A major international grant for Claire Wyart

Research Published April 4 2018
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Claire Wyart, head of the team ”Optogenetic dissection of spinal circuits underlying locomotion“ at Institut du Cerveau – ICM, obtained an important Research Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program  (HFSP) to support her research on flow of the cerebrospinal fluid and link to development.

The Human Frontier Science Program is an international program of research support implemented by the HFSPO. Its aims are to promote intercontinental collaboration and training in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research focused on the life sciences. HFSPO receives financial support from the governments or research councils of many countries as well as from the European Union.

In 2018, 31 research teams are awarded among more than 750 applications. Claire Wyart’s team is selected for her project “How cerebrospinal fluid physico-chemical properties impact body axis formation and scoliosis”, in collaboration with Prof. François Gallaire’s team at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) and Prof. Maria Lehtinen’s at Boston Children’s Hospital (USA), also among the winning teams.

HFSP Program Grants appeal to the innovative and creative potential of the applicants under the general theme “Complex mechanisms of living organisms”. It is the only international program that funds teams of scientists globally “without borders”.


Claire Wyart’s team works on locomotion and the way sensory circuits in the spinal cord modulate movement and posture. Her preferred model is the zebrafish larva, a small transparent fish in the early stages of development, for which she has developed optical methods to remote control neuronal activity in vivo. Through such advanced technologies, Claire’s team identified a new sensorimotor loop in the spinal cord, which affects locomotion and posture. These results raise hopes that one day, we will be able to learn how to stimulate circuits to modulate posture and movement in humans.