This research program has been elected by the French Ministry of Research and Education in the framework of the very competitive scientific clusters of excellence called Labex for “Laboratoire d’Excellence”, part of the “Investments for the Future” 2011 wave governmental initiatives.
The SIGNALIFE Labex scientific project received 11 million euros for a 8-year period starting from March 2012. It aimed at developing a network between 6 remarkable academic research institutes to build one of the leading campuses in life sciences on cell signaling pathways, essential for human health and plant development.
This ambitious program is focused on higher science and education training through the development of talented profile 85 recruitments planned at the level of PhD students and post-doctorate fellows.
SIGNALIFE is hosted by the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS) and gathers the best teams working on cell signaling, roughly 40% of its life sciences forces: 49 teams, 455 scientists, 259 permanent positions. UNS, CNRS, Inserm, INRA, Inria, CHU Nice Hospital, CAL Nice anti-cancer center, private companies and local authorities fully support the SIGNALIFE efforts to build this network of excellence, bringing strong added value in interdisciplinarity, scientific and medical output.
SIGNALIFE facilities are organized through a Platform Committee, gathering all partner institute state of art facilities : imaging platforms all members of MICA (IBiSA quality labeled), animal houses for mouse, zebrafish and Drosophila, greenhouses and human biobank. SIGNALIFE is also member of the National Infrastructure in biology and health for sequencing (Investments for The future, program ‘France Génomique’ 2010).
Collectively, all SIGNALIFE groups have been awarded prestigious awards including 4 ERC grants, 22 EU grants, 1 Marie Curie International PhD Program, 24 ATIP/AVENIR, 4 EMBO Members, 5 EMBO YIPs, 2 CNRS Silver Medals, 7 CNRS Bronze Medals, 2 Inserm Prizes, 9 Prizes of the French Academy of Sciences, etc. SIGNALIFE partners have published more than 1479 articles since 2006 (201 (13,6%) in journals with an Impact Factor>10 and 692 (46,8%) in journals with an Impact Factor>5).
Signaling pathways are central to all biological processes and their deregulation can lead to various congenital defects and diseases. Targeting signaling pathways by specific drugs is a major objective of the pharmaceutical industry to treat cancer, neurological, metabolic and cardiac disorders, to cite a few. The study of signaling pathways therefore represents a major challenge for both life and health sciences but also for plant development.
SIGNALIFE network creates a unique scientific community covering the full spectrum of biological models (bacteria, fungi, plants, invertebrates, mammals) and approaches (biochemistry, genetics, imaging, high throughput screening, clinical approaches, comparative genomics, modeling) to study signaling pathways globally from their basic structure/composition to their modulation by endogenous or environmental stresses and their role and impact in human and plant health.
The SIGNALIFE project is organized into 5 main axes :
1. Cellular architecture of signaling pathways
2. Plasticity and Signaling
3. Stress Signaling
4. Signaling in aging and disease progression
5. New principles in signaling and applications
SIGNALIFE is coordinated by Dr. Stéphane Noselli, CNRS Directeur de Recherche, head of the Institute of Biology Valrose (iBV) one of the 6th partner research institute. It is composed of 5 committees:
1. Labex Council : responsible for the strategy, management, coordination and communication of the SIGNALIFE program
2. Scientific Council : responsible for the inter- and intra-axes scientific coordination, scientific progress reports, organizing scientific activities, etc.
3. Education Committee : PhD and post-docs recruitments, coordination of teaching, etc.
4. Platform Committee : coordination of platform functioning and development.
5. Valorization Committee : help in exploitation of the results and valorization projects.
SIGNALIFE project has been selected for its research excellence, gathering in their geographical area most of the forces in their discipline. The SIGNALIFE network will be a barrier breaker opening access to knowledge and expertise on various models for sustainable development and promoting the linkage of basic and clinical research for improved human health, societal well-being and economic growth.
The Labex (Laboratory of Excellence) SIGNALIFE is a collaborative research program in Life Sciences at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis financed by the Excellence Initiative of the French Ministry of Research. SIGNALIFE involves the leading research laboratories of the area and supports 49 top-level research teams grouped around five major topics relating to cell signaling:
Successful candidates will enroll at the Graduate School of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (Life Sciences and Health Doctoral School ). This University is a major interdisciplinary campus with over 25 000 students on the French Riviera in the South of France and has state-of-the-art facilities for biomedical and basic research.