Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

International Initiatives

Inria Associate Teams

  • Title: Artificial tissue homeostasis: combining synthetic and computational biology approaches (TISHOM)

  • Inria principal investigator: Gregory Batt

  • International Partner (Institution - Laboratory - Researcher):

    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States) - Weiss Lab - Ron Weiss

  • Duration: 2012 - 2014

  • See also: TISHOM

  • Cell-based gene therapy aims at creating and transplanting genetically-modified cells into a patient in order to treat an illness. Ideally, actively-growing cells are used to form a self-maintaining tissue in the patient, thus permanently curing the disease. Propelled forward by the development of stem cell biology, this research domain has recently attracted significant interest. Still, before any real therapeutic use, many important issues need to be addressed. In particular, one should guarantee tissue homeostasis, that is, that the size of the newly-introduced tissue remains within admissible bounds.

    Using a synthetic biology approach, we propose to reprogram mammalian cells so as to enforce tissue homeostasis. The proposed design relies on growth control and cell-cell communication mechanisms. The design and tuning of such engineered tissues are particularly challenging. Indeed, the correct functioning of the system depends on its specific molecular implementation. To relate cell population behavior with molecular details, extensive modelling work and in-depth in silico analysis are needed. Therefore, a tight integration between dry lab and wet lab efforts will be essential for the success of the project.

Inria International Partners

We also have a collaboration with the Center for Systems and Control at the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) on developing formal probabilistic approaches for robust control of gene expression. This collaborative project is funded by the Frans/Nederlandse Academie as part of the van Gogh Programm (Coordination Alessandro Abate/Grégory Batt).