Immunization Week 2018

The thirteenth annual World Immunization Week will take place from April 23 to 29, 2018. The campaign, created by the World Health Organization (WHO), undertakes to raise awareness about the stakes of vaccine protection.

This year, WHO is focusing on the importance of immunizing every child to “prevent the relevant diseases and protect their lives.”

The theme of the French version of this event, coordinated by the Ministry of Health and Santé Publique France, will be infant immunization. It will be a chance to continue teaching people about immunization in the context of the extension of vaccination requirements for children under age two, which entered into force in France on January 1, 2018.

The aim of the week is to increase understanding about what immunization is while reminding people that it is the best way to prevent certain illnesses.

Read the Inserm report that reviews the scientific knowledge relating to vaccination.

Read our other content about immunization:

Combining Administration Routes for Tailor-made Vaccination

Vaccines: Good News for Our Children!

What does science say about the eleven vaccines that will be mandatory for all children in France starting in 2018?

Parkinson’s Disease: Acute Risk in Agricultural Areas

© Fotolia

A study published in the Bulletin épidémiologique hebdomadaire (BEH – Weekly Epidemiology Report) for World Parkinson’s Day suggests that the risk of developing the disease is higher in people who live in farming districts.

A national study, published in the BEH devoted to the epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease in France, is researching the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in relation to the agricultural characteristics of French districts. Two Inserm researchers, Sofiane Kab and Alexis Elbaz (Inserm/Santé Publique France) are participating in the study.

By analyzing the French state health insurance’s SNIIRAM database, this national study confirms that Parkinson’s disease is associated with professional exposure to pesticides, a fact that has already been revealed by several studies. This has made it possible to observe that Parkinson’s disease occurs more frequently among those affiliated to the social security body for agricultural workers (Mutualité Sociale Agricole), particularly farmers, than among affiliates of other national health insurance plans.

On top of this, the results suggest that non-professional pesticide exposure related to environmental exposure, for example, could also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The number of cases of Parkinson’s disease that can be attributed to pesticide exposure is thought to surpass professional exposure.

These results do need to be confirmed by complementary studies.

Yet they tend to confirm that the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in the general population is higher in the most highly agricultural districts, especially viticultural districts.

Brain Awareness Week 2018

From March 12 to 18, 2018, for Brain Awareness Week, the general public is invited to discover the latest neuroscientific advances in an array of free events:  conferences, workshops, exhibits, film screenings, and encounters with those involved in research.

The twentieth annual Brain Awareness Week will take place in over one hundred countries and more than forty cities in France. Researchers from major research organizations, neuroscience institutes, and the realm of university hospitals will offer a fun, varied program: exhibits, film screenings, shows, conferences for the general public, workshops, debates, laboratory tours, and children’s events.

Brain Awareness Week is coordinated by the Society for Neuroscience in partnership with the Brain Research Federation, under the aegis of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain.

The event’s website:

View the 2018 program

View the press pack

Inserm website event page

Inserm, a Brain Awareness Week 2018 partner, is organizing several events throughout France with help from its researchers and regional offices. The press service provides journalists with contact information for the event’s reference researchers.

Northwest Office

Nacim Betrouni
Inserm Researcher
U1171 Degenerative and vascular cognitive disorders
+33 (0)3 20 44 64 22

David Vaudry
Inserm Researcher
“Neuropeptides, neuronal death, and cell plasticity” team leader
U1239 Neuronal and neuroendocrine differentiation and communication
+33 (0)2 35 14 67 60

Ile de France Office

Bertrand Nalpas
Inserm Researcher
Addiction mission leader
Scientific Information and Communication Department
+33 (0)1 44 23 67 65

François Rouyer
Inserm Researcher
“Molecular genetics of circadian rhythms” team leader
UMR9197 Paris-Saclay Institute of Neuroscience (NEURO-PSI)
+33 (0)1 69 82 34 36

Véronique Fabre
Inserm Researcher
U1130 Paris Seine Neuroscience
“Normal and pathologic glutamatergic neurons” team
+33 (0)1 44 27 60 68

Frédéric Laumonnier
Inserm Researcher
U930 Imaging and brain
“Neurogenetics and neurometabolomic” team
+33 (0)2 47 36 60 62

Eastern Office

Christian Gachet
Inserm Researcher
Director of Unit 949 Biology and pharmacology of blood platelets: hemostasis, thrombosis, transfusion
+33 (0)3 88 21 25 25

Nouvelle-Aquitaine Office

Philippe Zizzari
Inserm Researcher
U1215 NeuroCentre Magendie
“Energy balance and obesity” team
+33 (0)1 40 78 92 22

Deniz Dalkara
Inserm Researcher
“Gene therapies and animal models for neurodegenerative illnesses” team leader
U968 Vision institute
+33 (0)1 53 46 25 32

Occitanie-Pyrénées Office

 Patrice Peran
Inserm Researcher
“Development and validation of biomarkers in MRI and nuclear medicine” team leader
U1214 TONIC (Toulouse neuroimaging center)
+33 (0)5 62 74 61 96

