Strong points in the life sciences
In the Clermont area, the life sciences are particularly well represented in the fields of nutrition, plants and health. The people involved in fundamental research from national research organisations (INRA, INSERM, CNRS, etc.), Université Clermont-Auvergne and Schools of Engineering, contribute to the growth of a competitive and innovative economic fabric.
Genetics and Physiology
Some twenty research teams including thirteen from the GreD laboratory (Genetics, Reproduction and Development) are studying the systems to monitor and maintain cell homeostasis. They study how, from an undifferentiated cell, successive cell divisions and differentiations result in the formation of a harmoniously developed individual or in a pathology.
Clinical teams from the Université d’Auvergne, the Jean Perrin Regional Cancer Centre and the CHU Teaching Hospital come together under the CIC 501 INSERM Clinical Investigation Centre. Their activities are also included in the Canceropole Lyon Auvergne Rhône Alpes cancer research cluster. Genetics and physiology for studies concerning oncogenesis, cancerology for studies focusing more on treatment, and nutrition (prevention/cancer) are three key areas in Auvergne.
Several teams are working in nutrition where it intersects with other areas of excellence such as genetics, cancer and neuroscience. Since 1992, the internationally renowned CRNH (Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine – human nutrition research centre) has partnered the CHU Clermont-Ferrand Teaching Hospital, INRA, both universities in Clermont-Ferrand, INSERM and the Jean Perrin Regional Cancer Centre. It includes 12 teams that are working more specifically on four main focuses:
- the prevention of sarcopenia and osteoporosis,
- the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases,
- the prevention of malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract,
- the prevention of breast and prostate cancers.
The Nutravita cluster fosters the emergence of joint projects between companies and research labs in the nutrition and health sectors.
The vast majority of research teams working on the environment (some fifteen labs) come together under the Fédération des Recherches en Environnement. Understanding how environmental systems work and monitoring them in the light of changes they are subject to is one of the key research focuses, prompted by the closeness of an outstanding natural environment with original, unspoilt ecosystems and also many varied agroecosystems. The E21A cluster groups together the companies working in the environment field. The companies working in the environment field are grouped together in the E21A cluster.
Agronomics, with a strong presence on the part of INRA, covers a wide range of subjects ranging from land to food and including crops and soil. Among all the stakeholders involved, four labs are of particular note: GDEC (Genetics Diversity Ecophysiology of Cereals), AFOS (Agronomie et Fertilité Organique des Sols – Agronomics and Organic Soil Fertility), EPR (Élevage et Production des Ruminants – Ruminant Farming and Production), and TPA (Typicité des Produits Alimentaires – Typicality of Food Products), which are working on the following subjects :
- Cereals for the future
- Extensive livestock production systems : from territory to product quality
- Building quality for foodstuffs
Technology – Health
The Technology and Health focus is currently emerging and will include three research units: Human fertility: seminal and peritoneal environment and spermatazoa, LAIC and ERIM (Medical Imaging Research Team). The objective is to bring together under a shared structure specialists in IT, medical image processing and clinicians who “use” images.
This includes two UMR Inserm / Université d’Auvergne (Fundamental pharmacology and pain clinic, Neurobiology of trigeminal pain) mixed research units and three research units. Research into pain ranks Auvergne high up both nationally and internationally in the fields of pain (orofacial pain, pharmacology of pain), neurodegenerative diseases and dental care. The Analgesia foundation is an umbrella for and driver of all the stakeholders (businesses, labs, etc.) working in this field.