Meeting of the Academy of Excellence 4 - Complexity and Diversity of Living Systems - 18th of September 2018


You are invited to the presentations of the new interdisciplinary Master training projects that have been selected last June.

This will stand on September 18th, from 9am to 1pm, at IPMC Sophia Antipolis, in the conference room.

The Principal investigators of 5 interdisciplinary Master projects that have been selected in June will present the Master training positions they are offering.

The coordinators of the Academy 4 will also be present to answer your questions about your IDEX project management.

We will have the opportunity to attend to talks from two visiting scientists, both Emeritus Professors, Heinz Arnheiter (hosted by the C3M) and William Catterall (hosted by the IPMC).

To close the meeting, Professor Pierre Antoine Gourraud, Bioinformatician, PUPH at Medecine School of Nantes University, France and Assistant Professor at Neurology Department of University San Francisco, USA.



9 am -  Introduction for the presentations of Master training projects by Bruno Antonny (Chairman : Pierre Abad)

9:05 - F Duprat - T PapadopouloEPI-ANALYSE - Development of tools for efficient detection of epilepsy crisis by imaging analysis and EEG signal.

9:25 - AS Rousseau - R ZoryVIF-APAS - Aging, Immuno-metabolism and Fragility : effects of workout programs adapted to health conditions.

9:45 - C Rovère - E DebreuveNutriMorph - Nutrition lipids and brain remodeling : meaurement of glial plasticity using a tool for cell morphometry.

10:05 - M Duca - T Virolle - GIfTED - Synthetic small molecules inducing the differentiation of glioblastoma initiating cells : new perspectives in cancer chemotherapies.

10:25 - JP Comet - F Delaunay - ModHyMet - Hybrid modeling of cell metabolism.


10:45 - Coffee break


10:55 - Introduction of the professors presentations by Pascal Barbry (Chairman : Pierre Abad)

11:00 - Pr H Arnheiter, MD, NIH Bethesda USA, visiting C3M Nice, "Syndromic deafness and the role of the transcription factor MITF"

11:30 - Pr W Catterall,  PhD, University of Washington Seattle USA, visiting IPMC Sophia, ”Electrical Signaling at Atomic Resolution”

12:00 - Interdisciplinary keynote seminar - Pr PA Gourraud, PUPH, Nantes, "The Multiple Sclerosis Bioscreen: Beyond genetics, a precision medicine platform integrating genomic, clinical and imaging data for complex diseases".


1pm - Buffet and discussions 

Abstract - Pr H Arnheiter, MD, Scientific emeritus NIH Bethesda USA, visiting C3M Nice

"Syndromic deafness and the role of the transcription factor MITF".

The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor MITF has emerged a jack-of-all-trades able to coordinate many aspects of developmental and cell biology by controlling the expression of a great variety of target genes. Its key function is in regulating neural crest-derived melanocytes and their malignant derivatives. In mammals, melanocytes play a particularly interesting role in hearing. During embryonic development, a subset of their precursors lodge in the inner ear where they integrate as intermediate cells in the so-called stria vascularis. When MITF is rendered non-functional by mutations, strial melanocytes are missing, which in turn leads to a change in the ionic composition of the endolymph and an inability of auditory hair cells to release neurotransmitters and stimulate the auditory nerve. In humans, the resulting disorder is called Waardenburg Syndrome (WS) IIa, which is usually characterized by a combination of congenital deafness with pigmentation defects in skin, hair, and iris. It is normally inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion but may show considerable phenotypic variations within families. I will discuss some of the WS IIa mutations and demonstrate how an inconspicuous intronic nucleotide transversion in mice can lead to the complete absence of MITF function.

Abstract - Pr William A Catterall, Emeritus chair, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington Seattle USA, visiting IPMC Sophia Antipolis

”Electrical Signaling at Atomic Resolution”.

Electrical signals initiated by voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels initiate rapid physiological events from bacteria to man. Through structural studies of a bacterial ancestor of eukaryotic sodium and calcium channels, we have elucidated the structural basis for voltage-dependent activation and inactivation of these ion channels, their mechanism of ion conductance and selectivity, and the sites and mechanisms of action of channel-blocking drugs that are widely used in therapy of human diseases.

Abstract - Keynote séminaire interdisciplinaire - Pr PA Gourraud, PhD MPH, ITUN - CRTI - UMR Inserm 1064 University of Nantes - Nantes University Hospitals, France

"The Multiple Sclerosis Bioscreen: Beyond genetics, a precision medicine platform integrating genomic, clinical and imaging data for complex diseases".

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system. MS affects approximately 2.3 million people worldwide and constitutes an example of a multi-factorial, complex condition. An increasingly difficult challenge for clinicians, researchers and patients is to collate and interpret diverse types of clinical and biologic data to track disease progression, forecast outcomes, and inform therapeutic decision-making. We present a precision medicine application developed for multiple sclerosis (MS): the MS BioScreen. This new tool addresses the challenges of dynamic management of a complex chronic disease; the interaction of clinicians and patients with such a tool illustrates the extent to which translational digital medicine – i.e. the application of information technology to medicine—has the potential to radically transform medical practice.
METHODS: The scalability of the data stored on the platform, its very dynamic evolution and diverse nature (clinical and therapeutic data; brain, spinal cord and eye imaging; genetics; biomarkers), as well as the continuous development of our algorithmic core requires a flexible architecture. On the back-end, our infrastructure is cloud-based and includes: a SQL database combined with a custom PACS (MRI imaging) installation; AWS Elastic Computing resources; and HTTP RESTful communications between the different services.
RESULTS: The MSBioscreen front-end is currently an iPad app that gives clinicians access to tailored visualizations of an individual patient’s disease trajectory within an algorithmically-generated reference group, assessing the degree of progression severity in the context of similar patients. We introduce three key evolutionary phases in displaying data to health care providers, patients, and researchers: visualization (accessing data), contextualization (understanding the data), and actionable interpretation (real-time use of the data to assist decision-making).
PERSPECTIVE: This project proposes a tractable road map to address the challenge of integrating health big data into an actionable tool for personalized medicine. Together these form the stepping-stones that are expected to accelerate standardization of data across platforms, promote evidence-based medicine, support shared decision-making, and ultimately lead to improved outcomes.

Short Bio
Pierre-Antoine Gourraud is Professeur des Universités Praticien-Hospitalier of the School of Medicine of the Nantes University in France and associate professor at the Department of Neurology of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), USA. He is a former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France in the department of molecular and cellular Immunobiology.
Prof. Gourraud has developed bioinformatics tools for the study of immunogenetic markers at the NCBI, he performed numerous genetic association studies on various diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and leukaemia), and he conducted population genetics analyses of European populations (HLA and KIR genes). He developed software dedicated to statistical genetics and designed an algorithm to support decision making for the treatment of haematological diseases and management of Bone Marrow Donor Registries in France and in the US.



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Complementary informations and contacts

Academy 4 web site :

Contact project manager : 33 4 93 95 34 90,