Cancer Research Centre of Lyon (CRCL)

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Welcome to the Cancer Research Center of Lyon !

The Cancer Research Center of Lyon (CRCL, UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 - Centre Léon Bérard) is a research structure affiliated with the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, the national health and research bodies (Inserm and CNRS), the Léon Bérard Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CLB) and with the Lyon University Hospitals (HCL) as clinical partners. The CRCL was officially created in January 2011 and its 5-year contract was recently renewed for the 2016-2020 period. It comprises 24 teams, totalling over 480 members, including 138 researchers and lecturers. The CRCL aims at increasing its international visibility and the attractiveness of the Lyon cancer research cluster, at facilitating the transfer of knowledge from fundamental cancer research to clinical applications in oncology, and at developing teaching and training in oncology. 

One of the main goals of the CRCL is to support the development of strong translational research to enable patients to rapidly benefit from breakthroughs in basic research. This bridge from "bench to bedside" was rendered possible due to the strong collaboration between clinicians and pathologists of the CLB and HCL and scientific teams of the CRCL, creating a continuity between basic research and clinical applications.


The CRCL is directed by Patrick Mehlen, who is assisted by Charles Dumontet as Deputy, as well as the following committees: the Board of Directors and the Planning Committee (includes team leaders). These two committees define the scientific strategy, the financial management and the human resources management of the CRCL.

The Council of the CRCL comprises elected representatives of the different professions held by members of the CRCL (PhD students, post-doc fellows, technical staff, researchers and lecturers) as well as ex-officio and appointed members. This committee is informed of all important issues regarding the Center and is responsible for discussing all organizational, financial and administrative aspects occuring within the CRCL. Furthermore, this committee makes proposals to improve the workflow and organization of the Center. 

The Executive Committee encompasses the Board of Directors and permanent members of the CRCL (researchers/lecturers and technical staff) who wish to partake in the implementation of multiscale strategic missions entailing the development of the CRCL. These missions include, for instance, increasing international collaborations, the visibility and attractiveness of the Center; communicating with the affiliated structures or regional structures; managing important Calls for Pojects and the crosstalk with funding agencies; discussing technological and structural developments and equipment renewal; examining aspects of training and teaching.

In addition, the CRCL can rely on an international Scientific Advisory Board, composed of independent researchers selected for their scientific expertise, their strategic vision of research and their international recognition.


The CRCL is organized around two scientific departments focusing on the following research topics:

         • Tumor escape, resistance and immunity (Management: Julien MARIE / Pierre SAINTIGNY) 

         • Cancer initiation and tumor cell identity (Management: Jean-Jacques DIAZ / Véronique MAGUER-SATTA) 

The teams of the CRCL can rely on state-of-the-art equipment (a cell sorting and cytometry platform, an imaging platform, a L3 laboratory, a tumor model laboratory, related technological platforms on the Lyon-Est site) and shared services (administrative unit, autoclave, etc...) to support their projects.


Several teams of the CRCL are involved in the DEVweCAN "Cancer, Development, targeted therapies" LabEx (Laboratoire d'Excellence) project, a new research structure created following  the national call for projects "Investissement d'Avenir" in 2010 (Director: P. Mehlen). In addition, some teams are associated with the LYRIC project (Dir. Jean-Yves Blay), a project that was successfully evaluated following the national Plan Cancer SIRIC (Integrated Cancer Reseach Cluster, Site de recherche intégrée en cancérologie") call of the INCa in 2010.

Moreover, the CRCL is part of the regional network on cancer research, namely the CLARA Cancer Research Cluster and of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation (part of a Thematic Network on Research and Healthcare, RTRS). The CRCL action is also at the heart of the Institut Convergence PLASCAN - François Rabelais Institute. Selected in 2017 during the second wave of the "Investissements d'Avenir" call for projects, the PLASCAN project (Preventing plasticity and tumor adaptability: towards the new generation of personalized medicine) is supported by the University of Lyon.

The reseacrh teams of the CRCL, through their implication in calls for proposals, can rely on the financial support of a number of structures, including non-profit organizations, funding foundations and state funding structures. We wish to thank all of the above for their support, without which our teams would be unabe to function.

Finally, the CRCL is honored by the presence within its teams of founding members of the non-profit organization Les P'Tits Génies de l'IHOPe. This non-profit organization (according to the 1901 law) aims at creating a time for leisure for children and adolescents undergoing care at the Institute of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (IHOP) GCS HCL-CLB. Indeed, members of the CRCL and Leon Berard Center organize weekly scientific workshops during which they interact with the children around scientific topics. 

For further information please visit the homepage of the non-profit organization

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