Radiopharmaceutical and Neurochemical Biomarkers

BIORAN team is dedicated to the research of brain biomarkers in neurology and psychiatry.

This methodological research aims at the invention and development of original tools and their following use for a better understanding of the links between the chemical neurotransmission and pathophysiological processes, e.g., neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders.

Brain biomarkers enable to visualize and quantify unexplored targets, to understand neuro-and gliotransmission pathophysiology, to facilitate differential and early diagnostics, and to accelerate emergence of new neuropharmacological concepts.  

BIORAN approach is translational, from the chemistry of candidate-molecules to their biochemical assays, from radiolabelling to animal PET/MRI imaging, from preclinical models to first-in-man studies and studies in patients.



Methods and Techniques

BIORAN’s project builds mainly on the CERMEP-imaging platform infrastructure led by the head of BIORAN.

This platform, where the majority of the team is located, is dedicated to functional brain imaging and benefits from a hospital-based location. Because of their respective clinical and scientific duties in the CERMEP imaging platform and in the neighboring Lyon University Hospital neurochemistry unit, the members of BIORAN have direct access to several facilities: a PET radiochemistry laboratory, a neuropharmacology and preclinical imaging laboratory and a clinical biochemistry laboratory (Centre for Biology and Pathology).

This unique vicinity of preclinical and clinical facilities enables translational studies from animal model of disease to the patient. Additionally, BIORAN has a strong and everyday partnership with chemists and radiochemists hosted in the same platform and has strong scientific collaborations with biotech companies.

Research Project

The goals of BIORAN are (i), to invent new molecular probes and new molecular imaging protocols for the exploration of brain proteins; (ii), to pioneer the use of these inventions in order to get new insights into fundamental molecular pathways underlying neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases and to improve diagnosis strategies. Our ambition is to achieve novel proofs of concept in the field of molecular medicine, from animal models to applications to humans.  

BIORAN’s projects follow two axes:

  1. Targeting proteins involved in neurodegenerative processes (innovative biochemical assays measuring aggregated proteins; use of these assays to decipher the polymorphism of aggregated proteins and their clinical specificities);
  2. Targeting proteins involved in neuropharmacological processes (proof of concept of the functional imaging of 5-HT receptors in neurodegenerative diseases; contribution of neuroimaging to new neuropharmacogical concepts). 



Zimmer Luc