Welcome to InBio! Launch Agreement officially signed at Institut Pasteur
From left to right : Eric Horlait, Grégoy Batt and Christian Bréchot - Inria
Friday 17 March 2017 saw the official launch of InBio, a joint exploratory effort between Inria and Institut Pasteur hosted by the Lifeware team (Inria Saclay – Île-de-France).
Either side of Grégory Batt, member of the Lifeware team and now also manager of InBio, are Christian Bréchot, CEO of Institut Pasteur and Eric Horlait, deputy CEO in charge of technology transfer and industrial partnerships at Inria, who signed the agreement launching this new structure, the goal of which is to develop experimental and IT methods to help to understand how living systems function at cell level.
Nowadays biology and digital sciences go hand in hand. Better understandinghow biological systems function at cell level, guidingthe development of molecules or therapeutic cells and optimisingmedical treatments are significant challenges for modern biology that are at the forefront of Institut Pasteur’s priorities. These research topics are given significant support at Institut Pasteur, particularly through the recent creation of a centre for integrative bio-informatics, bio-statistics and biology (C3BI), which has been endowed with significant resources.
At Inria, several project teams have acquired solid expertise in the non-trivial methodological and computational problems raised by such data analysis, modelling, design and optimisation issues in the field of molecular and cell biology. Establishing collaborations between the two institutes to work in synergy on these issues is therefore very natural.
Developing inter-disciplinary research
The practical problems encountered in this field are complex and their effective resolution often requires truly inter-disciplinary research , in which experimental approaches and methodological developments are closely interlinked.
Against this backdrop, the possibility for Inria researchers to undertake research within C3BI at Institut Pasteur is a significant opportunity. An additional step is taken towards interdisciplinarity when researchers have the opportunity to do both experimental and theoretical research within the same structure, as is the case with InBio.
InBio manager, Grégory Batt, underscores the originality of this new structure and the importance of being able to develop it within the French scientific community:"There are few places in France or in Europe where it is possible to conduct this type of research. It was by simply asking myself what I really wanted to do and what seemed to me really important to do now, regardless of any constraints, that I imagined creating a doubly mixed team". Mixed doubling, because it not only combines experimental research with theoretical research, but also because it is common to Inria and the Institut Pasteur.
"Today the creation of InBio demonstrates the ability of both institutes to listen to researchers' proposals even if they come from the usual patterns. Today I have optimal working conditions to move forward on these issues, and therefore the heavy responsibility to succeed and deserve this trust given by the two institutes. "
Focus : InBio's goals
The main goal of InBio is to develop experimental platforms, mathematical methods, software and molecular cloning approaches in order to streamline and automate the discovery process in biology.
To this end, two tasks must be automated and integrated. The first is to design the most informative experiment based on the current knowledge of the system being studied and all of the available stem cells. The second is to conduct the experiment chosen, to exploit the new data and to update the current knowledge of the system . Knowledge of the system is formally established by a set of competing models that take account of the uncertainties surrounding the parameter values.