INSERM - Radiations
The Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) is the only public research organization in France entirely dedicated to human health. Its objective is to promote the health of all by advancing knowledge about life and disease, treatment innovation, and public health research. Inserm brings together 15,000 researchers, engineers, technicians, and administrative staff around one common goal: to improve the health of all by advancing knowledge of life and disease, innovation in treatment, and public health research through about 200 Research Units.
Among them, two Units (UA7 and UA8) will participate to this project.
The UA8 Unit “Radiations: Defense, Health and Environment” has been created in 2009 and is supported by INSERM, the French Ministry of Army and the anti-cancer Centre Léon-Bérard in Lyon (France). The unit is based on the anti-cancer Léon-Bérard Centre campus since June 2011. The Unit aims to better understand the biological consequences of the exposure to high (radiotherapy) and low radiation doses (radiodiagnosis, industry and space) by studying the impact of the individual factor in the repair and signaling of the DNA damage. By collecting routinely skin fibroblasts from patients showing radiotherapy-induced radiosensitivity reactions, we try to build the most complete survey of human radiosensitivity. Particularly, we have proposed a classification in 3 radiosensitivity groups on the basis of the functionality of DNA breaks repair and signaling pathways that depend on ATM, MRE11 et H2AX proteins. We routinely perform radiosensitivity diagnoses from the demand of clinicians and we regularly update a list of genetic syndrome associated with radiosensitivity. Furthermore, by having deliberately chosen to work with human cells in exact conditions of irradiation, we are coordinating some research projects to better evaluate the radiation-induced risk linked to medical low-dose exposure (mammography, CT scan) in a close collaboration with clinicians. Similarly to low radiation doses that produce low amount of DNA damage, some other agents like heavy metals may induce toxicity and/or cancer. In the frame of national research projects, our Unit is also involved in ecotoxicology research through the study of metal and pesticides toxicity. Finally, our group also gathers social psychologists who are developing some research programs about the perception of the radiationinduced risk of clinicians, patients, and stakeholders. The lab was awarded in 2008 by the Louis-Fontaine price from the Fondation Rhone-Alpes Futur. In 2018, the Radiobiology Group gathers 42 searchers, engineers, radiation oncologists and radiologists.
Nicolas FORAY is Director of Research INSERM, radiobiologist at Inserm (DR2 Inserm),and focused since 2003 on both fundamental and applied radiobiology. He is the director of the UA8 Unit. He is member of the Life Sciences committee of the National Space Agency (CNES) in which he coordinates the PRAXITELE project about space radiation biology research. He has been awarded by the French Academy of Science in 2009 and by the French Speaking Radiobiology Society in 2018, society he has presided for 8 years. He is the coordinator of a national-scale project about individual radiosensitivity (INDIRA, PIA, 2.6 MEuros). He is the main investigator of projects at the origin of the ATM nucleo-shuttling model. More recently, he participates to expertise about hadrontherapy and consequences of the French nuclear bomb trials in Polynesia to the demand of Ministries of Health and of Army, respectively.