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The Project


The Inception’s goal is to develop a core structure to mobilize data resources, numerical sciences, and fundamental experimental biology in a range of health issues.

Inception program uses Integrative Biology, Social Science and Data Science to understand the Emergence of Diseases in Populations and in Individuals, gathering different fields of expertise (biology, medicine, computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics, and social sciences). It is addressing societal challenges related to diseases emergence as:

  • Global surveillance and monitoring
  • Multi-scale analyses , integrating the ecosystem
  • Social sphere to define health policies
  • New methodological approaches to make sense of biological big data




The scientific project is divided into four axes. The first axis, referred as “Methods for Integrative Biology”, comprises a range of mathematics, statistics and computer science domains to be mobilized and developed. Their common objective is to enable the study of the emergence of diseases in populations (second axis), but also within individuals (third axis). These two scales of investigation are increasingly linked, for example through the use of concepts and tools from evolutionary biology. Lastly, the fourth axis involves Social Sciences, to which Inception gives an influential role, to understand and predict the development of epidemics, and build consistent health policies over the long term.


To launch Annual Call for Research

  • Hiring Junior Group Leaders
  • Funding Research Proposals, including support for post-doctoral researchers positions




To implement Graduate Multidisciplinary Education Program, at the interfaces of Life Sciences, and provide training opportunities for the next generation of researchers

Training of Biologists in data analysis sciences, and conversely computer scientists and mathematicians in biology Strengthen Integrative Biology component of the Institut Pasteur’s Master and PhD courses, in partnerships with PSL
Set up a mandatory Master 2 level course in Computer Science and Statistics, targeting all PhD and postdoctoral researchers
Launch a dedicated PhD program , in partnership with the European Interdisciplinary graduate school Frontières du vivant (FdV) and other major doctoral schools in Life sciences
Support PhD students to be trained for multidisciplinary research in biology, through specific allocated funding: students with a strong initial background in mathematics, statistics and computer science will be highly selected
Give access to Pasteur-CNAM Master specialization in Public Health (
Set up Summer’s School
Develop Online new open education MOOCs programs
Encouraging multidisciplinary links with medicine through specific program (
Promote entrepreneurship through the joint course entitled Development of research and biomedical innovation, in coordinationwith AP-HP and Medicen






Steering Committee


Management Office

T. Bourgeron - Human Genetics and Cognitive Function

C. Zimmer - Imaging and Modelling

M. Sala - Institut Pasteur Director of Education

M. David - Project Manager


Institut Pasteur leaders

S. Cauchemez - Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Disease

L. Quintana-Murci - Human Evolutionary Genetics

E. Rocha - Microbial Evolutionary Genomics

M. Nilges - Structural Bioinformatics

J-C. Olivo-Marin - Bioimage Analysis

M.L. Gougeon - Antiviral Immunity, Biotherapy and vaccines

A.Fontanet - Center for Global Health – Epidémiologie des Maladies Emergentes

P. Navarro Gil - Epigenomics, Proliferation and the Identity of Cells



CEA-CNG : J-F. Deleuze - National Center of Human Genomics Research

INRA : S. Schbath - Unité Mathématiques et Informatique Appliquées, du Génome à l'Environnement 

INRA : S. Aymerich - Microbiologie de l’alimentation au service de la santé

SPHERE : G. Lachenal - Laboratoire SPHERE

APHP : E. Denamur - Infection, antimicrobiens, modélisation, évolution - IAME (UMR 1137)

FIRE ED : E. Covernton - FIRE PhD Program (CRI)

ENS / PSL : P. Charnay - Development of the nervous system


Scientific Advisory Board


Sven Rahmann, Professor at Saarland University, Center for Bioinformatics, Head of Algorithmic Bioinformatics (Germany)

Matteo Dal Peraro, Professor at EPFL, Head of the Laboratory for Biomolecular Modeling (Switzerland)

Paul Wenzel Geissler, Professor at Oslo University, department of Social Anthropology (Norway)















The Institut Convergences INCEPTION gathers six academic partners that contribute directly to the project: the Institut Pasteur and its CNRS/INSERM associated “unités mixtes”, the CEA by its “Centre National de Génotypage” (CNG), the Université Paris-Diderot by the SPHERE laboratory, the COMUE Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), and the Doctorate School Frontières du Vivant (FdV). Two additional public organisations, AP-HP and INRA, will also contribute through collaborations between research units or joint structures.



Thomas Bourgeron

Génétique humaine et fonctions cognitives
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4061 3216

Main research interests : understand the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) performing a thorough genomic and clinical profiling of a large number of individuals using high-throughput genotyping/sequencing, biochemistry and brain imaging.
Laboratory Website :



Christophe Zimmer

Unité Imagerie et Modélisation
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4061 3891

Main research interests : algorithms for microscopy image analysis, high-resolution and high throughput imaging approaches, computational imaging methods, single molecule super-resolution imaging methods.
Laboratory Website :

Eduardo Rocha

Unité de Génomique évolutive des microbes
Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4061 3353

Main research interests : evolution of bacterial genomes, and especially the interplay between the organization and dynamics of the genomes of pathogenic bacteria. 
Laboratory Website :

Tamara Giles-Vernick

Unité Epidémiologie des maladies émergentes Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4061 3982

