Excellence Networks

A number of initiatives of excellence emerge from the laboratories and research centers affiliated to the Faculty of Science at AMU.

These span from Labex labelled networks  sponsored by the A*MIDEX foundation and Investments for the Future (a government-sponsored founding support) to Groups of Scientific Interest (GDRI) or prestigious ANR /EC grants.

Among those, a few examples developing a strong international action are listed below.

LABEX INFORM
INformation Flow and ORganization at the Membrane

program coordinator Thomas Lecuit IBDM
contact:
The INFORM program sets up an interdisciplinary consortium on the Luminy campus of Aix Marseille University, gathering 12 laboratories in Biology, Mathematics and Physics. The objective is to quantitatively understand the biochemical and mechanical basis of cell signaling, both in normal and disease conditions. The project will allow scientific progress in understanding the dynamics of signaling focusing on a quantitative analysis of biological mechanisms.
For this purpose the network aims at developing innovative combinations of imaging techniques and new tools to monitor signaling in living cells/tissues. These models, once linked to  physiological functions with a particular emphasis on developmental and immune systems, will allow an understanding of signaling processes that combine biochemistry and mechanics.
The interdisciplinary research community  of INFORM LABEX will be nurtured by collaborative research projects and innovative training for students. an intense activity of international networking is foreseen through the organisation of workshops and seminars.

GDRi  MECANO
Mechanics of Nano Objects

project coordinator  Olivier Thomas, Im2np
contact: oliver.thomas@im2np.fr
28 French institutions and 11 foreign partners are member of this network.  Its major objective is to nurture scientific discussion among the partners via the organization of schools, dedicated workshops and meetings.  Training younger scientists is also a major concern.
Understanding the effects of size on mechanical properties is a tantalizing challenge. Several main problems are unsolved in the field and call for discussion. How do the basic theories apply at the nanometer scale?  Which tool exists or should be developed to implement controllable mechanical loading or measurements of fields with the adequate nano-resolution? How can we set up appropriate simulation to tackle the limits of continuum theories imposed by nano objects? How can we measure/increase the reliability of devices and their performances under stress consditions?  The GDRi MECANO gathers experts from physics, chemistry and material engineering in a multidisciplinary approach to discuss and challenge their results.