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Gibert joins UMMC Cancer Institute

Published on Friday, November 30, 2018

Media Contact: Cynthia Wall

gilbert_yann.jpgDr. Yann Gibert has joined the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute as an associate professor in the CI Cancer Molecular Biology Program and as an associate professor in the UMMC Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.

He comes from the Deakin School of Medicine in Geelong, Australia.

Gibert has a doctorate in developmental genetics and uses the zebrafish model in his research, which  focuses on the study of lipids in the life and death of cancer cells.

“We know cancer cells use lipids differently and now we have a way to study them,” Gilbert said.

Using zebrafish, he induces specific cancers and studies how the cancer and lipids behave.

“We look at how those cells act,” he said. “Once it’s cancerous, things change. We want to see how the cells use lipids for fuel and growing.”

Once Gilbert’s lab determines those growth pathways, he can begin seeking ways to stop them.

Gilbert’s lab also can transplant cells from a malignant tumor into the zebrafish and study how different medications act on that specific tumor.

“We can test tumors to see which drugs work best on them and test new drugs on the tumors,” he said.

Dr. John Ruckdeschel, UMMC Cancer Institute director, complimented Gilbert’s efforts.

“We expect that his work will help link our Molecular Biology and Experimental Therapeutics Programs, bringing knowledge about pathways to the clinic where they can be studied for their applicability in the battle against cancer,” Ruckdeschel said.

Gilbert was a senior lecturer in medical biotechnology and head of the Metabolic Genetic Diseases Research Group at Deakin. He also has served as a research assistant professor at the Tufts School of Medicine in Boston; a research fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston; and a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Professor Vincent Laudet at the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon in France.

A native of France, Gilbert received his doctorate in developmental genetics magna cum laude from the laboratory of Professor Axel Meyer at the University of Konstanz in Germany; his master’s in biochemistry with first class honors from the University of Limerick in Ireland; and his graduate diploma with first class honors from the University of Limerick and the University of Pau in France.

Gibert served with the 17th Regiment of Artillery (section leader) in France and was awarded the Medal of National Defense. He also served as lifesaving captain at two category 1 beaches (most dangerous beach) in Jan Juc and Torquay, Victoria, Australia, and received numerous life-saving awards.