Isabelle studied biology at the University of Neuchâtel, where she achieved her Master of Science in Parasite Biology. Then she received her PhD degree from the Medical Faculty of the University of Bern and from the Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences. In 2011, she starts a post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Physiology joining Prof. Ernst Niggli’s group.
Isabelle is working on the transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1) channel. She will develop molecular tools to examine the function of TRPC1 and its dependence on other TRPC partner subunits in heteromultimeric channel assemblies.
She will investigate if the functional consequences of altered subunit expression and composition have a link to muscular dystrophy, a disease affecting skeletal and cardiac muscles, cardiac hypertrophy and to tumorigenesis. For this, compounds structurally similar to known low-affinity inhibitors will be identified and then screened in cell-based functional assays in order to find inhibitors specific for TRPC1.
These compounds will be then used to study the functional role of TRPC1 and its relation to stretch-activated channels of normal and dystrophic skeletal and cardiac muscle cells, cardiac hypertrophy resulting from mechanical overload (e.g. hypertension) and to proliferation, apoptosis, migration and metastatic spread of cancer cells. Finally, the issue of her study would be to develop pharmacological tools for the treatment of these diseases.