potential involvement in astrocyte plasticity. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36319.
  23. Jarry M, Diallo M, Lecointre C, Desrues L, Tokay T, Chatenet D, Leprince J, Rossi O, Vaudry H, Tonon MC, Prézeau L, Castel H, Gandolfo P. The vasoactive peptides urotensin II and urotensin II-related peptide regulate astrocyte activity through common and distinct mechanisms: involvement in cell proliferation. Biochem J. 2010 Apr 28;428(1):113-24.