Florence Clavaguera

Florence Clavaguera is a neurobiology researcher, expert in the pathology of the tau protein or tauopathy, its mechanisms of induction and propagation.She worked for more than ten years in the laboratory of Professor Markus Tolnay in the Department of Neuropathology at University of Basel, Switzerland where she obtained her PhD in 2008: “Initiation and Spreading of Tau Pathology: is β- Amyloid the Only Key? “.Rewarded in Bern in 2010 with the Franco Regli Prize for research on neurodegenerative disorders, she was also the winner, in 2013, of the first edition of the European Young Researcher Prize-SCOR, awarded by the Foundation for Research on Alzheimer’s for her fundamental work on the spread of the pathological tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease.

“It has been shown for Alzheimer’s disease that the pathology of the tau protein begins in one region of the brain and over time spreads to the entire brain. This spatiotemporal progression of tau aggregates is very important from a pathophysiological point of view because it correlates with the clinical decline of patients. In our laboratory, we are studying the mechanisms of induction and propagation of fibrillar pathology of the tau protein. We are trying to understand how this tau protein changes from a normal soluble state to an aggregated insoluble form and how this phenomenon is amplified, in order to be able to stop this process through therapeutic approaches “.

Winner of the 2018 call for projects launched by the Foundation, which is funding her work for 2 years, Florence Clavaguera has joined at the start of 2019 the “Alzheimer’s disease and prion disease” team co-directed by Dr Marie-Claude Potier and Stéphane Haïk, at the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (ICM) within the Pitié-Salpétrière Hospital.

Her new project, in the continuity of her work which aims to deepen knowledge on the mechanisms involved in the development of tau pathologies, aims in particular to confirm the hypothesis that the pathological tau protein is propagated thanks to inter-cells mechanisms similar to those used by prions to spread within the nervous system, as well as to explore new therapeutic approaches in immunotherapy by testing the inhibitory effect of specific nano-antibodies directed against the pathological tau protein.


Florence Clavaguera is the author of numerous articles and reviews in internationally renowned scientific journals.


  1. Ozcelik S., Sprenger F., Skachokova Z., Fraser G., Abramowski D., Clavaguera F. et al. Co-expression of truncated and full-length tau induces severe neurotoxicity. Mol Psychiatry. (2016).
  2. Skachokova Z., Sprenger F., Breu K., Abramowski D., Clavaguera F. et al. Amyloid-β in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of APP Transgenic Mice Does not Show Prion-like Properties. Curr Alzheimer Res. 12 (9), 886-891 (2015). Version anglaise
  3. Ahmed Z., Clavaguera F. et al. A novel in vivo model of tau propagation with rapid and progressive neurofibrillary tangle pathology: the pattern of spread is determined by connectivity, not proximity. Acta Neuropathol. 127, 667-683 (2014).
  4. Clavaguera F. et al. Peripheral administration of tau aggregates triggers intracerebral tauopathy in transgenic mice. Acta Neuropathol. 127, 299- 301 (2014).
  5. Clavaguera F. et al. Brain homogenates from human tauopathies induce tau inclusions in mouse brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110, 9535- 9540 (2013).
  6. Clavaguera F. et al. Transmission and spreading of tauopathy in transgenic mouse brain. Nat Cell Biol. 11(7), 909-13 (2009).


  1. Duyckaerts C., Clavaguera F., Potier M.C. The prion-like propagation hypothesis in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Curr Opin Neurol. (Epub ahead of print) Feb 4 (2019).
  2. Clavaguera F., Tolnay M., Goedert M. The Prion-Like Behavior of Assembled Tau in Transgenic Mice. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. Oct 3;7(10) (2017).
  3. Clavaguera F., Hench J., Goedert M., Tolnay M. Invited review: Prion- like transmission and spreading of tau pathology. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 41,(1):47-58 (2015).
  4. Goedert M, Falcon B, Clavaguera F., Tolnay M. Prion-like Mechanisms in the Pathogenesis of Tauopathies and Synucleinopathies. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 14:495 (2014).
  5. Clavaguera F., Grueninger F., and Tolnay M. Intercellular transfer of tau aggregates and spreading of tau pathology: Implications for therapeutic strategies. Neuropharmacology. 76, Pt A:9-15 (2014).