French American Doctoral Exchange Program (FADEx) 2016 : Nanoparticles for Medicine

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If you are a French Ph.D. student, please read the French version of this article

A Successful Third Edition

For the third time in 2016, the French American Doctoral Exchange program was organized by the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States. Each year, a new scientific topic is chosen for the program: The 2016 edition was structured around the thematic: “Nanoparticles applied to medicine”.

Ten American, and ten French Ph.D. students were shortlisted among the best applicants whose research deal with the topic, in their country. They gathered in France for a whole week program, from March 20th until March 26th. FADԐx included two parts: a seminar, and a three days long tour of visits of the best French research institutes in the nanomedicine field.

Highlights of FADEx 2016

  • A high-level seminar

The program started with a seminar that took place in Grenoble, thanks to the Atomic Energy Center (CEA) that opened the doors of Minatec Campus to welcome the FADԐx delegation. Inside this prestigious French research center, a major institution in the health technology field, every laureate, as well as four key note speakers, each of them specialist of a different aspect of the 2016 topic, introduced the participants to their work, and all of them were able to discuss their results with their peers during this two days seminar. The seminar ended up with a closing cocktail, during which a poster competition was organized among thirteen other French Ph.D. students, who were also able to present their works. The American students voted for the best poster, and the winner, Mrs Shridevi Shenoi-Perdoor, won a 300 euros prize.

  • Tour of scientific sites: March 23 - 26, 2016

2016 edition was much more itinerant than the first ones, since FADԐx participants not only saw three research institutes of Grenoble, but also went to Paris, Angers, and Nantes, during three intense visiting days. First of all, staying in Grenoble, the laureates visited the innovating medical Center of Clinatec, as well as the Albert Bonniot Institute, a state-of-the-art research center for oncogenesis, and finally, the nanotechnology campus of Minatec. The FADԐx delegation then went to Paris, where they discovered Sanofi’s Research and Development Site and its original industrial stakes. The University of Paris 5 also welcomed the laureates in one of its challenging laboratories: the Unit of Chemical and Biological Technologies for Health. Finally, our laureates went to the western part of France: in Angers, they were introduced to an INSERM laboratory, focusing on Biomimetics Micro and Nanomedicines (MINT - INSERM UMR 1066), and attended several lectures from French scientific experts. Nantes was the last step of the roving program, where Arronax opened its doors to the FADEx delegation, and let the participants discover its unique cyclotron.

  • A touristic journey and great encounters

For our twenty laureates and especially for the American ones, FADԐx was also a great occasion for them to discover Paris, as well as the French way of living in general. Spending a whole week together allowed the laureates to gain, not only in terms of knowledge but also by forging lasting friendships with everyone.

Contact

If you have any questions about this project, please contact:

- Robin FAIDEAU, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology,
Office for Science and Technology, Consulate General of France in Houston
Email: robin.faideau@ambascience-usa.org

Partners

Clinatec is a biomedical research center located on CEA premises and dedicated to the development and validation of innovative technologies for diagnosis and care. CEA-Leti collaborates with Grenoble Hospital that is responsible for the clinical unit and promoter of clinical trials. The other partners are UJF (Joseph Fourier University) and INSERM (French National Institute on health and medical research).

Clinatec’s purpose is to associate medical research with Leti’s technological advances. The research domains concern neuro-degenerative diseases, cancer and physical handicap.
Clinatec is specific for having on the same site a technical platform creating disruptive technological devices and a clinical unit comprising the best equipment under control of Grenoble Hospital. In order to meet major medical needs on cancer, handicap and neuro-degenerative diseases. Clinatec has set up a unique environment and multi-disciplinary approach bringing together doctors, engineers and biologists to boost transfer of innovative solutions to patients. It is also open to academic and industrial cooperation and to various pathological applications.

CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation. With 14,900 employees, a total budget of €3200 M, 9 research centres and 330 patents filed per year, CEA is a prominent player in Europe in 3 strategic areas: information and health technologies, energy, defence and security.
As the European leader in micro and nanotechnologies, the CEA carries out fundamental research and technological innovations serving industry, to develop intelligent, miniaturised solutions in the fields of information, communication and healthcare. CEA-LETI plays a major role in micro- and nanotechnologies applied to healthcare. 190 researchers are conducting R&D projects in nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine in close cooperation with the medical community and companies active in medical technologies and pharmacy. Applications cover in vitro diagnostics, medical devices and medical imaging.

In the field of nanomedicine, CEA-Léti has developed, over the past 9 years, a growing expertise in molecular optical imaging based on fluorescence imaging, and on nanocarriers for drug delivery. Lipidots™ is its lead technology, versatile nanocarriers for application in molecular imaging and the delivery of nanopharmaceuticals. To date, the basic development has been achieved, as well as most toxicology studies. Specific applications of Lipidots™ are jointly developed with industrial and clinical partners. The clinical applications explored thus far have been breast, prostate, head and neck, and, finally, bone cancers.