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Dr Claire H Michel

Dr Claire H Michel

Live cell and organism imaging of amyloid species and their interactions

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases

Cell cultures, C. elegans and Drosophila

Trafficking of amyloid proteins in and out of cells


  • 2000-2003 Preparatory classes in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Earth Science, Lycee du Parc, Lyon, France
  • 2003-2006 Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Rennes, France
  • 2006 European Master in Biochemistry and Genetics of Animal Cells, Rennes, France
  • 2006-2010 PhD in Medicine, University of Cambridge
  • 2010 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Laser Analytics group, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge

I studied for my Master Degree in Biochemistry and Genetics in one of the famous French "Grandes Ecoles". I then moved to Cambridge for my PhD during which I studied inflammation in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease in the labs of Dr Damian Crowther and Prof. David Lomas. I joined the Laser Analytics group in June 2010 with the aim to use advanced microscopy techniques to study neurodegenerative diseases, being one of the few biologists in a team of physicists.


  • Neurodegeneration
  • Cell Biology
  • Bioimaging


  • Lifetime and Spectral Imaging
  • Localisation Microscope

Key Publications

Pinotsi D*, Michel CH*, Buell AK, Laine RF, Mahou P, Dobson CM, Kaminski CF, Kaminski Schierle GS, "Nanoscopic insights into seeding mechanisms and toxicity of α-synuclein species in neurons" PNAS (2016). * Joint first authors

Murakami T, Qamar S, Lin JQ, Kaminski Schierle GS, Rees E, Miyashita A,  Costa AR, Dodd RB, Chan FTS, Michel CH,  Kronenberg-Versteeg D, Li Y, Yang S-P,  Wakutani Y, Meadows W, Ferry RR, Dong L,  Tartaglia GG, Favrin G,  Lin W-L,  Dickson DW,  Zhen M,  Ron D,  Schmitt-Ulms G,  Fraser PE,  Shneider NA,  Holt C,  Vendruscolo M, Kaminski CF,  George-Hyslop P.St., "ALS/FTD mutation-induced phase transition of FUS liquid droplets and reversible hydrogels into irreversible hydrogels impairs RNP granule function", Neuron (2015).

Kaminski CF, Pinotsi D, Michel CH, Kaminski Schierle GS, "Nanoscale imaging of neurotoxic proteins", SPIE NanoScience+ Engineering (2013).

Michel CH, Kumar S, Pinotsi D, Tunnacliffe A, St George-Hyslop P, Mandelkow E, Mandelkow E-M, Kaminski CF, Kaminski Schierle GS, "Extracellular Monomeric Tau Protein is Sufficient to Initiate the Spread of Tau Protein Pathology",  Journal of Biological Chemistry (2014).

Belorgey D, Irving JA, Ekeowa UI, Freeke J, Roussel BD, Miranda E, Perez J, Robinson CV, Marciniak SJ, Crowther DC, Michel CH, Lomas DA, "Characterisation of serpin polymers in vitro and in vivo", Methods (2011).

 Berger Z, Ttofi EK, Michel CH, Pasco M, Tenant S, Rubinsztein DC, O'Kane CJ, "Lithium rescues toxicity of aggregate-prone proteins in Drosophila by perturbing Wnt pathway" Hum. Mol. Genet. (2005).