The Pasteur Museum is housed in the apartment where Louis Pasteur spent his final seven years and offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the living and working environment of the world-renowned scientist. Visitors can gain a unique insight into his everyday life alongside his wife and can admire his rich and diverse scientific work.
The Institut Pasteur’s scientific strategy focuses on developing original and innovative topics and promoting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary cooperation and approaches. The Institut Pasteur teams have access to the technological resources needed to speed up and further improve the quality of their outstanding research.
Ever since the introduction of the world’s first "Technical Microbiology" course in 1889, teaching has been a priority for the Institut Pasteur. The Institut Pasteur has an international reputation for quality teaching that attracts students from all over the world who come to further their training or top up their degree programs.
The mission of the Industrial Partnership team is to detect, promote, assist and protect the inventive activities from research (inventions, know-how and biological materials) conducted at the Institut Pasteur (and in some Institutes of its international network), and transfer there to industrial and/or institutional partners, in order to serve the patient needs and for the benefit of the society, as well as to contribute to sustainability of the Institut Pasteur’s resources.
With international courses, PhD and postdoctoral traineeship, each institute of the Institut Pasteur International Network (RIIP) contributes to the transmission of knowledge with the training of young researchers all around the world. In this context, doctoral and postdoctoral programmes, study and traineeship fellowships are available to scientists. Alongside training, dynamism and attractiveness of RIIP will result in the creation of 4-year group for the young researchers.
Stem Cells to Repair the Liver: Progress with animal models
Hepatic insufficiency, cirrhosis, liver cancer, etc.: damage to the liver is varied and in serious cases the only alternative is to transplant a healthy organ. However, the lack of available organs limits this practice: in France in 2002, 882 liver transplants were carried out for 1,509 transplant candidates.* Hope for the future is directed towards being able to transplant stem cells capable of differentiating into hepatocytes and multiplying in the liver to regenerate it. While we are still far from applying this to humans, research using animal models is active. A project conducted by a team from the Institut Pasteur in association with the CNRS, and published in PNAS, should make it possible to accelerate knowledge considerably in this field.
Paris, may 25, 2004
Mary Weiss’s team (Genetics of Differentiation Unit, Institut Pasteur/CNRS URA 2578) obtained lines of nontransformed embryonic hepatic stem cells from mice-in other words, cells incapable of producing tumors in the animal models tested. In collaboration with the Institut Pasteur/INSERM Liver Cancer and Molecular Virology Unit, these cells were transplanted into mouse models of hepatic degeneration, where they colonized, proliferated, and differentiated into liver cells (hepatocytes), as well as bile duct cells. The researchers demonstrated that the cells were perfectly functional.
The advantage of the system developed by the scientists lies in obtaining stable lines of hepatic stem cells: they consequently have cells that can be stored, then multiplied as desired, which are important characteristics for cell therapy. Furthermore, it is possible to envisage introducing genes prior to transplant (combining cell therapy with gene therapy): for example, a gene that could control the multiplication of these cells; or a suicide gene that would make it possible to eliminate them easily in case of a problem; or even a corrective gene in the case of a transplant into the liver of an individual with an inherited liver disease.
All these routes must now be explored by the researchers, who are also seeking to obtain lines of adult hepatic stem cells. The development of adult hepatic stem cell lines would pave the way to the use of the recipient’s own cells, and would facilitate this therapy’s future from an ethical, as well as from a practical point of view. The immune response of the host against the transplanted cells, which currently limits the success of cell therapy, could therefore be avoided.
These projects are conducted within the framework of the Institut Pasteur’s "Stem Cells" Horizontal Research Program, whose goal is to study various aspects of stem cells in animals (identification, multiplication, differentiation) and the possibilities of applying them to humans. This program brings together 15 research laboratories of the Pasteur campus and is run by Mary Weiss, director of the Genetics of Differentiation Unit (IP/CNRS URA 2578), and Jean-Michel Heard, director of the Retroviruses and Gene Transfer Unit (IP/INSERM 622).
* According to the Etablissement français des Greffes (French Transplant Establishment)
"Bipotential mouse embryonic liver stem cell lines contribute to liver regeneration and differentiate as bile ducts and hepatocytes" : PNAS, 1er juin 2004.
Hélène Strick-Marchand (1), Serban Morosan (2), Pierre Charneau (3), Dina Kremsdorf (2), et Mary Weiss (1)
1. Genetics of Differentiation Unit, URA 2578 of the CNRS, Institut Pasteur
2. INSERM Unit 370/Institut Pasteur, CHU Necker
3. Molecular Virology and Vectorology Laboratory, Institut Pasteur