Today, association with numerous academic, clinical and industrial partners is mandatory in high-level scientific research. This association is built up at national and European levels through the setting up of centres of competitivity and centres of excellence where skills and aims can intermesh and resources can be pooled and optimised. The CEA research teams working in the life sciences are firmly committed to the construction of these centres where they are very often key players.
All the research laboratories of the Life Sciences Division are linked by contractual agreements, as collaborative research entities or associate laboratories, with universities and other research bodies such as the CNRS, Inserm, Inra, Paris Hospitals, the Gustave Roussy Institute, and the Curie Institute.
At the national level the Life Sciences Division participates in the networking of skills and resources. It is a player in the national network of the Génopoles (Evry and Rhône-Alpes). Since 1995 it has steered the coordinated concerted life sciences action ‘Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation’ launched by the French Ministry of Research. Since 2004, it has coordinated the ‘ACI Ecotox’ programme at national level.
It is directly involved in three centres of competitivity, two of which are certified world competitivity centres. In the Île-de-France region, MediTech Santé, dedicated to drug and healthcare technology, mobilises research teams in medical imaging, neuroscience and the study of infectious diseases. LyonBiopole, dedicated to diagnostics and vaccines for public health protection, is working on the development of individualised medicine, and brings together researchers and infrastructure at Grenoble. Lastly teams at Cadarache participate in the work of the centre dedicated to climate-friendly energy sources.
MAESTRO, concerning the development of radiotherapy software in Priority 1 of FP6 (genomics and biotechnology for health).
RISC-RAD, effects of radiation from DNA damage and repair to radio-induced cancer, in the Euratom component of FP6. The aim of this project is to integrate European research in low-dose radiobiology.
EMIL, dedicated to molecular imaging for cancer research in Priority 1 of FP6 (genomics and biotechnology for healthcare). The objective of this project is to set up a European network of reference research centres for molecular imaging in oncology.
NEUROPRION, for the diagnosis and management of prion diseases in Priority 5 of FP6 (food quality and safety). The aim of this project is to integrate all the European research teams working on prions to propose concrete means to avert further BSE crises.
NANO2LIFE, devoted to nanobiotechnology, in Priority 3 of FP6 (nanotechnology and nanoscience) coordinated by the CEA’s Technology Research Division, in which the Life Sciences and Materials Science Divisions also participate.
The research teams at the Life Sciences Division are also involved as partners in targeted scientific projects such as the European cancer degradoma project, cell therapy and radiotherapy, biocrystallography and structural genomics, the Aids Vaccine Integrated Project (AVIP), the European Microbiocides Project (EMPRO), Treatment Initiatives After Radiological Accidents (TIARA), and ToxDrop, on the use of cell microarrays for toxicity studies.
At the international level, every yearthe Life Sciences Division hosts many post-doctoral and visiting researchers from Europe, including new members of the European Union, the US, Japan, China and Australia. Besides being involved in numerous R&D projects the Division participates in many international organisations (e.g. Human Frontier Science Programme Organisation, European Science Foundation, James S. McDonnell Foundation, and Embo), contributes expertise to international organisations (e.g. AIEA, Unscear, ICRP, OECD, and the European Commission) and collaborates closely with institutions outside France such as GSF in Germany, the National Institute of Radiological Science (NIRS) in Japan, the US Department of Energy (DOE), the BARC in India and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto).