Hafid Ait-Oufella


AIT-OUFELLA Hafid (France) After a medical formation specialized in cardiovascular medicine and a PhD in vascular biology, I decided to combine clinical activity and basic research. Ten years ago, I joined Pr Alain Tedgui and Pr Ziad Mallat (INSERM U689 then U970) to form a research group on cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis that represent the leading cause of death in developed countries. An increasing body of evidence indicates that the immune system plays a major role in modulating the atherogenic process. In the last decade, my group has been actively involved in the study of the cellular and molecular pathways implicated in the regulation of the immuno-inflammatory response in atherosclerosis. Particularly, we have pointed to new major chemokine pathways involved in monocyte/macrophage recruitment and accumulation into atherosclerotic lesions, and identified a critical role for the regulatory arm of the adaptive T cell response in the control of lesion development. More recently, we have shown that defective clearance of apoptotic cells impairs the regulatory immune response in atherosclerosis and accelerates lesion development, suggesting an important interplay between innate and adaptive immunity in promoting lesion development and progression. Current research activities address the relation between autoimmune diseases and atherosclerosis, and the role of the regulatory immune response in the prevention and/or treatment of plaque vulnerability.