Since their establishment in 2007, 97 researchers from Inserm have been awarded grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Dedicated to exploratory research, these grants are awarded on the basis of a single selection criterion: scientific excellence. Here you will find a series of portraits highlighting the careers of some of these laureates and their work. They also explain to us what this exceptional European funding has brought to their research.
Maryse Lebrun: Outsmarts Parasites
Maryse Lebrun, Inserm Research Director based in Montpellier, is studying parasites as infamous as Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, the agents of toxoplasmosis and malaria. Her objective? Describe the mechanisms of interaction of these organisms with the host cells they infect. Indeed, the processes involved differ markedly from those used by bacteria and which have been described to date....
Anne Eichmann: Learning to Manipulate the Endothelial Barrier for Therapeutic Purposes
A network of endothelial cells separates the circulating fluids, i.e., blood and lymph, from the internal tissue and organ environment in the human body. However, endothelial barrier function differs from one organ to another. With a foothold in both the United States and France, Anne Eichmann is fascinated by its versatility....
Ganna Panasyuk: Exploring the Hidden Side of Metabolism
Inserm researcher at Institut Necker-Enfants Malades (INEM), Ganna Panasyuk wishes to deepen her understanding of how cells identify and use the nutrients they need, and how they know where and when to use them. More specifically, her research project intends to elucidate a poorly understood aspect of cellular metabolism: the role of the degradation pathways and how their dysfunction impacts health....
Emiliano Ricci: Ribosomes, the Unknown Players in Inflammatory Response
In July 2018, Emiliano Ricci, Inserm Research Officer at the Cell Biology and Modeling Laboratory (LBMC) in Lyon, was awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. Representing 1.5 million euros over five years, it will enable him to work on the RiboInflam project, exploring the role of ribosomes in inflammatory response.
Nicolas Gaudenzio: "Do neurons control immune response in atopic dermatitis? "
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease affecting up to 20% of children and 5% of adults in the western world. Their quality of life is impaired by pain and intense itching. Nicolas Gaudenzio* wishes to create a synergy among multiple disciplines in order to better understand their disease and to evaluate how their immune cells interact with other components, particularly the nerve fibers....
Cécile Charrier: "Synaptic Plasticity, a Key Element in Human Evolution"
We know about neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to continuously adapt to its environment and experiences. For a decade now, we know that this plasticity also exists at the level of the synapse, the structure through which neurons interact to transmit information. It is thought to be regulated by molecular pathways acquired by human beings throughout evolution. How are they specific to our species, in terms of learning and development?...
What if Aging Well Depended on the Gateway of Hormones into the Brain?
Researcher Vincent Prévot has recently obtained a 9.8-million-euro European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant to conduct the WATCH project (Well-Aging and the Tanycytic Control of Health). He is giving himself six years to ascertain whether a deficiency in the transit to the brain of hormones circulating in the blood is implicated in cognitive decline. This funding represents a crowning achievement in what has been a rich career in neuroendocrinology so far. ...
Nicolas L’Heureux Weaves and Knits the Artificial Blood Vessels of the Future
In patients with end-stage renal disease treated by hemodialysis, the veins and arteries, into which needles are inserted several times per week, end up being irreparably damaged. They then need to be replaced. But current prostheses are not accepted by the body over the long term. Nicolas L’Heureux, Inserm Research Director, is therefore working on new artificial blood vessels, which are woven and contain no polyester. ...
Richard Tomasini: Improving the Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is a tumoral disease with one of the bleakest prognoses. And despite the various advances in oncology over the previous 30 years, not one has been able to significantly improve its treatment. But Richard Tomasini is looking to change that: he is studying a marker which, when measured in the blood, could improve the efficacy of pancreatic tumor surgery… ...
Olivier David: Probing the Brain to Discover the Drugs of Tomorrow
Olivier David is the head of research at the Grenoble Institute of Neurosciences (GIN). As part of the Brain Stimulation and Systems Neuroscience team, he works to describe the physiopathological mechanisms associated with nerve cells in some neurological and psychiatric illnesses. For several years, he has been focusing on characterizing the neural networks in the cortex of epileptic patients, on the basis of cortical stimulations....