The Institute of Biology Valrose (iBV) in Nice is an international research center supported by University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, University Côte d’Azur, CNRS and INSERM.

The focus of the Institute is to understand the basic principles governing the development of normal cells, tissues and embryos and those leading to pathogenesis and cancer. We bring together research teams with complementary areas of expertise and with a common interest in translating basic research into knowledge for the clinic. For innovative research, we provide state of the art facilities and an active international scientific program. The Institute hosted the InterDec EU-funded Marie-Curie Early Stage Training Program (from 2004-2009), and was awarded the prestigious ‘Laboratory of Excellence’ LABEX grant SIGNALIFE (2012-2023). Several of our teams have been honored by many awards from CNRS (ATIP, CNRS medals), Inserm (AVENIR, Inserm Prizes), EMBO (Members, Young Investigator Program), HFSP, French Academy of Sciences, ANR (National Research Agency), and more. iBV is also supported by several major private companies (see our ‘Financial Partners’ section).

Historical background

From the “Centre de Biochimie” to the “Institute of Developmental Biology and Cancer”

Inspired by the pioneering work of Jacques Monod in Paris, a new Biochemistry Center (‘Centre de Biochimie’) started in 1973 as a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) laboratory located at the Valrose Campus of the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. Created and directed by Pr Michel Lazdunski, the ‘Centre de Biochimie’ focused over the years on pharmacology (M. Lazdunski), cell differentiation (G. Ailhaud), viral oncogenes (F. Cuzin) and cell division control (J. Pouysségur).

After Pr M. Lazdunski’s move to a new research center in Sophia-Antipolis (1989), the Institute evolved as joint departments with distinct administrative affiliations (CNRS and INSERM), directed by Dr G. Ailhaud and Pr F. Cuzin, respectively (see Chart on the left). The Institute then expanded under the direction of Dr. J. Pouysségur, by opening in 1999 a Cancer Research Department nearby, located in the Nice Regional Cancer Center (Centre Antoine Lacassagne). This relocation allowed the recruitment of several young investigators with ATIP (a competitive international start-up research program funded by CNRS) and EMBO Young Investigator Program awards. The new groups (directed by R. Arkowitz, AO Hueber, P. Léopold, S. Noselli, P. Thérond) brought new model systems (yeast, Drosophila) and topics (cell death, cell biology and developmental biology) to the Institute.

Under the direction of Dr. S. Noselli, the Institute becomes in 2008 the ‘Institute of Developmental Biology & Cancer’ (IBDC, UMR6543 CNRS), opening a new Department in the Faculty of Sciences campus (Valrose Campus). From 2008 to 2010, IBDC recruited 4 new group leaders working on flies, mouse, nematode and zebrafish (Florence Besse (2008), Christian Braendle (2008), Maximilian Furthauer (2010) with highly competitive ATIP/AVENIR grants, and Pr. Thomas Lamonerie (2009) from ENS Lyon. Recruitment of these new groups reinforced existing models and introduced the nematode and zebrafish as new model organisms at the University of Nice.

2012: a new institute is created, the ’institute of Biology Valrose’, iBV (Director: S. Noselli)

iBV is an ambitious project merging two well established laboratories: IBDC UMR6543 (Dir. S. Noselli; 200 persons) and U636 INSERM (Dir. M. Rassoulzadegan; 40 persons), creating the largest biology laboratory in Nice (Dir. S. Noselli; 240 persons in 2012; 310 persons as of 09/2018). iBV is fully supported by the University of Nice (UNS), University Côte d’Azur (UCA) and the two main French biology research agencies (INSERM and CNRS). iBV has been given the highest possible scores by the AERES and HCERES evaluation committees (international evaluation committee).

Since its creation, iBV strongly expanded by recruiting several new young investigators on competitive grants, reinforcing existing themes and bringing new model systems and biological questions: Guillaume Sandoz (ATIP/AVENIR), Olivier Soriani, Zoubir Amri (2012), Jean-Claude Scimeca (2013), Thierry Lepage (Bettencourt Schueller Foundation), Kay Wagner (ATIP/AVENIR) (2014), Elvire Gouze (TherAchon Start-up), Matteo Rauzi (ATIP/AVENIR), Thierry Virolle (2016), Arnaud Hubstenberger (ATIP/AVENIR)(2017), and Bruno Hudry (ATIP/AVENIR and ERC)(2018).

iBV will recruit 4-5 more teams in the coming years (2019-2022). Please contact us if you are interested to join us.

In February 2012, iBV was awarded the very competitive ‘Laboratory of Excellence’ LABEX grant. The SIGNALIFE LABEX project (coordinator: S. Noselli) is a network of 50 teams from 6 laboratories of the Nice area, in association with the Centre A. Lacassagne cancer research center and Nice Hospital (CHU Nice). SIGNALIFE laboratories develop an international Campus of Excellence dedicated to the study of signalling pathways in a range of model organisms from basic research to clinical applications. SIGNALIFE is granted for a period of 8 years (2012-2019) and will set up ambitious scientific programs including an international PhD and post-doc program.