The Institute of Neurophysiopathology (INP) was created on January 1st 2018. It brings together 11 teams totalling 140 people, half of whom have permanent positions (statutory staff). Its main objectives are to study on a fundamental level, through animal and cell models (including reprogramming / iPS cell modelling), at different levels of integration (from molecular to the most integrated), and in various pathological contexts, the interactions between neuronal, glial, endothelial and immune cells, and their roles in the plasticity of neural networks, in biological clocks and in cognitive function. The teams of the Institute study during development and aging different conditions including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis or glioblastoma, neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative processes, tumorigenesis, angiogenesis and alterations of the barrier blood brain (BBB).
The INP teams promote the development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, based in particular on the identification of biomarkers and therapeutic targets, on the development of new therapeutic molecules and on cell therapy strategies involving olfactory stem cells and iPS cells. The teams ambition valuation and partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, in particular through the creation of a "Joint Research Laboratory" with the biotechnology company Vect-Horus. This partnership aims at developing new vectorisation strategies across the BBB into the CNS, and innovative therapeutic or imaging agents, that will benefit from such strategies to improve their brain delivery and efficacy.
The INP offers a wide range of complementary approaches and technologies including molecular (genetic engineering, biochemistry, transcriptomics, epigenetics, proteomics, systems biology), chemistry (Vect-Horus contribution to peptide synthesis/peptide purification, combined with organic chemistry, development of vectorised imaging agents for PET, etc.), cell approaches (neural cell lines, tumor lines, primary neural cell cultures, neurons, astrocytes, microglia, endothelial cells, adult stem cells and iPS cells, in vitro modelling), imaging (fluorescence, electronic, MRI, PET) and the most integrated approaches for the study of animal models of various diseases (Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, glioblastoma, autism etc.), including animals that are transgenic or invalidated for genes of interest, with the study of behaviour, learning (development of automated prototypes for the study of behaviour), and evaluation of therapeutic agents in preclinical. Technological platforms (PFRN, PFNT) specialized in the fields of imaging (NCIS), in the study of molecular interactions (PINT) and in stem and iPS cells (SCeNT) are labelled by AMU and backed by the INP, thus reinforcing its research potential.
On the Timone site the INP will benefit from:
- the proximity and expertise of different laboratories of the Pharmacy and Medical Faculties, including the INT and INS (neurophysiology, computational neuroscience and modelling);
- the geographical proximity of physicians (neurologists, neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists) grouped in the Timone AP-HM hospital complex as well as facilities including the AP-HM tumor bank, the transfer laboratory;
- technology platforms (animal facilities, including housing of transgenic mice, L3 laboratory for the production of lenti- and adenovirus, MALDI imaging, proteomics, surface plasmon resonance, calorimetry, CERIMED, CEMEREM, CRMBM imaging platforms, etc.);
- training from the Health Master Program, the international Neuroscience Master and PhD Program in Integrative & Clinical Neuroscience and the recently created NeuroSchool;
- biotechnology or pharma companies with activities in the CNS.
The INP’s projects are developed within national and international collaborations and are funded by national or European public contracts (ANR, EC, BPI etc.), by foundations and industry partners.