It is the tenth most common type of cancer in the world and affects 2.7 million patients. Bladder cancer is at the center of the research for Anne Gayle Joby, 31, a PhD pharmacist in biology at the Inserm unit at the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif. Its goal: to treat this disease with immunotherapy.
This Thursday, her work earned her the prize of one of the “Women and Science” Young Talent Awards awarded by the L’Oréal Foundation with the Academy of Sciences and UNESCO. “A prestigious award, recognized in the scientific community,” said Anne Gayle Gobett: “We were 740 applications to apply. We are only 35 winners. This award is given to “committed young researchers, whose scientific work contributes to building a more sustainable and inclusive world,” and sums up the foundation.
The goal: to destroy the patient’s cells malignant cells
In her laboratory on the 12th floor of the IGR, a young doctoral student is searching day after day for a course of treatment to cure bladder cancer. She studies immunotherapy in particular: “If cancer develops, it’s because it has found a way to be invisible to the immune system,” she explains. Immunotherapy involves injecting the patient with monoclonal antibodies so that their cells destroy the malignant cells. You still have to customize the treatment, identify new signs, etc. Because only 20% of patients respond to immunotherapy at the moment. “
Thirteen years of study
For Anne-Gaëlle Goubet, this award also rewards her entire scientific career, i.e. a minimum of thirteen years of study including five years in pharmacy and five in medical training before embarking on a scientific thesis on the cancer campus. Gustave-Roussy. “I even got a scholarship from the Medical Research Foundation to do my job,” she says, moved by all those recognitions.
She is proud to, along with the other winners, embody these new faces of feminism. “Women are still little present in scientific research, the L’Oréal Foundation laments. They now account for only 33% of researchers in the world, and 28% in France. In Europe, 86% of top academic positions in science are held by men. And less than 4% of the Nobel Prizes in Science awarded to women,” according to UNESCO figures in 2017 and a report from the European Commission in 2018.