Research Director CNRS
Recherche - Orsay
Spécialités / domaines
Developmental biology,
Biologie et chimie des radiations, signalisation cellulaire et cancer,
Mass Spectrometry

Olivier Ayrault earned his Ph.D. in Fundamental Basis of Oncogenesis from the University of Paris-Diderot and performed his postdoctoral training at Saint-Jude Children’s Hospital in Dr. M. Roussel’s laboratory (Memphis, USA). His studies focused on understanding key mechanisms governing the formation of medulloblastoma (MB), one of the most common malignant brain tumor in children. In 2011, he was appointed as group leader at the Institut Curie and was awarded the ATIP/AVENIR young Investigator grant to start his own group “Signaling in Development and Brain Tumors”. At that time, he was also recruited as a permanent researcher at the French National Research Agency, CNRS.

Olivier Ayrault develops a research oriented towards a continuum between basic and clinical research. His team specifically focuses on deciphering fundamental mechanisms related to the biology of MB. The originality of his work lies on the characterization of the putative relationship existing between underlying mechanisms during cerebellar development and MB formation. For that purpose, he is using a multi-disciplinary approach at the interface of developmental neurobiology and cancer.

Among its work, his team got new insights on how the key player Atoh1 was regulated in both the normal and the disease context, and unravelled novel functions for this protein using advanced and newly developed technology. Their findings gave invaluable information on critical molecular mechanisms implicated into MB that are of interest for the biomedical industry. In parallel, wishing to dissect many more actors involved in the development of MB, his group tackles broader and inherent questions related to the complex biology of this developmental disease. His team developed a multi-omics profiling of all subgroups of MBs, and unveiled a molecular signature for the subgroup the most abundant.

Overall, Olivier Ayrault's group aims (i) to develop innovative tools, (ii) to take advantage of these novel approaches in order to discover fundamental mechanisms underlying MB but also (iii) to further translate this knowledge into biomarkers, diagnostic tools and tailored therapeutic strategies.

At the international level, Olivier Ayrault is the recipient of the prestigious St. Baldrick's Robert J. Arceci International Innovation award. He was also recently elected as translational chair of the SIOPe Embryonal Brain Tumor Group.


Immunohistochemistry as a tool to identify ELP1-associated medulloblastoma
Acta Neuropathologica
Arnault Tauziède-Espariat, Léa Guerrini-Rousseau, Alexandre Perrier, Jacob Torrejon, Flavia Bernardi, Pascale Varlet, Lauren Hasty, Olivier Delattre, Kévin Beccaria, Alice Métais, Olivier Ayrault, Fabrice Chrétien, Franck Bourdeaut, Christelle Dufour, Julien Masliah-Planchon
The transcriptional landscape of Shh medulloblastoma
Nature Communications
Patryk Skowron, Hamza Farooq, Florence M. G. Cavalli, A. Sorana Morrissy, Michelle Ly, Liam D. Hendrikse, Evan Y. Wang, Haig Djambazian, Helen Zhu, Karen L. Mungall, Quang M. Trinh, Tina Zheng, Shizhong Dai, Ana S. Guerreiro Stucklin, Maria C. Vladoiu, Vernon Fong, Borja L. Holgado, Carolina Nor, Xiaochong Wu, Diala Abd-Rabbo, Pierre Bérubé, Yu Chang Wang, Betty Luu, Raul A. Suarez, Avesta Rastan, Aaron H. Gillmor, John J. Y. Lee, Xiao Yun Zhang, Craig Daniels, Peter Dirks, David Malkin, Eric Bouffet, Uri Tabori, James Loukides, François P. Doz, Franck Bourdeaut, Olivier O. Delattre, Julien Masliah-Planchon, Olivier Ayrault, Seung-Ki Kim, David Meyronet, Wieslawa A. Grajkowska, Carlos G. Carlotti, Carmen de Torres, Jaume Mora, Charles G. Eberhart, Erwin G. Van Meir, Toshihiro Kumabe, Pim J. French, Johan M. Kros, Nada Jabado, Boleslaw Lach, Ian F. Pollack, Ronald L. Hamilton, Amulya A. Nageswara Rao, Caterina Giannini, James M. Olson, László Bognár, Almos Klekner, Karel Zitterbart, Joanna J. Phillips, Reid C. Thompson, Michael K. Cooper, Joshua B. Rubin, Linda M. Liau, Miklós Garami, Peter Hauser, Kay Ka Wai Li, Ho-Keung Ng, Wai Sang Poon, G. Yancey Gillespie, Jennifer A. Chan, Shin Jung, Roger E. McLendon, Eric M. Thompson, David Zagzag, Rajeev Vibhakar, Young Shin Ra, Maria Luisa Garre, Ulrich Schüller, Tomoko Shofuda, Claudia C. Faria, Enrique López-Aguilar, Gelareh Zadeh, Chi-Chung Hui, Vijay Ramaswamy, Swneke D. Bailey, Steven J. Jones, Andrew J. Mungall, Richard A. Moore, John A. Calarco, Lincoln D. Stein, Gary D. Bader, Jüri Reimand, Jiannis Ragoussis, William A. Weiss, Marco A. Marra, Hiromichi Suzuki, Michael D. Taylor
An OTX2-PAX3 signaling axis regulates Group 3 medulloblastoma cell fate
Nature Communications
Jamie Zagozewski, Ghazaleh M. Shahriary, Ludivine Coudière Morrison, Olivier Saulnier, Margaret Stromecki, Agnes Fresnoza, Gareth Palidwor, Christopher J. Porter, Antoine Forget, Olivier Ayrault, Cynthia Hawkins, Jennifer A. Chan, Maria C. Vladoiu, Lakshmikirupa Sundaresan, Janilyn Arsenio, Michael D. Taylor, Vijay Ramaswamy, Tamra E. Werbowetski-Ogilvie
Functional loss of a noncanonical BCOR–PRC1.1 complex accelerates SHH-driven medulloblastoma formation
Genes & Development
Lena M. Kutscher, Konstantin Okonechnikov, Nadja V. Batora, Jessica Clark, Patricia B.G. Silva, Mikaella Vouri, Sjoerd van Rijn, Laura Sieber, Britta Statz, Micah D. Gearhart, Ryo Shiraishi, Norman Mack, Brent A. Orr, Andrey Korshunov, Brian L. Gudenas, Kyle S. Smith, Audrey L. Mercier, Olivier Ayrault, Mikio Hoshino, Marcel Kool, Katja von Hoff, Norbert Graf, Gudrun Fleischhack, Vivian J. Bardwell, Stefan M. Pfister, Paul A. Northcott, Daisuke Kawauchi