David M. Foureau, PhD

David M. Foureau, PhD

Research Scientist

Atrium Health Research: Immune Monitoring Core Laboratory and Department of General Surgery

Prior Positions and Experience

2013-present Research Scientist/Core Lab Director, Immune Monitoring Core Laboratory, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC
2008-2012 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of General Surgery Research, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC
2005-2008 Doctoral Fellowship, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, N.H., and Department of Parasitology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
2003-2004 Master Fellowship, Department of Infections and Epidemiology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
2001- Research Technician, Department of Plant - Microorganism Interactions, National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), Angers, France


PhD in Microbiology and Immunology: 2008, Tours University (France)
M.S. in Immunology: 2004, Paris VI University (France)
Lab Tech in Microbiology: 1999, Angers University (France)

Research Interests: biological treatment of skin cancer:

Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer that arises from transformation of melanocytes. Immunotherapy represents the most effective therapeutic approach currently available to treat late stage melanoma, where the tumor has metastasized to distant organs. The underlying mechanism for immunotherapy is dependent on the immune system’s ability to detect tumors and activate anti-tumor immune “effector” cells as a means to promote tumor clearance. Current immunotherapies (e.g. cytokine therapy, immune checkpoint blockade) target relatively late immune events and can produce cancer remission in 10-20 percent of patients.

My research employs experimental models of melanoma as well as clinical samples to identify novel cellular and molecular immune mechanisms associated with differential responses to immunotherapy. During the normal pathology of melanoma a subversion of early and late immune events occurs, creating an immune bias that allows tumor cells to effectively evade the immune system. A central component to my research, performed in collaboration with Drs White, Amin and Salo (clinicians at the Levine Cancer Institute), is to identify the hallmark(s) of such immune bias. In doing so, we aim to identify early biomarkers that will allow us to measure (or predict) patient responsiveness to immunotherapy, as well as develop new immunotherapeutic strategies that will restore immune potency against the cancer cells. In addition to my ongoing translational research efforts, I am collaborating with Dr. Gloria Elliot, a bioengineer at UNC Charlotte, to develop a targeted drug delivery system that can directly deliver immunotherapeutic drugs to immune “effectors” cells in order to improve treatment efficiency and reduce side effects. Current immunotherapeutic strategies require intravenous injection(s) of high doses of cytokine or immune checkpoint blockade antibody to achieve systemic distribution of the drugs. Nanoparticles, such as liposomes, can be loaded with immunotherapeutic drugs and used as a vehicle that carries the drug from subcutaneous space to the lymphatic system.

My work is currently sponsored, in part, by research grants from the Purple Promise Foundation to End Melanoma and UNC Charlotte’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Science.

Selected Peer Review Publications

Steuerwald N.M., Foureau D.M., Norton J.H., Zhou J., Chalasani N., Fontana R.J., Hayashi P., Lee W., Reddy R., Stolz A., Talwalkar J., Davern T., Saha D., Barnhart H., Serrano J. & Bonkovsky H.B. Serum immune analyte expression profile in drug-induced liver injury and prognostic significance. Plos One (In Press).

Foureau D.M., Vrikkis R.M., Jones C.P., Weaver K.D., MacFarlane D., Salo J.S., McKillop I.H., & Elliot G. In vitro assessment of choline dihydrogen phosphate (CDHP) as a vehicle for recombinant human interleukin-2 (IL-2). Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 5(4): 390-401. See article

Foureau D.M., McKillop I.H., Jones C.P., Amin A., White R.L. Jr. & Salo J.C. (2011). Skin tumor responsiveness to IL-2 treatment and CD8 Foxp3+ T cell expansion in an immunocompetent mouse model. Cancer Immunol Immunother 60(9): 1347-56. [PMID: 21638127]

Foureau D.M., Mielcarz D.W., Menard L.C., Schultess J., Werts C., Levasseur V., Ryffel B., Kasper L.H., Buzoni-GAtel D. TLR9-dependant induction of intestinal alpha-defensins by Toxoplasma gondii. 2010 The Journal of Immunology 184:7022-29. [PMID: 20188791]

Ochoa-Reparaz J., Mielcarz D.W., Ditrio L.E., Burrough A.R., Foureau D.M., Haque-Begum S., Kasper L.H. (2009). Role of gut commensal microflora in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. 2009 The Journal of Immunology 183:6041-50. [PMID: 19841183]

Minns L.A., Menard L.C., Foureau D.M., Darche S., Ronet C., Mielcarz D.W., Buzoni-Gatel D. & Kasper L.H. (2006). TLR9 is required for the GALT response following oral infection of Toxoplasma gondii. The journal of Immunology 176(12): 7589-97.[PMID: 16751405]