Main research interests : research at the interstices of medical anthropology and ethnohistory (historical research using anthropological tools), investigating infectious disease transmission and global health interventions in Africa. 
Laboratory Website :

Arnaud Fontanet

Unité Epidémiologie des maladies émergentes Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4061 3763

Main research interests : Public health, emerging diseases epidemiology.
Laboratory Website :

Lluis Quintana Murci

Unité de Génétique évolutive humaine
Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4061 3443

Main research interests : study of human genetic diversity in the context of genome and human evolution to the role of host genetic diversity in infectious disease. 
Laboratory Website :

Simon Cauchemez

Unité de Modélisation mathématiques des maladies infectieuses Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4438 9253

Main research interests : develop state-of-the-art statistical and mathematical methods, with the aim to increase the understanding of how pathogens spread in human populations as well as the impact of interventions, to support policy making and optimize control strategies. 
Laboratory Website :

Marie-Lise Gougeon

Unité Immunité Innée et Virus
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4568 8907

Main research interests : immunity to viruses, vaccines and autoimmunity. 
Laboratory Website :

Michael Nilges

Unité de Bio-informatique strcuturale
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris Tel +331 4568 8230

Main research interests : computational structural biology and computational biophysics. 
Laboratory Website :

Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin

Unité d’analyses d’images biologiques
Centre d’innovations et Recherche Technologique (Citech)
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4568 8506

Main research interests : image analysis of multidimensional microscopy images, computer vision and motion analysis for cellular dynamics, and in mathematical approaches for biological imaging. 
Site web :

Pablo Navarro Gil

Groupe à 5 ans Epigénétique des cellules souches
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4568 8285

Main research interests : gene regulatory processes governing the biology of mouse Embryonic Stem (ES) cells 
Laboratory website :

Jean-François Deleuze

Centre National de Génotypage, CEA
2, rue Gaston Crémieux CP 5721, 91057 Evry Cedex

The CNRGH is the French national research center which enables a response to scientific questions necessitating high throughput sequencing and genotyping thanks to the development and deployment of innovative integrated technologies. 
Laboratory Website :

Sophie Schbath

Unite Mathematiques et Informatique Appliquees, du Genome a l'Environnement (MaIAGE) INRA -
Domaine de Vilvert - Bat 233 - 78352 Jouy-en-Josas, FRANCE
Tel : +33 1 34 65 28 90

Head of the MaIAGE lab. 
The MaIAGE research laboratory gathers mathematicians, computer scientists, bioinformaticians and biologists to tackle problems coming from biology, agronomy and ecology; The addressed questions may concern processes at very different levels: molecular, cellular or multicellular, individual, populations, ecosystems or landscapes. 
Site web :

Guillaume Lachenal

Associate Professor in History of Science at the Université Paris Diderot.Université Paris Diderot – CNRS
Laboratoire SPHERE, UMR 7219
bâtiment Condorcet, case 7093
5 rue Thomas Mann
75205 Paris cedex 13

email :

Guillaume Lachenal is Associate Professor in History of Science at the Université Paris Diderot. He studies the history and anthropology of biomedicine in Africa. He is currently coordinating the ANR project "Memorials and remains of medical research in Africa" (MEREAF), an anthropological and archeological exploration of the ruins and memories associated with the past in African medical institutions. He is the president of the Social Sciences and Public Health scientific committee at the National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS).

Erik Denamur

Erick Denamur, MD, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Infection, Antimicrobiens, Modélisation, Evolution (IAME)
UMR 1137 INSERM, Universités Paris Diderot et Paris Nord
Sorbonne Paris Cité 
Faculté de Médecine Site Xavier Bichat 
16 rue Henri Huchard 75018 Paris France
Tel : 33 (0)1 57 27 77 39
Fax : 33 (0) 1 57 27 75 21
Courriel :
Site web :

Patrick Charnay


Ecole normale supérieure

PSL research University

INSERM U 1024, CNRS UMR 8197

46 rue d'Ulm

75230 Paris Cedex 05, France

Tel: +33 1 44 32 36 07



Web site:

Monica Sala

Direction de l’Enseignement
Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4061 3706

Executive Director for Education of the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
Site web :

Clémentine Schilte

Center for Translational Science
Institut Pasteur – 28 rue du docteur Roux – 75015 Paris
Tel : 00 33 (0)1 45 68 80 99

Project Manager for the center for translational science in Institut Pasteur. 
The Center for translational science is one of the 4 transversal centers that was inaugurated in September 2014. The ultimate goal of the center is to facilitate the creation of biomedical projects between the members of the Institut Pasteur International Network and hospitals.
Site web :

Eugenia Converton

Scientific Coordinator of the FIRE PhD program
+33 184256798
CRI - Catalysing a fruitful future
Room 3.08, 8-10 rue Charles V, 75004 Paris



Institut Convergence Funding
« Programme Investissements d’avenir » (PIA) - Convention ANR-16-CONV-0005

INCEPTION is a selected project of the ANR “Institut Convergence" programme (2017 - 2026) with research activity on transversal and interdisciplinary projects aimed at understanding the emergence of pathologies through individuals and populations.
Our aim is to advance fundamental and applied research on Biological Big Data.



INCEPTION Coordinator

Thomas Bourgeron
Génétique Humaine et Fonctions Cognitives
Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4568 3216
Laboratory Website

INCEPTION Project Officer

Grants Office 
Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris
Tel +331 4568 3216