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Office

Claude Gronfier
Inserm Researcher
U1208 Stem cell and brain research institute
 “Chronobiology and affective disorders” team
+33 (0)4 72 91 34 89

Perrine Ruby
Inserm Researcher
U1028 CRNL – Center for Research in Neuroscience in Lyon
“DYCOG – Brain dynamics and cognition” team
+33 (0)4 72 13 89 21
Email:   rf.mresni@ybur.enirrep

Sébastien Carcinella
Inserm Researcher
U1216 Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience (GIN)
“Brain stimulation and systems neuroscience” team
+33 (0)4 56 52 06 75

Occitanie Méditerranée Office

Isabelle Chaudieu
Inserm Researcher
U1061 Neuropsychiatry: epidemiological and clinical research
+33 (0)4 99 61 45 78

Marie Péquignot
Inserm Researcher
U1051 Institute for Neurosciences of Montpellier: sensory and motor deficits
“Genetics and therapy for retinal and optic nerve blindness” team
+33 (0)4 99 63 60 52

PACA Office

Christophe Bernard
Inserm Researcher
“Physiology and physiopathology of neural networks” team leader
U1106 Institute of systems neuroscience – INS
+33 (0)4 91 32 42 49

View Inserm’s latest neurosciences publications:

Susceptibility to Addiction: Poor Production of New Neurons Implicated

Compensation Mechanisms in Subjects with Alzheimer’s Disease Lesions to Preserve Their Intellectual and Memory Performance

Alcoholism and Dementia Risk

The Biological Clock Sets a Different Rhythm for Each Organ

Migraine: Regions of the Brain We Thought Felt No Pain

Des puces pour modéliser et mieux comprendre la maladie de Huntington (Chips to Model and Better Understand Huntington’s Disease – only available in French)

Rare Disease Day 2018: Show Your Rare. Show You Care.

February 28, 2018, marks the eleventh annual world Rare Disease Day, which carries the slogan “Show your rare. Show you care.” and the #ShowYourRare hashtag. World Rare Disease Day was created in 2008 by EURORDIS and the Council of National Alliances. Ninety countries will be participating in 2018.

Orphanet: a Portal for Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs

Orphanet, which is coordinated by Inserm and is a member of the Rare Disease Platform, is the portal of reference for rare diseases and orphan drugs. It offers an array of freely accessible services to allow patients to understand their disease and its consequences, and to orient them in their care pathways by identifying diagnosis laboratories and reference centers.

Access Orphanet

Contact Orphanet

SOLVE-RD: Major European Funding for Rare Disease Research

A large consortium headed by the University of Tübingen (Germany), the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen (Netherlands), and the University of Leicester (UK), as well as Inserm in France through Orphanet, two major research institutions (the Myology Center for Research and the Brain and Spine institute in Paris), Eurordis, and the Dijon University Hospital, received a €15 million grant for the SOLVE-RD research program.

This large-scale research program is operating under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. Its aim is to use a single infrastructure to coordinate and analyze all data generated across Europe on rare diseases in order to better identify and diagnose people suffering from the same rare disease.

Today, no less than twenty-four European Reference Networks (ERN) have been set up to improve and harmonize diagnosis and treatment for people with rare diseases. To date, four of them have joined SOLVE-RD by adding and sharing their patient data: RND for rare neurological diseases, EURO-NMD for neuromuscular diseases, ITHACA for congenital malformations and intellectual disability, and GENTURIS for genetic tumor risk syndromes. Other ERNs will join the project in the months to come.

The SOLVE-RD project website

Download the press release

The SOLVE-RD Member Inserm Teams

Inserm Unit US14 Information and service platform for rare diseases and orphan drugs (Orphanet)

Contribution: description of profiles of patients suffering from unnamed rare diseases

Inserm Unit 1127 Brain and Spine Institute (ICM)

Contribution: ERN-RND

Inserm Unit 974 Myology Center for Research (CRM)

Contribution: ERN-EURO-NMD

View Inserm’s latest press releases on rare diseases:

29 october 2017: world stroke day

A Cerebrovascular Accident results from the interruption of blood flow to the brain. The deprivation of oxygen and essential nutrients causes brain cells to die, leading to permanent damage (speech or writing difficulty, memory problems, bodily paralysis to a greater or lesser extent), or even sudden death.

World Cerebrovascular Accident Day is organised on 29 October each year and helps raise public awareness regarding the importance of immediate care for victims from onset of initial symptoms (confusion, speech problems, trouble understanding, dizziness, etc.).

Consult our last news about this topic :

2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine

On Monday, October 2, three Americans, Jeffrey C. HallMichael Rosbash and Michael W. Young, were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research on the control of circadian rhythms.

A field which is also being studied by researchers from Inserm:

Claude Gronfier, Inserm researcher and chronobiologist, Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute, Lyon

Howard Cooper, Research Director, Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute, Lyon

Joëlle Adrien, Inserm Research Director, Brain & Spine Institute, Paris

Franck Delaunay, Inserm Researcher, Institute of Biology Valrose

Press releases:

Dimly lit working environments: correcting your body clock is possible!

