Isaac is doing his PhD in Neuroscience at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC, Paris VI). He carries out his research at the Brain and Spine Institute of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in the team of Alexis Brice.
The main focus of his research is the optimization and standardization of quantitative magnetic resonance techniques in the identification of robust biomarkers in polyglutamine disorders in view of therapeutic development – particularly in Huntington disease (HD) and Spinocerebellar ataxia. Under the supervision of Dr Fanny Mochel, he used 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P MRS) to validate a functional biomarker of brain energy metabolism – inorganic phosphate/phosphocreatine (Pi/PCr) ratio. This marker significantly differentiated healthy individuals from patients and was able to capture the response to anaplerotic intervention in HD in a proof-of-concept study on the therapeutic benefits of triheptanoin.
Currently, he is using 31P MRS together with other magnetic resonance techniques in randomized, blinded, placebo controlled multicentric trials (NCT02453061 and NCT02336633) to evaluate the efficacy of triheptanoin and resveratrol on the rate of caudate atrophy in HD.
Furthermore, he is using different magnetic resonance techniques including magnetization transfer, diffusion weighted spectroscopy, among others to identify robust markers of dynamic brain metabolism. This will prove useful in therapeutic trials targeting the Krebs cycle.