Recherche Translationnelle et Intégrative en Epilepsie

Our research is dedicated to Epilepsy with the primary objective to contribute to the development of Novel Interventions (pharmacological or not) that could alleviate part of the disease burden carried by patients with epilepsy.

Our general strategy relies on a pragmatic, integrative and translational approach, whereby we select among the numerous pathophysiological hypotheses that can be tested, those which combined a reasonable level of clinical relevance, an opportunity for being investigated and challenged in animals and Human using various techniques, part of which should value our specific expertise, and a potential for allowing us to rapidly perform clinical trials in patients (i.e. immediate availability of a safe intervention)

Méthodes et techniques

To achieve its objectives, TIGER team combines numerous approaches including in house expertise such as molecular and cellular biology, lipid biochemistry, biosensor technology, neurophysiological assessments, neuroimaging and double blind randomized clinical trials, or the expertise of shared platforms within the CRNL, such as the " intracerebral EEG recording" (iEEG) platform.

In addition, TIGER’s team member are strongly involved in methodological breakthroughs in their fields of expertise (biosensors, intracerebral EEG, RT-qPCR, transgenic rat development) and contribute to the technological outreach of the CRNL (L. Bezin is in charge of the functional optimization of the CRNL's technological platforms; S. Rheims is co-head of the iEEG platform; S. Marinesco is head of the Neurochem platform).

Projet de recherche

TIGER team's ambition is to conduct research in two major thematic axes:

  • that of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epileptic Patients (SUDEP)
  • and that of neuroprotection during epileptogenesis and once epilepsy is installed.

In each of these axes, TIGER commitment is to bridge knowledge between laboratory bench and bedside whenever it is possible, with the objective to contribute elucidating the mechanisms leading to the disease, which is a key step in fostering new drug development.

In this respect, 3 scientists of TIGER have taken the decision to value the portfolio of neuroprotective molecules they have developed during the past 10 years through the inception of a pharmaceutical company, GAOMA Therapeutics, that has been founded in february 2019. The first axis aims at better understanding and preventing Sudden and Unexpected Death in Epileptic Patients (SUDEP), a devastating complication of uncontrolled seizures for which we seek effective biomarkers and preventative treatments.

The second axis investigates innovative strategies to promote neuroprotection before and after the onset of epilepsy, targeting neurotoxic and inflammatory processes triggered by neuronal injuries. Based on the recruitment of internal resources or the use of pharmacological tools or cell therapy, neuroprotection is viewed here as as an attempt to preserve cell interactions in the injured brain, in order to protect brain functions, in particular behavioral performances and cognition.  Our research activity is tightly linked to the Epilepsy Institute “Idée” (Idée for Institut des épilepsies - Europe), which is a unique hub bringing together the skills and expertise of all stakeholders in the field of epilepsy. Thereby, Idée promotes permanent interaction between patients, caregivers, physicians, researchers, and companies, that can lead to partnerships in the fields of education, information, psychosocial care, translational research and technological innovation. 


Laurent Bezin - laurent.bezin@univ-lyon1.fr

Sylvain Rheims - sylvain.rheims@univ-lyon1.fr