Research fields within the SFR Bonamy

The biomedical research in Nantes mainly focuses on 3 key topics, for which the actors and initiatives carried out in the region have gained international recognition:

  • Innovative biotherapies : transplantation, immunology and immunotherapies, cancerology, regenerative medicine
  • Radiopharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine and ionizing radiations
  • Personalized medicine : genetics, biomarkers, bioinformatics, pathophysiology and epidemiology

These fields are part of the "intelligent specialization" of Tomorrow’s Health and Therapeutics promoted by the Region Pays-de-la-Loire.

Innovative biotherapies :  immunology and immunotherapies, transplantation, oncology, regenerative medicine

The creation of this original axis is based on the existence in Nantes of 4 strong themes integrating basic research and clinical research: immunology, renal transplantation, hematocancerology and regenerative medicine.

Immunology is a field of biomedical research historically strong in Nantes with its nationally and internationally recognized applications in transplantation and oncology, which are continually evolving and developing, both scientifically and in terms of the people involved, in line with the emerging field of autoimmune/inflammatory and infectious diseases. The laboratories involved are the CR2TI, which focuses on immunointervention and transplantation, and the CRCI2NA, which focuses on cancer immunology. Teams from both UMRs are part of the LabEx IGO, which aims to develop new therapies against cancer and transplant rejection  and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases.

Regenerative medicine is a recent research theme that is experiencing a very significant growth in relation to diseases associated with the aging population. Aiming at aging in healthy individuals, it intends to develop the concepts of tissue replacement and repair towards the concept of regeneration ad integrum of damaged tissues. The concept of regenerative medicine encompasses transplantation, cell therapy, gene therapy, tissue engineering, biomaterials and nanovectors. Regenerative medicine is particularly developed in the RMeS UMR and in several teams of other UMRs.

Radiopharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine and ionizing radiation

Nuclear medicine offers imaging methods in many medical fields (oncology, cardiovascular, etc.) and therapeutic approaches in oncology, based on radioactive drugs (called radiopharmaceuticals).

The regional "NUCLEAR FOR HEALTH" cluster has been structured for 10 years and has led to the implementation of the Arronax cyclotron, a unique equipment world-wide due to its physical characteristics and its medical research mission, whose latest projects have been selected as part of future investment programs (Equipex ArronaxPlus). The GIP ARRONAX produces innovative radioelements in collaboration with French and foreign laboratories. A close collaboration between these teams and public/private partnerships has led to the IRON LabEx, offering an ambitious translational research, development and teaching program based on a French network of cyclotrons. All the stakeholders in the field (laboratories and research centers, clinicians, companies) are mobilized to :

  • undertake and promote high-level research in nuclear imaging, molecular radiotherapy and radiobiology,
  • offer a shared range of nuclear imaging services from small animals to humans, through the "Whole Body Imaging" Hub, open in particular to major pharmaceutical companies,
  • develop collaborative projects of national scope and with a therapeutic aim.

Research in nuclear medicine is mainly developed by the CRCI2NA, in close collaboration with many partners, including the Subatech lab.

Personalized medicine: genetics, biomarkers, bioinformatics and epidemiology

Personalized medicine is an emerging field that will profoundly change care strategies in the medium-term. It can be defined as "a medical approach that aims to adapt the right therapeutic strategies for the right person at the right time, to determine the predisposition to disease in the population, and to ensure appropriate and stratified prevention through the use of high throughput technologies and their ability to define specific molecular profiles".

The rise of personalized medicine is linked to the development of high-throughput molecular technologies that have transformed common diseases into multiple rare "molecular" diseases. This evolution underscores the need for very high-level core facilities to generate, validate and store data. On the other hand, personalized medicine is also based on the development of new physiologically relevant cell and tissue models that are representative of the pathophysiological and treatment response mechanisms in humans. These models, which include organoids and organ-on-chip, are patient avatars that will make possible to propose therapeutic approaches or combinations adapted to each patient.

Four UMRs are mainly involved in this field of research (l'institut du thorax, CR2TI, TENS and PhAN) and the others are also developing personalized medicine research projects, notably CRCI2NA and ITUN. Although these themes are based on basic research recognized by Inserm, CNRS or Inrae labels of the UMRs, the programs within this theme are clearly interdisciplinary and translational, as evidenced by the structuring of the site into University Hospital structures.

Mis à jour le 17 April 2023.