Stem cell research
Development of a stem cell research program, with the creation of the specialized “I-Stem” institute. I-Stem is committed to developing one of today’s most promising fields in biology (in terms of medical research and industrial applications). The institute notably studies the potential of embryonic and adult stem cells in the treatment of rare genetic diseases.
Directed by Marc Peschanski (an INSERM staff researcher) and with support from Genopole®, the biopark-based I-Stem institute is the result of close collaboration between the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM-Telethon), INSERM and the University of Evry-Val d’Essonne. It has also received funding from other institutions (Ile-de-France Regional Council, Essonne County Council, the French National Research Agency and the European Union) and is a partner in the Medicen Paris Region cluster’s IngeCELL program.
Synthetic and integrative biology
Implementation and development of an epigenomics program. The goal of integrative biology is essentially “to model and simulate in order to better understand how living organisms work”. Biology is entering an era in which the fundamental breakthroughs will come from coupling theory with experiment and analytical work with synthesis. - At Genopole®, “the Epigenomics Program” lab is spearheading these new and necessarily interdisciplinary research activities.
The ISSB: the Institute for Systems and Synthetic Biology
Following a joint request by the CNRS and the UEVE concerning the development of research and teaching on systems biology and synthetic biology, Genopole® laid the foundations of an Institute for Systems and Synthetic Biology (ISSB) in 2007. The Institute opened in 2010 and includes both “dry” and “wet” labs in order to link modeling and experimental work.
- Objective: to make Genopole® a national and international center of excellence by creating:
- The Biomanufacturing Center, a GMP-compliant biomanufacturing center for recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies on the Evry biopark.
- a new Genethon GMP-compliant viral vector production unit.
- a cell engineering laboratory
- a center for biomanufacturing in yeast/bacteria
- a vaccine protein production unit
- a aseptic dispensing unit
- By spanning the whole value chain, the Evry-Corbeil campus will be the only one of its kind in Europe and will be highly attractive to new or existing French or foreign companies.
In vivo imaging in small animals
A 2007 survey of the European market concluded that there would be sufficient demand from 2010 onwards to justify the creation of a center for in vivo imaging in small animals. In collaboration with the CEA, a business plan was drawn up in 2008. Although a variety of organizational structures can be envisaged, the final model will operate in harmony with the existing Mircen and Neurospin centers.
The Institute of Biology
The UEVE Institute of Biology opened in 2011. The institute will encompass all the university’s existing biology research groups. The institute will also provide high-quality teaching and training in genomics and post-genomics as applied to healthcare, the environment, bioinformatics and complex systems engineering.
Creation of a Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), interfaced with the future South Ile-de-France Medical Center
The Clinical and Translational Research Center will be interfaced with the South Ile-de-France Medical Center (Centre Hospitalier Sud Francilien, CHSF) and will seek to rapidly transform research results into innovative medical treatments, i.e. going from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside. In what is a new organizational paradigm for research in France, the 3,000 m2 CTRC will act as a true interface between fundamental research, clinical research and industry.
The founding members of the CRCT are the CHSF, Genopole®, the University of Paris-Sud-XI, the AFM, Genethon and the University of Evry-Val d’Essonne (UEVE), with backing from the CEA, INSERM, Ile-de-France Regional Council and Essonne County Council. A Steering Committee (composed of experts from the charter signatories) has been set up. An operational team from the CHSF and Genopole® is developing an action plan for consideration by the Steering Committee, with a view to commissioning the CRCT in 2013.
The CHSF Medical Center is settled on a 10-hectare site at the border between the Corbeil-Essonnes and Evry municipalities. It is the second largest hospital campus in the Paris Ile-de-France region with 1017 beds, 37 wards, 20 operating theaters and 130 consultation rooms.
Creation of a Biotherapy Institute
Creation of a Biotherapy Institute in collaboration with the AFM and the INSERM, with the aim of federating campus-based research expertise in stem cells, gene therapy and cell therapy.
Pro-active resource sharing
A group of employers have formed the BioSupport organization in order to share appropriate skills and resources (such as an administrative and financial director, an administrative assistant and an IT engineer) and respond to the needs expressed by campus companies. In addition, a range of services initiated on September 1, 2008, help optimize and secure the members’ IT environment: access to the fiber-optic network, secure backups, server hosting and management in the machine room, update management and optimal antivirus protection.
An innovative approach - “Genopole® Services” - for campus organizations and their staff: a joint social and cultural committee, a inter-company canteen, a day nursery, a joint subscription to over 1,800 scientific journals, IT services and so on. Lastly, Genopole® works with France’s LEEM Biotech industry body on sharing biotech-specific skills between life science companies in the Paris Ile-de-France region.