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Research and excellence honoured

To bring its research to a level of scientific excellence and to comply with European university standards, the university has established a policy for developing scientific centres of excellence that are limited, clearly identified and that focus on a research potential at international level.

For the past twelve years, this policy has brought to light and targeted visible research subjects, which are developed by internationally renowned laboratories.

Certain recent approvals and awards illustrate the excellence and dynamism of the university research teams. Here are just a few examples:

First of all, the results obtained by the university within the framework of the major national call for projects for “investments for the future”, where the projects retained were selected by international panels of experts:
  • the award of a MAbImprove laboratory of excellence for biomedicines (therapeutic antibodies), in partnership, in particular, with the University of Montpellier;
  • collaboration with three other laboratories of excellence:

- GANEX, managed by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and associating the GREMAN (materials, microelectronics, acoustics, nanotechnologies) from the University of Tours; it focuses on manufacturing gallium nitrate-based components;
- SYNORG, managed by the University of Normandy, in cooperation with the “Molecular and therapeutic innovation” team of Tours and bringing together four organic and bio-organic chemistry laboratories; it aims to develop new molecules for pharmaceutical applications;
- IRON, managed by the universities of Nantes-Angers-Le Mans, cooperating with the University-INSERM Imaging and Brain team, is a partner of this project and brings together eleven research teams and is managed by the university Further Education and Research Centre (PRES). It aims to develop innovative radio-pharmaceuticals for oncology and neurology.

Secondly, the UNESCO Chair on “Food culture heritage protection and promotion” obtained in 2011. Only seven universities in France hold a UNESCO Chair.

This Chair was awarded to the University of Tours by UNESCO as part of the acknowledgement for the “French gastronomic meal” and proclaimed by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, an honour that the University and the IECHA - European Institute of Food History and Culture initiated. The purpose of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair programme is to share and to transfer knowledge, with the aim of developing North/south relations. It is established in partnership with: the European Institute of Food History and Culture, the French Mission for Food Heritage and Culture, the Universidade Federal do Parana in Brazil, the French Institute of Pondicherry in India, the American University of Beirut in the Lebanon, the University of Ibn Tofail of Kenitra in Morocco, the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey in Niger and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the People’s Republic of China.

Thirdly, the award of the 2011 L’Oréal France – UNESCO – Academy of Science grant for “women and science” to Lucie Brisson, doctoral student in the Inserm U921 Nutrition, Growth and Cancer Unit, under the scientific leadership of Professor Jacques Goré (University Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Tours) and Dr. Sébastien Roger (University Lecturer-HDR (accredited to direct research at the Faculty of Sciences and Techniques in Tours). Lucie Brisson is a scientific student who began her third year of thesis this year in the Université François-Rabelais in Tours on the subject of: “The roles of NaV1.5 sodium channels in regulating the intracellular pH of breast cancer cells and implications for the invasiveness of cancer”.

And, last but not least, the information technology laboratory of the university, which, for the second year running, has been awarded the Google Digital Humanities Awards “Google” grant of $50,000.

This financing is used for developing innovational tools for processing ancient typography appropriately (through the laboratory project “Using Pattern Redundancy for Text Transcription”) and for improving the results of queries on French texts of the Renaissance period (“Full-text retrieval and indexation for Early Modern French documents”, a project initiated by the Centre for Higher Studies on the Renaissance).