Centre Overview

The Jean-Pierre Aubert Research Centre (JPARC – Director: Luc Buée) combines a mixture of staff from both Lille University and the University Regional Hospital (CHU). It consists of six teams: three in the field of neuroscience, both in the field of cancer and therapeutic chemistry.

• Alzheimer & Tauopathies (Luc Buée)
• Development and Plasticity of the Neuroendocrine Brain (Vincent Prévot)
• Early Stages in Parkinson’s disease (Marie-Christine Chartier-Harlin)
• Leukemic cells persistence Factors (Bruno Quesnel)
• Mucins, epithelial differentiation and carcinogenesis (Isabelle Van Seuningen)
• Onco and neurochemistry (Patricia Melnyk)

Three areas that integrate the Institutes of AVIESAN Theme: Neurosciences, neurology, psychiatry, Cancer and Health Technologies are developed JPARC “Neuroscience”, “cancer” and “Drug”.
Located on site of the Lille University Hospital (CHU) allows exchanges with the hospital, ensuring a strong connection with clinical research. The Centre is also partner to the University Hospital Federations (FHU) in Neurology “Vas-Cog” and Pediatrics “1000 days,” an integrated research centre on Cancer: SIRIC ONCOLILLE and a laboratory of excellence Alzheimer’s disease: LabEx DISTALZ. JPARC is also associated with federal structures Research (SFR) Cancer and Neuroscience.
As part of its transfer activity to the industrial world, the Centre may rely on the cluster Nutrition-Health-Longevity (NSL). Many research projects are certified by the NSL pole. The company “AlzProtecT” has emerged in JPARC. Another emerging project is also maturing within JPARC.

The Centre is also involved in European networks Era-Net Neuron and H2020 and has an International Associated Laboratory (NeurObese) with the Saban Institute in Los Angeles, California.
Currently we have over 200 people (clinicians, biologists, pathophysiologists, chemists) working on the sites of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Medicine – Research Division (Bizerte building (Inserm), the Institute for Research on Cancer Lille (SWIR) and a new faculty building). This pooling of expertise, allows a wider interactive approach to major biological problems apoptosis signaling pathways and signal transduction, stem cells, drug resistance. Transversal research projects involving several teams from the center are in place and benefit from national and regional funding.

Technical Platform

Electron Microscopy

microscope électronique

Respelectronique-300x94onsable Scientifique: Vincent Prévot

Responsable Technique: Anne Loyens

The center has a transmission electron microscope Zeiss type 902, 80 kV, with a turbo pump to rapidly achieve a very good vacuum in the column. Although it may be used to perform diffraction studies, it is almost completely used in image mode. Its maximum magnification is 400,000 with a theoretical resolving power of 0.4 nanometers. As an indication, this means that a red blood cell would have a diameter of about 3 meters.However, you should know that most of the observations biology is done direct magnifications between 4000 and 40,000.

The electron microscope has an excellent camera type Gatan, which provides very fast document of good quality.

It also has the distinction of having a system to observe thick sections and little or no contrasting sections.

The preparation of samples for study is also in the center. The ultrathin sections of about 70 nanometers thick are made using a Leica ultramicrotome. They are generally mixed with heavy metal salts.

The comments relate mainly to tissues (nervous tissue, skin, muscle) but also cells derived from primary cultures or lines. The study vesicle proteins, viruses in solution can also be made through the through-called negative staining.

The use of various immunocytochemical methods (before inclusion, after inclusion or combination of the two types of approach) to identify proteins in tissues or cells. The laboratory has an excellent command of these methodologies as it was behind the development of many of them. Specifically it allows to address issues of co-localization of proteins in the same cell or the same organelle (eg neurosecretory granule) or interrelationships between cells or organelles.


Applications include:

Studies to detect the appearance of variations in different physiological conditions. This device allowed for example to demonstrate the existence of morphological plasticity of nerve tissue in a specific region of the brain during the estrous cycle.


  • tissue obtained from patients or animals used as models for a given disease. Example: neurofibrillary degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • cells modified by gene transfer to be used as a cell model of certain pathologies.
  • certain organelles after certain drug treatments. Example: in mitochondria of cancer cells after treatment with new molecules.


Cell Culture


Platform L1 L2 L3

Head: Marie-Laure Caillet-Boudin

Cellular models are powerful tools to study the mechanisms involved in various pathologies studied at the center. The study of these models requires the approval of the Commission for Genetic Engineering under the Ministry of Research and ensures the proper use of these tools is called GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

Manipulations are permitted provided they are carried in suitable laboratories in order to protect users and the environment based on risk. The use of such models therefore requires handling in laboratories specifically designed for such manipulations and equipped according to certain standards.

The center is equipped with 3 types of laboratory for different containment: L1 laboratories, which are simple laboratories in a closed room; L2 laboratories maintained in depression and preceded by an overpressure lock for low risk of manipulation; L3 laboratory, preceded by a double lock and pressurized, but with equipment and a more secure mode of operation, in particular with absolute filtration of the exhaust air to the outside. L2 and L1 numbers are much larger and are geographically distributed throughout the center.

These laboratories are dedicated to a single purpose: continuous cell culture lines, primary cultures of human cells, primary culture of murine cells, metabolic labeling of cells, cultured murine stem cells, viral cultures or bacterial cultures.


The “L2 center” platform is responsible to provide the facilities and maintenance of premises and equipment therein, to ensure the compliance of such premises, to establish common procedural guides for handling and maintenance of equipment therein, all in close consultation with the management of the center.



A complete electrophysiology setup associated with this technique.


Fluorescence microscopy and CID for the patch-clamp

Head: Sandrine HUMEZ

The objective is to be able to view under a microscope individual neurons in a slice of maintained brain tissue, mainly to perform patch clamp recordings with direct control, but also to achieve neuroanatomical investigations within the slice.
The equipment consists of a Leica DM LFSA microscope to observe the slice or by fluorescence or by differential interference contrast (DIC). Fluorescence allows mainly locate neurons expressing the green fluorescent protein, from transgenic animals. Observation in CID requires an infrared illumination because of the thickness of the slice (120-400 microns). This allows to determine the relief of individual neurons and finely approach the patch-clamp pipettes or various microelectrodes. It’s easy to switch from one observation mode to another.
The image is captured by a camera and can be observed on a computer screen after being processed by the image processing software Leica FW 4000.
Slices are maintained in survival in a perfusion chamber (Warner) under the immersion objectives water microscope.The perfusion chamber is placed on a fixed stage (Gibraltar) which supports micromanipulators used to guide the pipettes in the slice.