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A new center for interdisciplinary research in Neuroscience

Discern the infinitely small in order to grasp the complexity of the brain

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (IINS) is a research center that has officially opened its doors January 1st, 2011.
The IINS is part of the "Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique" & the "Université of Bordeaux".

The IINS unites researchers with diverse areas of expertise, and creates a highly synergistic environment to promote:

> The development of innovative methods and investigation tools, especially those based on molecular biology, physiology, optics, chemistry, physics and computer science.
> The application of such tools to push the boundaries of the study of molecular events underlying the activity of the brain. This includes studying the morpho-dynamic and functional properties of the nervous system to understand the complexity of its molecular assemblies and functions at an integrated level.
> The development of the Bordeaux Imaging Center (BIC), a core facility of service, training and R & D in cellular imaging of international stature to permit the transfer to the scientific community and industry of the tools developed in IINS.

Currently, the IINS project is home to 10 research teams, comprised of about 130 scientists.

The IINS is part of a greater plan to expand Neuroscience research in Bordeaux through the Neurocampus project that has recently seen the construction of 12 000 m² of new lab space dedicated to Neuroscience, with teams ranging from molecular to behavioral and patho-physiological studies. IINS will move in these new premises in the fall 2016. These teams are federated in the Federation of Bordeaux Neurocampus (FBN).

The specific objectives of IINS are to:
- Understand basic mechanisms underlying the establishment and function of synaptic transmission in the nervous system in normal and pathological conditions.
- Study the statistical laws of the dynamic organization of complex molecular systems at a nanometric scale on defined models (bio-mimetic cell contacts, synapses, adhesion sites).
- Develop new investigation methods (nano-imaging, in vivo imaging, bio-sensors).
- Render these technological advances available to the community through the core facility and training activities.

To this aim, the IINS is organized around four main research axis:
- The "innovative tools" axis, dedicated to implement into biology new imaging methods and develop new bio-sensors for measuring biological functions at the sub-cellular level.
- The "macro-molecular complex systems and cellular signaling" axis dedicated to the study of molecular scaffolds.
- The "Development, maturation and remodeling of synaptic contacts" axis dedicated to the study of the mechanisms of axonal and dendritic motility, the establishment, maturation and adaptation of synapses to their environment.
- The "Physiology and pathology of the neuronal transmission" axis dedicated to the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, of the excitation / inhibition balance and of neuro-modulation in physiological and physio-pathological models (pain, epilepsy, mental retardation).

The IINS benefits from the success of the former UMR 5091 entity, "Cellular Physiology of the Synapse", out of which 5 of the teams originate, the strong interdisciplinary nature of the research conducted by most of its teams, and the proven attractiveness of the project for external teams (1 from Bordeaux plus 4 coming from outside Bordeaux – including two selected through the national young investigator programs, Avenir and ATIP and two ERC starting grants).

All teams have a proven track record of excellence at the international level and have demonstrated their capacity to secure funding.

IINS flourishes from long term, solid collaborations between its members and at the same time benefits from new members with diverse backgrounds that in particular reinforce its interdisciplinary nature.

In this spirit, the IINS will pursue and expand the close links with other centers of excellence from Aquitaine, in such disciplines as the Institut d’Optique Graduate School of Bordeaux, the European Institute of Chemical Biology and the other institutes of Neurocampus.