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The Brain and Spinal Cord Institute

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The Brain and spinal cord Institute

"The ICM will enable brain and spinal cord disorders to be prevented, treated and cured.  It is a world-unique institute that will bring together 800 researchers to develop new treatments quickly as urgent action is required; there are currently 10 million patients in Europe," explains Gérard Saillant, former dean of the Pierre et Marie Curie faculty of medicine, renowned orthopaedic-trauma specialist and co-founder of the institute alongside two eminent neurologists and UPMC professors, Yves Agid and Olivier Lyon-Caen.  The organisation, world-unique in the field of neurosciences and equipped with materials and human resources unparalleled in France and abroad, will be the fruit of five years deliberation.  With its three major internal divisions - a concentration of laboratories, cutting-edge technological platforms and a hospital - the institute will constitute an unprecedented meeting point, promoting interaction between the various players in research: researchers and practitioners, of course, but also private pharmaceutical laboratories and biotechnology companies.  

The opening of the ICM promises a revolution in fundamental and applied research, placing the patient at the centre of the organisational infrastructure in order to quickly develop new treatments that can be prescribed without delay.

Planned for 2009, the institute will be located on the Rambuteau site of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital complex, the birthplace of French neurology and where it will benefit from an established breeding ground of top-level clinicians and researchers, a large number of who come from the joint research units that UPMC shares with INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale; French national institute for health and medical research).

Its goal of excellence and self-set objectives mean that the institute must open its doors wide, beyond France and Europe, to all talent.  International invitations to tender will therefore be launched to form teams of excellence from public and private organisations, including some major laboratories.  This public-private mix operating at a single location is the crux of this innovative project, which aims, above all, to promote emulation of the world's theoretical, clinical and technological knowledge in scientific projects closely linked with major public health issues: neurological diseases (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and cerebral vascular injuries), mental illnesses (reactive depression, psychosis, schizophrenia) and brain and spinal cord trauma. The stakes are high.

This is why UPMC, like the Ile-de-France region, the city of Paris, the AP-HP (Assistance publique - hopitaux de Paris; Public assistance - hospitals of Paris), the CEA (Commissariat a l'Énergie Atomique; French atomic energy commission), the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique; French national centre for scientific research), INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale; French national institute for health and medical research) and INRA (Institut national de la recherche agronomique; French national institute for agricultural research), wished to support and contribute toward this unprecedented French initiative for research and patients.  As a player in research and scientific and medical training, the university intends demonstrating its key role in the advance of medical knowledge by training some hundred doctors and specialists every year to the highest level.  The quality of UPMC's training programme is illustrated by these three great men of medicine, professors at the university.

Thursday, 8 November 2007, by Maude Le GuennecNouvelle fenêtre