French American Doctoral Exchange Program (FADEx): Epigenetics Metabolism & Nutrition

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French Ph.D. students can refer to the French version of this article.

The FADEx (French-American Doctoral Exchange) program was created in 2014 by the Office for Science and Technology (OST) of the Embassy of France in the United States. This program aims to enhance scientific exchanges between American and French Ph.D. students working in the same field of research in order to encourage the development of French-American collaborations. This program also serves as an opportunity for American students to better understand the French research system.

For the next edition of FADEx, the OST will partner with Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and collaborate with the Inserm-USA Office in Washington D.C., to organize a seminar on Epigenetics Metabolism & Nutrition for French and US Ph.D. students. The seminar will be followed by 3 days of visits to state-of-the-art French laboratories and companies working on this topic.

Inserm’s laboratories have made major contributions to these fields of research in recent years, including the Inserm-UC Irvine joint research unit based at UC Irvine in California. Through their participation in this edition of the FADEx program, Ph.D. students are invited to take an active part in the creation of an international network of excellence focused on the role and mechanisms of epigenetics in relation to metabolism, neuroscience and cancer, including the interaction between the environment, the microbiome and the gut-brain axis.

Program Highlights

1. Seminar: March 06 - 07, 2017

This 2-day seminar will take place at the Gustave Roussy Institute, a state of the art research center for innovation and technologies for medical applications, in Villejuif (close to Paris), France. English will be the working language. The American and French Ph.D. students will have the opportunity to present their work in an informal atmosphere and to discuss their results freely. Four lectures will also be given by French experts to present different fundamental aspects of the field:

- Eric Solary: head of research in Institut Gustave Roussy, director of Inserm Unit 1009 « Normal and pathological haematopoiesis ».
- Paolo Sassone-Corsi: Director of the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism, hosting the Inserm-UC Irvine Joint Research Unit at the University of California, Irvine.
- Agnès Lehuen: director of the Inserm laboratory “Immunology of type 1 diabetes” localized at Saint Vincent de Paul/Cochin Hospital, University Paris Descartes.
- Frédéric Saudou: Director Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience GIN – Inserm U1216 – University Grenoble Alpes

2. Tour of scientific sites: March 08 - 10, 2017

Following the 2-day seminar, the American laureates will visit several laboratories, research institutions or private companies in Toulouse, Nice and Lyon such as the Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (I2MC) in Toulouse, the Mediterranean Center for Molecular Medicine (C3M) in Nice and the research laboratory in Cardiovascular, Metabolism, Diabetologia and Nutrition (CarMeN) in Lyon.

Applications for US Students

Applications can be submitted until December 02, 2016. Ten Ph.D. students enrolled in American universities will be selected to participate in this post-graduate program and grants will be offered by the Office for Science and Technology to cover a round trip ticket to Paris, travel within France, accommodations and most meals. Non-US citizens enrolled in US universities are eligible, except French citizens. The jury will base its decision on the scientific excellence of each candidate, his/her motivation and the maturity of the scientific project.

How to apply ?

  1. Fill in the online Application Form
  2. Send a Cover letter and the completed Advisor Authorization Form by email (cf Contact section)

Note that a good cover letter should present your background and should help us assess your motivation to join our program.

Once selected, laureates will have to provide additional information such as, but not limited to:

  1. Completed travel form;
  2. Copy of passport;
  3. Copy of US visa (if applicable);
  4. High-resolution photo;
  5. Title and abstract of their presentation.


  • Opening of the call for applications: Monday, July 18, 2016
  • Closing of the call for applications: Friday, December 02, 2016
  • Announcement of the laureates: Monday, January 16, 2017
  • Deadline to provide the additional documents (Travel form, copy of the passport, etc.): Monday, January 23, 2017
  • Beginning of the program: Sunday, March 05, 2017


Founded in 1964, the French National Institute of Health and Medical research (Inserm) is a public science and technology institute, jointly supervised by the French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and women’s Rights. Inserm is the only French public research institute to focus entirely on human health and positions itself on the pathway from research laboratory to the bed of the patient.

Research at Inserm covers all human diseases even the rarest ones, from basic science to clinical research and development of new therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. It is central to the French health care and public health systems. Inserm is the leading health research institution in Europe in terms of publications, patent filings and participation in European research programs. Inserm is ranked 2nd amongst health research institutes in the world in terms of publications (approximately 10,000 a year) after the NIH (National Institutes of Health). Inserm-transfert is a subsidiary of Inserm dedicated to the valorisation of biomedical research discoveries in its labs. Inserm-Transfer currently holds a portfolio of 1279 patents, and invests about 2 million euros per year in preclinical proof of concepts.

Inserm has a long tradition of international collaboration (including in Europe) as evidenced by the 6500 cooperative projects as well as the number of international co-publications with foreign partners. These collaborations involve more than 100 different countries, the United States accounting for some 25% of all collaborations. Inserm’s European and international policy is focused on 4 pillars: scientific excellence - reciprocity - added value and one complementing the other.

Inserm has designed specific instruments to develop its international cooperation strategy with foreign partners:
-  International Associated Laboratories (LIA) are virtual cooperative frameworks aimed at helping to initiate joint research projects between Inserm laboratories and foreign laboratories within Inserm strategic, geographic and thematic priorities.
There are currently 5 LIA with research institutions in the United States, including the Rockefeller University, the Buck Institute (which involves also Canada), the Scripps Research Institute, the Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, and the Emory University
-  International Joint Research Units (UMI) are Inserm research units established in a foreign country: one Inserm-UC Irvine Joint International Research Unit is based within the UC Irvine Campus since 2006.

The Gustave Roussy Institute is the premier European Cancer Center. It is a center for patient care, research and teaching, and patients with all types of cancer can be treated there.
It looks to place innovation at the heart of a human, scientific and technological revolution in the fight against cancer. The Institute was founded as a result of the motivation of Professor Gustave Roussy, the father of the concepts of «cross-boundary working » and «multi-disciplinary patient management». For 70 years it has been developing an approach to oncology which remains faithful to its founder’s values: innovation, dynamism, cooperation and benevolence. All of this is built on the three guiding principles: patient care, research and teaching.

The Institute has expertise in the management of rare cancers and complex tumours. It treats all cancers at every stage of life. It offers its patients individualised care combining innovation and a humane approach. The treatment is important but so is quality of life, physical, psychological and social. Gustave Roussy is a hospital for specialist referral of complex cases and rare tumours. It can bring to bear skills in medical oncology, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, interventional radiology and reconstructive surgery. Because of its commitment to teaching, Gustave Roussy remains in touch with and even anticipates advances in the discipline and so can predict the development of new specialties.


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

- Robin FAIDEAU, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology,
Office for Science and Technology, Consulate General of France in Houston