Coralie Viollet-Djelassi


DPhil candidate reading Clinical Medicine

Wellcome Trust-National Institutes of Health PhD Scholar

Contact details :

T: +001 (301) 402 3630

Currently a DPhil student at both the University of Oxford, UK and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, Coralie Viollet-Djelassi was awarded a joint Wellcome Trust/NIH graduate scholarship back in 2011 after graduating from the National Institute of Applied Sciences, Lyon, France with a degree in Bioengineering.

Coralie is now working in close collaboration with Dr Yarchoan at the HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, Dr Ragoussis, head of Genome Sciences at McGill University, Canada, and Professor Pezzella at the Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Oxford, UK.

Coralie's pre-doctoral research so far has been focused on human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) also known as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), one of the seven currently known human cancer viruses, or oncoviruses. KSHV is the etiologic agent for several cancers: Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), which is a type of skin cancer, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and multicentric Castleman’s disease (MCD).

KSHV-induced tumours, KS and PEL, tend to develop in settings of hypoxia (lack of oxygen). This lack of oxygen plays an important role in KSHV lifecycle as it is involved in the virus's ability to lie dormant within a cell. Also, herpesviruses, including KSHV, can encode for small non-coding RNA molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs), and there is recent evidence that miRNAs can contribute to cancer progression and viral pathogenesis.

With this background, the goal of Coralie's PhD has been to investigate how hypoxia and KSHV infection can alter cellular and viral miRNA expression profiles and how those changes play a role in the pathobiology of KSHV-associated diseases.

Outside of the lab, Coralie can be found rowing for the Oxford University Women's Boat Club at Oxford University, playing the piano or traveling the world.