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Scientific Interest Group: Île-de-France Research Neuropôle

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Scientific Interest Group: Île-de-France Research Neuropôle

The Île-de-France Research Neuropôle (NeRF) brings together all the institutions and establishments involved in research in neurosciences in Île-de-France. Created at the instigation if the region of Île-de-France and under the leadership of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), it became a Scientific Interest Group in 2007.

The aim of the NeRF is to coordinate programmes and research in the field of the neurosciences in close interaction with the Paris School of Neurosciences, which provides it with administrative support. The Scientific Interest Group is headed by a Management Committee, of which the President is Alain Prochiantz, a professor at the Collège de France. The NeRF currently has resources which are allocated to it by the region of Île-de-France.

Its programmes take the form of support for investments (equipment and real estate), grants for doctoral and post-doctoral studies and support for the organisation of conferences.

The neurosciences, for understanding, proposing, developing

The aim of the neurosciences is to understand the functioning of the normal and pathological nervous system. They make it possible to propose innovative approaches to therapy in neurology and psychiatry as well as promote the development of new technologies as a result of this knowledge. They cover large fields of approach, from genetics and molecular and cellular biology to human and social sciences, including the study of behaviour and cognition. It crosses in many ways with mathematics, chemistry, physics, information sciences and technologies, computer science and the nanosciences. Neurosciences constitute a rapidly expanding field of research which represents a major issue of concern for society due to the considerable human and financial cost of neurological and psychiatric diseases (one third of the total human cost of diseases in Europe).

Rich and diversified applications

Beyond this essential medical importance, a better knowledge of the functioning of the brain also represents a major asset in the fields of education, information and communication technologies, robotics and even safety (for example, traffic safety). Research in the neurosciences is very developed in Île-de-France, where around half of French research in the field is concentrated.