Immunology, Inflammation, Infectiology and Microbiology

Since January 2015, ITMO I3M has been coordinating research in areas of Immunology, Inflammation, Infectious disease and Microbiology (I3M).

ITMO I3M resulted from the linking of the themes “Microbiology and infectious diseases” and “Immunology and inflammation.” It aims to create a continuum between these areas of research, and develop a strategic coherence for coping with challenges, which for the most part are nearly daily societal concerns such as the emergence and re-emergence of pathogens, chronic infections, neglected infectious diseases, transmission, resistance to treatments, immunodeficiencies, inflammatory diseases, allergies, autoimmune diseases and transplantation. The response to these challenges is supported by new developments in vaccinology, biotherapies, and cell- and gene-based therapies.

The areas of research coordinated by ITMO I3M are very productive, and are often a source of pioneering concepts and crowned with success, as witnessed by the awarding of the prestigious Japan Prize to Professor Alain Fischer in January 2015, and of Nobel prizes in Medicine to Profs Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier in 2008, and to Prof. Jules Hoffmann in 2011. This international recognition, maintained for many years, puts France in the forefront these disciplines.

Scientific and Medical Issues

Issues and challenges in Infectious diseases and microbiology

Infectious and parasitic diseases are the second most common cause of mortality worldwide (approximately 26% of overall mortality, i.e. 17 million deaths a year). They also affect countries unevenly, depending on their geographic location and level of development.

French research on infectious and parasitic diseases currently faces several challenges:

Issues and challenges in Immunology and Inflammation

Immunology is undeniably a pivotal part of medicine, and a source of prophylactic solutions (vaccines) and therapeutic agents in many medical disciplines. Although the growing body of knowledge allows a better understanding of the development and maintenance of the body’s defence mechanisms, it has been observed that any malfunction/dysregulation, disruption in homeostasis or abnormality is a source of inflammatory, allergic, or autoimmune disease, or disease associated with impaired tolerance or deficiencies in the immune defences. Whether acute or chronic, these diseases have a significant impact on public health, and because their incidence is constantly rising, they constitute a major challenge to health. Moreover, support for the development of basic research is essential, particularly in the following areas: