My family settled in French Polynesia when I was 7 years old and I grew up there. I started my university studies in French Polynesia (Université de la Polynésie française) then I expatriated 3 years in France (Université Bordeaux II, Université Paris VII) until I came back to French Polynesia to perform a PhD on dengue virus and mosquito vectors. During that period I also completed a University Course in Fundamental Virology (DIU Institut Pasteur, Paris VII). After my PhD (2006), I was offered a position as a research scientist joining the Virology Lab at ILM and one year later I took the position of head of the lab. The first new direction that I contributed to was to enlarge our research interests to other emerging arboviruses in addition to dengue virus, notably chikungunya virus and then Zika virus. The second important direction was to enlarge our geographical investigations from French Polynesia to other Pacific Island Countries (PICs), notably Fiji islands. I was leading research programs on arboviruses in French Polynesia and the Pacific for 11 years when I had my HDR defense in 2017 (https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiBu8G3iqjzAhVGop4KHS_YAzoQwqsBegQIERAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DDRvo1NnxbpQ&usg=AOvVaw0AnPGj0qduwHJJRsAu0WPv).
I’ve been the PI of several projects interested in the surveillance, epidemiology, molecular epidemiology and prevalence of arboviruses in the Pacific islands. All this work allowed me authoring and co-authoring 76 articles in top ranked medical and research journals, including almost all articles on Zika virus in the Pacific. Since a few years, I’ve been enlarging the research interests of my team to a more global approach of the pathological risk related to infectious diseases in the populations of the different French Polynesian islands. The idea is to include life style, living context, history of exposure to infectious pathogens and genetic background to explain various clinical responses to new infections. Since 2020, my team also has been largely contributing to the efforts to manage the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve been implementing an innovative protocol for COVID-19 (and variants) surveillance in travelers entering into the country. I recently had the honor of being offered one page interview in the Lancet Infectious Disease Profile section to share some pieces of our research work (https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/laninf/PIIS1473-3099(21)00577-6.pdf).