In the Lab

It is in the laboratory that all the discoveries made are analysed. Inside are the collaborators of the Museum of Natural History (MNHN) and the collaborators of the National Laboratory of Metrology and Testing (LNE). 

The collaborators at the National Museum of Natural History



Barbara Demeneix

Professor at the National Museum of Natural History (UMR 7221, Molecular Physiology and Adaptation), Barbara Demeneix is an internationally recognized expert on thyroid function and endocrine disruption. Trained in the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Germany, she is the author of more than 190 scientific publications, as well as numerous book chapters and two books on the influence of endocrine disruptors on thyroid signalling and brain development : Cerveau Endommagé (Editions Odile Jacob, 2016) and Toxic Cocktail (Editions Odile Jacob, 2017) - both translated from English Losing our minds (Oxford University Press 2014) and Toxic Cocktail (Oxford University Press 2017).

His research work has earned him the medal of Officier de la Légion d'Honneur (2014) then Commandeur de l'ordre national du Mérite (2019); and numerous awards, including the "Mentoring Award" from the journal Nature in 2011, the CNRS Innovation Medal in 2014 and the "European Thyroid Journal Lecture Award" from the European Thyroid Association in 2019. It is involved in numerous European projects involving various partners.

One of its current priorities is scientific communication to political decision-makers. For example, Barbara Demeneix chairs the Endocrine Society's European Working Group on Endocrine Disruptors. She is also a member of several international committees on the subject of thyroid hormones and endocrine disruption (OECD, European Thyroid Association, etc.). In 2018, the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament invited her to write a report on the subject: she co-authored with Rémy Slama the scientific report Endocrine Disruptors: from Scientific Evidence to Human Health Protection. at the request of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament. Following the presentation of this report in April 2019, the European Parliament adopted Resolution 2019/2683 (RSP) on progress towards a comprehensive EU framework on endocrine disrupters, largely based on the report's recommendations, with 447 votes out of 502.

Barbara Demeneix is working with Sabrina Krief and her team on the environmental pollution component of the project.


Jean-Baptiste FINI

Jean-Baptiste Fini

Jean Baptiste fini is a CNRS research fellow at the National Museum of Natural History . In the "Adaptations of Life" department, he and his research group are studying the short and long term impact of exposure to thyroid axis disruptors, in the form of single molecules or in the form of mixtures. Over the last 10 years, he has participated in the development of a test, recently validated by the OECD, for screening thyroid disruptors within Pr Demeneix's team, which was awarded the innovation medal by the CNRS in 2014. This test makes it possible to test the endocrine disrupting activity of environmental samples such as water crossing the territory of chimpanzees in Uganda, a project led by Professors . S. Krief. Dr. Fini currently participates in several expert groups at the OECD (AOP, Thyroid) and is also part of the working group on endocrine disruptors of the National Agency for Food Safety and Environment (ANSES) until 2020.

He has recently obtained funding from European H2020 projects for the development of strategies to identify early warning biomarkers before the development of neurodevelopmental diseases (ATHENA and ENDPOINTS). It has also obtained funding from the ANSES to research the effects of mixtures of endocrine disruptors on the myelination process. Finally, it aims to develop an "upstream" screening strategy, prior to marketing, to prevent involuntary exposure of sensitive populations, particularly children. It is fighting to ensure that the mistake made with the substitution of bisphenol A by other equally active molecules is not repeated. Plastic food containers will be banned by 2025, and PLA-based (starch-based bioplastics) food containers, which seem to be the option chosen by all providers, should be tested for their endocrine properties, but this is not what is happening! J Powell had said "The only real mistake is the one from which nothing is learned".

Jean-Baptiste Fini is working with Sabrina Krief and her team on the environmental pollution component of the project.



Sophie Lafosse is a Prevention Assistant (UMR7206), responsible for training new entrants to the laboratory environment and in charge of the Bank of ancient and modern primers. She targets this research in the field of human and primate population genetics.

Within the FoFauPopU programme, Sophie Lafosse studies relatives (genomic and mitochondrial DNA) on wild chimpanzee populations in Kibale National Park.




Petra Spirhanzlova

Petra Spirhanzlova is Czech and holds a Master's degree in Developmental Biology from Charles University in Prague. In 2012, she started her PhD as a Marie Curie Fellow in a private French company "WatchFrog Laboratory" where she developed a protocol to detect estrogen axis disruptors using fluorescent transgenic fry. After obtaining her PhD from the National Museum of Natural History in 2016, Petra continued as an ATER at the Museum working on a project focused on the detection of thyroid axis and neurodevelopmental disruptors in Barbara Demeneix's team (Integration of transcriptional responses induced by thyroid hormones and their receptors). In 2019, she joined Sabrina Krief's team at the Museum of Man (Primate Interactions and Environments) as a post-doc and is currently working in cooperation with the Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE) on the detection of harmful chemicals in the environment of Sebitoli in Uganda.

As part of her post-doctoral work in the Primate Interactions and Environments team under the supervision of Sabrina Krief, Petra Spirhanzlova is studying the presence of harmful chemicals in the environment of Sebitoli in order to explore the causes of facial malformations in chimpanzees living in this habitat, including exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as certain pesticides or air pollutants. As part of this project, Petra is studying the chemical composition of Sebitoli's surface water in partnership with the Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE). She then conducts biological tests to find out whether these water samples cause thyroid axis and estrogen disruption in tadpoles and transgenic fry. Since the thyroid axis is well preserved in all vertebrates, the results of such studies could be interpreted to better understand the effects in humans. In June 2019, Petra went on a mission to Sebitoli to install passive samplers near the main road crossing the Sebitoli park to study the composition of the air. The results of this study will be complemented by the interpretation of analyses of chemicals in chimpanzee hair and local human hair.

The collaborators at the National Laboratory of Metrology and Testing (LNE)



Sophie Vaslin-Reimann

After a doctoral thesis in physical chemistry, Sophie Vaslin-Reimann spent several years in an industrial environment, in charge of R&D teams. For the past ten years or so, she has been in charge of metrology in chemistry and biology at LNE. Sophie is a member of several national and international working groups and standardization bodies. The main missions of her teams are as follows: R&D to develop and maintain, at national level, the primary standards and methods that guarantee the traceability of measurement results to the SI. Dissemination and transfer of these reference standards and methods to industry and academia in order to improve the reliability of measurement results . Its teams are members of the 2 reference laboratories: LCSQA (Central Laboratory for Air Quality) and AQUAREF (National Reference Laboratory for Aquatic Monitoring).

Since May 2019, she is the president of TC-MetChem, the European Committee for Metrology in Chemistry, member of Euramet (https://www.euramet.org/).



Sophie Lardy-Fontan

Trained as a biologist, Sophie Lardy-Fontan holds a PhD in environmental analytical chemistry. Since joining LNE in 2008, she has been coordinating research and development activities in the field of environmental metrology, mainly applied to the monitoring of aquatic environments. With her colleagues, she develops measurement methods for the analysis of trace pollutants, particularly endocrine disruptors, in support of public policy needs or, more broadly, to improve knowledge of environmental contamination and its effects.

Sophie is coordinator of European projects and expert in several national and international WGs.