The VRI includes 150 researchers working on more than 40 international projects.

Preclinical models

Elisabeth Menu

She received her PhD in 1990 in reproductive immunology from the University Paris 6, France in Gérard Chaouat laboratory.
After a postdoctoral training at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Harvard medical School, Boston, USA) on human T cell activation, she started to work in 1994 on the control of HIV-1 transmission at the materno-fetal interface in collaboration with teams in Africa and Asia. She has a permanent position at the INSERM in 1998.
From 2000 to 2015 she was leading a team in the unit of Françoise Barré-Sinoussi at the Institut Pasteur, Paris and since 2010 she is an INSERM associate professor (DR2). She was nominated Institut Pasteur group leader in 2015.
She recently joined with her group the ImVA research center directed by Roger Le Grand at the CEA Fontenay-aux-Roses in the framework of a collaboration with the Institut Pasteur.
The main expertise of her group is on mucosal immunity and more specifically at the female genital tract level in the context of the control of HIV-1/SIV infection/transmission. Her work highlights the crucial role of innate immunity in the control of the early step of HIV-1 infection at mucosal level. The research developped at the VRI focuses on the mucosal vaccine immune responses in the female reproductive tract and particulary on the role of the seminal plasma and the inflammation on these local immune responses.