The Laboratory of Excellence Labex SIGNALIFE welcomes

40 international students at the UNS/UCA


The scientific excellence program Labex SIGNALIFE entitled « Network for Innovation on Signal Transduction Pathways in Life Sciences» is funded by the French government initiative « Investissement d’Avenir». SIGNALIFE regroups 49 Research teams in the Nice Sophia Antipolis area associated with the CNRS, Inserm, INRA, Inria and involves the Anti-Cancer Research Center A. Lacassagne and the Nice University Hospital. Labex SIGNALIFE under the scientific direction of Dr. Stéphane Noselli and managed by the University Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS) member of the University Côte d’Azur (UCA), is a unique and ambitious project that has been awarded 11 million Euros over 8 years (2012-2019).

The scientific project focuses on cellular signaling to better understand how living cells communicate under normal and pathological conditions. At the heart of the program is a top level, selective PhD training program, which aims to recruit some of the best French and foreign PhD students in a research program on Cell Signalling in Biology. The international PhD program is affiliated to the Graduate Schools in Health and Life Sciences (ED85) and in Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies (STIC) at the UNS. In addition to the research project undertaken in the SIGNALIFE research teams, the students will receive interdisciplinary training, participate in international exchanges and be exposed to comprehensive range of extracurricular activities to complete the training of highest quality PhD researchers (scientific writing and presentation skills, research management, career development, etc.).

Each year a call for applications to recruit new SIGNALIFE students will be distributed among international research institutes of highest standing all over the world. 591 applications were received for this second call for applications. After evaluation of the candidates and stringent selection, some 49 international students have been pre-selected.

40 of the invited, preselected students came to a two day on-site visit in Nice, on the Valrose Campus, on May 31st-June 1st and June 21st-22nd, 2016. The students came to Nice from all over the world: 72,5% from European countries (25% from France), 22,5% Asians, 2,5% Africans, 2,5% Americans. They were joined by 49 Researchers from 6 institutes, who are affiliated to UNS and who participate in the labex SIGNALIFE : Institut de Biologie Valrose: iBV, Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire: IPMC, Institut de Recherche sur le Cancer et le Vieillissement Nice: IRCAN, Institut Sophia Agrobiotech: ISA; Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire : C3M ; Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en automatique : INRIA.

On the program for those two days were the presentation of the SIGNALIFE project and the PhD program by Hélène Marie (president of SIGNALIFE Education Committee), Marcel Deckert (vice-president) and Martine Avella (Labex Project Manager). It was followed by scientific presentations by each student held in the Théâtre du Grand Château and the iBV plus individual student interviews with the group leaders. The students and researchers continued their discussions over dinner at the Restaurants Saint Paul Hôtel and San Juan in Nice harbor.

The on-site visit was a great success. UNS and the participating teams had a chance to present, what they have to offer to the students, and at the same time 24 highly qualified future PhD students were selected for the fourth and last installment of the SIGNALIFE PhD program starting next September.

Labex SIGNALIFE, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis/Université Côte d’Azur