Quantitative and systems biology priority area
Biology and biophysics interface
An ongoing challenge in developmental biology and physiology is to unravel the mechanisms conferring to organs their appropriate shape in order to fulfill their ultimate function. To gain insight into these mechanisms, it is necessary to undertake an interdisciplinary approach dissecting in parallel the physical principles and the cellular events that regulate cell plasticity at the morphological level over time.
Two new teams, led by Gilles Charvin and Daniel Riveline, both working at the interface to physics joined the Institute just before the launch of the LabEx INRT. This priority is currently being strengthened through the recruitment of additional LabEx Chairs in 2015-2016 (view Call - closed).
Technological developments, imaging and bioinformatics
Imaging and biocomputing are two core technologies supporting LabEx priorities, and it is essential to keep up with the developments in these areas. In particular, we set up developments in IT technology to handle, explore and retrieve the massive amounts of imaging data generated by the optical and electron microscopy modes. The reinforced imaging-oriented IT group designed a database to accommodate a breadth of large and heterogeneous datasets from different experimental and imaging modalities, allowing multi-dimensional integration of biological data sets.
We hired an Imaging Platform Coordinator in 2015 to reinforce the Imaging Center. It is foreseen that several of the recruited/to be recruited LabEx Chairs will be using high resolution, live imaging and/or super-resolution imaging, and will themselves participate to the development of new imaging systems. The overall goal is to tackle challenging scientific questions in the various LabEx priority areas by developing novel approaches and tools, drive quantitative and live imaging as well as correlative imaging and super resolution microscopy. These developments will be key to bridge the current gap between different resolution and time scales, and notably will make the link between cellular organization and atomic scale information from integrated structural biology projects.
Mouse technology and models for human diseases
An increasing number of LabEx INRT teams in all priority areas as well as new recruits require tailored-to-the needs mouse models in order to better understand and treat diseases such as various types of cancer, neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental and neuromuscular diseases, or metabolic and behavioral disorders. We will therefore further focus on developing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 technologies, enlarge the pool of tissue-specific Cre-expressing mice, etc.
Overall, with this increasingly important axis, we aim to understand and study the pathophysiology of diseases from the molecular level to the whole living animal, and to validate therapeutic approaches either in close collaboration with pharmaceutical industries or clinicians. The translation of human mutations into mouse models allows more detailed analysis of the mechanistic aspects of physiopathology (transcriptome, epigenome, metabolism etc), as well as providing a model that can be analysed for novel disease markers (metabolome, metabolites, secretome etc) specific for different stages of pathogenesis.