10 Research Projects Selected for the 2016 France And Chicago Collaborating in the Sciences (FACCTS) Program

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The France And Chicago Collaborating in the Sciences (FACCTS) program encourages closer relationships between researchers from the University of Chicago, the Argonne National Laboratory and the Fermilab on the one hand, and high-level research teams in France on the other hand. In 2016, for the eighth edition of FACCTS, 10 research teams were selected as laureates. At the end of March, a lunch was organized with the Consul General of France in Chicago, the members of the Office for Science and Technology from the Embassy of France in the United States and the FACCTS jury, to meet the laureates and discuss their projects.


Started in 2007 and administered by the France Chicago Center, the FACCTS program aims at strengthening cooperation between researchers from the Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences Divisions of the University of Chicago with research teams in France. It seeks to accomplish this goal by offering seed funding for new projects that promote innovation as well as productive academic and scientific exchanges and that show potential for further fruitful and sustainable collaborations. Since 2014, the Argonne National Laboratory and the Fermilab have taken part in this program. The Office for Science and Technology in the US is deeply involved in this program both as a financial contributor and as a member of the jury.

59 projects have received funding for a total amount of $648,000 awarded since 2010. These projects were evenly distributed in all parts of France and allowed new collaborations with INSERM, CNRS, INRA, the Institut de la Vision and several universities.

The 2016 laureates, eager to strengthen ties with French research centers

In 2016, among the 27 applications, 10 received awards by the FACCTS jury. Excellent science, complementarity between the collaborating partners, likelihood of a future high reward relative to the amount of funding requested and the potential for continued collaboration in the medium and long term were the main selection criteria. The jury also paid a special attention to the involvement of students or young scientists in the projects.

The awarded projects deal with a wide variety of subjects, related to biology, physics or mathematics. Here are some examples: dark matter detection, synthesis of gold nanoparticles for optical purposes, or molecular processes that promote the development of new cell types involved in the immune system. This year, once again, several research centers such as CNRS, INSERM and French universities are involved in these new collaborations.

At the end of March, a lunch, organized at the University of Chicago, gathered the laureates, the Consul General of France in Chicago, the members of the Office for Science and Technology from the Embassy of France in the United States and the FACCTS jury. During this lunch, the laureates presented their projects and explained why they wanted to initiate collaborations with French research teams. Most of them already spent time in French laboratories for their PhD or their postdoc research. They all highlighted the excellence of French science.

Lunch with FACCTS laureates, with the Consul General of France in Chicago, representatives of the Office for Science & Technology at the Embassy of France in the United States, the Director of the France-Chicago Center and members of the jury

2016 FACCTS laureates
Project TitleChicago PIAffiliationKey Individual in FranceInstitution
Notch and Tcf-1 Signaling: Do They Cooperate in the Generation of Innate Lymphocytes? Fotini Gounari Department of Medicine, Rheumatology (BSD) Rachel Golub University Paris VII
Investigating Neural Mechanisms for Sensing Body Movement Melina Hale Organismal Biology and Anatomy (BSD) Claire Wyart Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC)
N6-Methyladenosine RNA Modification and Cancer Stem Cells Tao Pan Biochemistry, Molecular Biology (BSD) Alexandre David Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle
Self-Organization of Gold Nanoparticles by Smectic Topological Defects Juan de Pablo Institute for Molecular Engineering Emmanuelle Lacaze Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC)
Towards a Unified, Robust Space-Time Model of Application Resilience Andrew Chien Computer Science (PSD) Yves Robert Ecole Normale Superiere - Lyon
Mapping Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of NO Production in Caveolae in Live Cells Yamuna Krishnan Department of Chemistry (PSD) Christophe Lamaze HEGP Hospital
From Serre’s Conjectures to a p-adic Local Langlands Program Bao Le Hung Department of Mathematics (PSD) Laurent Fargues Paris VI (Jussieu)
GRAND CHENE: New High-Energy Neutrino Observatories Angela Olinto Astronomy and Astrophysics (PSD) Kumiko Kotera Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris
Hybrid Silicon Nanolasers Chad Husko Center for Nanoscale Materials (Argonne) Xavier Checoury Universite Paris-Sud
Assembly, Characterization and Data Analysis of the Most Massive CCD Array Ever Built Yann Guardincerri Particle Physics Division (Fermilab) Antoine Letessier-Selvon University of Paris VI & VII