Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale
The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) will be involved in CARAT via the Cochin Institute. INSERM is a public scientific and technological institute which operates under the joint authority of the French Ministry of Health and French Ministry of Research. Since its origin, the focus of the Cochin Institute is the study of human pathologies in various domains: cancer, genetics, metabolic diseases, autoimmunity. Located in the campus of the Cochin Hospital, the Cochin Institute develops basic research as well as translational research notably in ‘Oncology’. The Institute is organized in three thematic units: Immunology, Endocrinology and Development, hosting 32 research groups with over 120 researchers. A major strength of the Cochin Institute is the establishment and regular implementation of state-of-the-art core facilities, committed to provide extensive analysis of biological materials using advanced technologies. The Institute runs 9 individual research facilities, including the ‘Cellular Imaging facility’ that will be specifically involved in CARAT.
As Work Package Leader of WP4, INSERM aims to establish unique and innovative imaging platforms that can be applied to investigate, in a preserved tumour microenvironment, the efficacy of CAR T-cells produced by other members of the CARAT consortium. The ‘Dynamics of T-cell interactions’ Research Group has a track record in analysing T-cell activities on different levels of integration, ranging from in vitro to in vivo conditions, approaching translational research. Notably, this group has developed a powerful approach of tissue slices which, combined with dynamic imaging technology, permits the monitoring of various cells including lymphocytes in fresh tissues. Originally set up in the mouse, this approach was successively transposed to human lung tumours obtained through fruitful collaborations with clinicians from Cochin Hospital.