Men and women have different clocks…


Further reading:

  • Health and Research From A-Z:Chronobiologie, les 24 heures chrono de l’organisme” [Chronobiology, the body’s 24-hour clock (in French)]
  • Watch the POM Bio à croquer video (in French) on Light and rhythms: Researchers are beginning to discover how the blue light emitted by LEDs, computer screens and smartphones impacts our health. This light affects a specific region of the brain responsible for regulating our biological rhythms, explains Claude Gronfier, chronobiologist at Laboratory U846 “Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute”.
  • Watch the POM Bio à croquer video (in French) on Sleep and metabolism: Sleep is not just for rest. It is essential for the proper functioning of the immune, hormone and cardiovascular systems, among others. Adolescents often present a large sleep debt. What are the effects on their health? Explanations with Claude Gronfier, chronobiologist at Laboratory U846 “Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute”.

9th IAS Conference on HIV

© Fotolia

From July 23 to 26, 2017, the Ninth IAS Conference on HIV Science, of which Inserm is a partner, will be held at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. For this edition, the International AIDS Society (IAS) has teamed up with ANRS, the autonomous agency of Inserm, to coordinate and fund research on HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

The program will cover innovative approaches to HIV prevention, treatment and care. Various speakers, including Inserm researchers, will highlight the various advances in vaccines, new therapeutic approaches and prevention of HIV and hepatitis.

Yves Lévy, Inserm Chairman and CEO, will speak at the inaugural conference on Monday, July 24 on “Exploiting the immune system to prevent and control HIV infection”.

The scientific results of several Inserm researchers, including Dominique Costagliola, Patrizia Carrieri, Guillemette Antoni and Marie Jauffret-Roustide, will be presented at this conference.

Access the program for IAS 2017

From 24 to 30 April: World Vaccination Week



On the initiative of WHO, World Vaccination Week is the opportunity to raise public awareness of the vital importance of vaccination throughout life.

The number of children in the world who are not vaccinated or are inadequately vaccinated is 19.4 million, according to WHO.

In France, the latest data from the Institute of Health Monitoring (InVS) indicate that in children, there is vaccination coverage of 91% against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and whooping cough. With regard to vaccination coverage of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), it is only 72% in children of 24 months.

To understand the individual and collective challenges of vaccination, in partnership with Muscadier publications, Inserm has published an educational manual explaining the function of vaccines, their role and their benefits but also their limits:

Vaccination: Agression or Protection? “, in the Choc Santé collection, edited by Annick Guimenazes, an Inserm researcher at the Marseille-Luminy Centre of Immunology (CIML) and Marion Mathieu, Doctor of Biology and engineer at ESPCI-ParisTech.

The recent occurrence of epidemics and pandemics – the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and that of Zika in the Americas, have highlighted the urgency of developing vaccines, by creating innovative partnerships between the different participants in global vaccine research.

For Yves Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Inserm: “The Ebola epidemic proved that we can develop vaccines quickly in extremely difficult conditions. It also proved that one of the keys to success is the willingness of all those involved to work hand in hand.”

Inserm, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, LSHTM, in collaboration with the health authorities of Guinea and Liberia, have launched a new clinical trial on the Ebola vaccine candidates, under the aegis of the PREVAC (Partnership for Research on Ebola VACcination) international consortium. 

Read the report “Ebola: a new clinical trial launched in West Africa to assess three vaccination strategies” published on 6 April in the Inserm Press Room.

See also the vaccination file on the Inserm site.

Attacks and risks of post-traumatic stress

In a traumatic event, such as the attacks on Paris on 13 November 2015, and on Nice on 14 July 2016, the risk for victims and witnesses of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is high.

PTSD is characterised by several symptoms: the person relives the event in the form of recurrent memories, nightmares or flashbacks, avoids anything that reminds him/her of the moment, is in a constant state of alert, and shows difficulty in concentrating. Changes in mood may also occur.

At Inserm, there is ongoing active research to better identify the people most at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, and thereby improve their care.

In the Phoenix study, which evaluates the impact of a trauma or chronic stress on the physical and mental health of 123 patients for a one-year period, work carried out by Isabelle Chaudieu, Inserm Unit 1061 “Neuropsychiatry: Epidemiological and Clinical Research,” is aimed at identifying biomarkers to predict PTSD. Her team is trying to determine whether the allostatic load might make it possible to predict the development of PTSD.

By collecting and analysing personal accounts from 1,000 volunteers over a ten-year period, the 13 Novembre programme (CNRS – Inserm), codirected by historian Denis Peschanski and neuropsychologist Francis Eustache, is aimed at studying the construction and evolution of memory after the attacks of 13 November 2015, and the interaction between individual and collective memory. The researchers will try to better understand the impact of traumatic shocks on the memory, and identify brain markers associated with resilience to trauma.

Read the press release “Attacks: 13-Novembre, a novel research program on traumatic memories.”

fire rescue

Nobel Prize in medicine 2016

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 is awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.


Yoshinori Ohsumi. Ill. Niklas Elmehed.

© Nobel Media 2016.

Read the press release