interview phd


Interview with Léa Bruneau

MAN-IMAL PhD student


As part of its training offer, MAN-IMAL has welcomed this year its first PhD students. Léa Bruneau is one of them. She is working under joint supervision of Prof. François Beaudeau, a professor for the MAN-IMAL programme working for the “Biology, Epidemiology and Animal Health Risk Analysis” joint research unit located at Oniris, the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering, and of Prof. Leïla Moret, Head of the Public Health and Pharmacy Department (PHU11) of the Nantes University Hospital.


Could you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Léa Bruneau, I am 28 years old. I have been working as a Public Health Junior Doctor in Nantes for 3 years. I am interested in infectious disease epidemiology. During our medical residency, we usually change placements every 6 months. I have worked within the Quality Risk Assessment Unit and the Hospital Hygiene Department of the University Hospital, the Alert and Health Management Unit of the Regional Health Authorities (Agence Régionale de Santé - ARS), the Travel Vaccination Centre and the Free and Anonymous Screening Unit.


What was your background before starting your MAN-IMAL PhD?

After completing my undergraduate medical studies in Angers, I chose Public Health as a specialty. In addition to my residency semesters, I took courses for the 1st-year Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Nantes. Then, this year, I passed the 2nd-year Master’s degree in Epidemiology, with a specialisation in Intervention Epidemiology, at the Bordeaux School of Public Health (Institut de Santé Publique, d’Epidémioloie et de Développement – ISPED). I also hold an Inter-University Degree (DIU) in Tropical Pathology from the University of Tours.


What is your thesis about?

My thesis is focused on a zoonosis, the Q fever caused by the Coxiella burnetii bacterium. The first objective is to compare animal and human prevalence of this infection at regional level. The second objective is to describe the doctors’ perception of zoonotic risk and veterinary procedures regarding this disease. The challenge is to make communication easier and to encourage partnerships between doctors and veterinary surgeons.


Which goals would you like to achieve professionally after completing your doctoral thesis?

This science thesis will open a few doors towards a possible academic career or help me pursue research activities. Nothing is defined yet - it will depend on opportunities that may arise in the future.


What is your opinion regarding the approach of the MAN-IMAL programme, which is to provide a common expertise between doctors, veterinarians and engineers?

Human health and animal health are extremely related and interlinked with each other. I obviously believe in the complementarity of these occupations (doctors/veterinarians), and in the necessity of working together. And after all, don’t we say that man is an animal?