March 24, 2014  |  User Stories  |  By  |  0 Comments

Cytobank User Stories: Stéphane Chevrier

Welcome to Cytobank User Stories, a series featuring interviews with Cytobank users on their research, scientific vision, and use of fluorescence and mass cytometry.

This time we interview Stéphane Chevrier, Ph.D., a Research Associate from the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at University of Zurich.

Send us feedback and let us know who you’d like to hear from (including yourself)!

What are you excited about in science? What is your scientific vision?
Stéphane Chevrier,
Stéphane Chevrier, Ph.D.
University of Zurich

Science is particularly exciting because we have the opportunity to understand new biological processes with the potential of changing peoples’ lives. Therefore, I really appreciate working on translational projects. And when new technical advances or new biological tools enable us to address questions that could not be solved before, it becomes even more interesting!

What do you study / what is your field?
I am an immunologist by training and I was interested for a long time in plasma cell biology, in particular their long lasting survival and how this is regulated at the transcriptional level. Now I am more interested in the interplay between immune cells and cancer development. Using mass cytometry, I am working on the characterization of phenotypically and functionally distinct macrophage populations that are present in the tumor microenvironment. The idea is to correlate the presence of those different macrophage populations with clinical data in order to identify new biomarkers that can be used for patient classification and treatment decision.

What do you use flow cytometry for?
In the past I used fluorescent flow cytometry in a very oriented way to monitor the development of the immune response in mice by looking at specific cell populations that were defined by surface markers, secreted protein or transcription factors [1, 2]. Now I am using high dimensional mass cytometry in a more exploratory way to identify new subsets of macrophages that can potentially be linked with a particular stage or invasiveness of cancer.

What are some of your favorite papers?
I like the paper on the Blimp-GFP reporter mouse from Axel Kallies and Steve Nutt [3]. This paper boosted the research in the plasma-cell field and is now extremely useful to understand the function of regulatory T cells. I also enjoy the paper by Charlotte Giesen, Hoa Wang and Bernd Bodenmiller on imaging mass cytometry [4]. By combining laser ablation and mass cytometry, they managed to bring classical histology to another dimension. More related to my current field I like a recent paper from Stéphanie Pyonteck and Johanna Joyce on macrophage re-education [5]. They shows how direct targeting of tumor associated macrophages in a glioblastoma mouse model led to a slower progression of the disease, which was mediated by a repolarization of the macrophages.

What do you do for fun?
I like to do long distance running, cross-country skiing or mountain biking and Switzerland is a great country for that. But I also like to spend a lot of time with my two little daughters.

What’s your favorite thing about Cytobank?
I like the way it is designed as an online platform accessible from everywhere and integrating a variety of tools. This enables an efficient analysis of most datasets generated by the CyTOF. I also like the fact that this platform is constantly improving and that we can take an active part in this process.



1. The BTB-ZF transcription factor Zbtb20 is driven by Irf4 and promotes plasma cell differentiation. Chevrier S et al. (in press)

2. CD93 is required for maintenance of antibody secretion and persistence of plasma cells in the bone marrow.  Chevrier S et al.  (2009) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106(10):3895-900 [Pubmed]

3. Plasma cell ontogeny defined by quantitative changes in blimp-1 expression. Kallies A et al. (2004) J Exp Med. 200(8), 967–77. [Pubmed]

4. Highly multiplexed imaging of tumor tissues with subcellular resolution by mass cytometry. Giesen C et al. (2014) Nat Methods. 11(4):417-22. [Pubmed]

5. CSF-1R inhibition alters macrophage polarization and blocks glioma progression. Pyonteck SM et al. (2013) Nat Med. 19(10), 1264–1272. [PubMed]

Interview conducted by Cytobank staff member Angela Landrigan.