Aging is usually perceived as a process that results from the combined influence of constitutional or so-called « genetic » factors, life-style associated factors and external events. Understanding these multiple interconnections requires synergy between many areas of molecular, cellular or biomedical experimental biology or biology, more dedicated to the study of aging and age-related diseases such as cancer. To this goal, the Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging Nice (IRCAN UMR7284, U1081) was created, under the direction of Pr Eric Gilson, on January 1st, 2012, by the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS), the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm), and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). The IRCAN was established to develop a strong research center focusing on cancer and aging, in the Medical School of Nice and in partnership with the cancer “Center Antoine Lacassagne” (CAL) and the Nice University Hospital (CHUN).
The research carried out at the IRCAN involves major areas of biology, from basic research to medical applications, with the objectives of improving our understanding of the common foundation between aging and cancer, and developing innovative strategies to prevent and cure cancer and chronic age-related pathologies. To ensure the excellence of our research, the IRCAN benefits from a strong and international scientific advisory board composed, amongst other eminent and internationally recognised scientists, of Tomas Lindahl (London, Uk) that was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015.
In addition to a strong local anchoring that enhances and catalyses innovative research within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, the IRCAN has established strong national and international multidisciplinary networks and collaborations and in particular the Inserm Cross-cutting Program AgeMed (From AGEd cell to MEDical applications) and the FHU program OncoAge, to name just a few.
Furthermore the IRCAN is actively involved in a large variety of teaching and outreach activities. In fact, IRCAN Professors, Lecturers as well as CNRS and INSERM researchers teach at the Medical School as well as the Science Faculty from the University of Nice and are at the origin of innovative international Master programs (e. g. BioBank, MARRES) from the University Côte d’Azur. Many IRCAN researchers are particularly active in outreach activities intended to promote and explain scientific and medical advances to the larger audience, as well as to explain the most recent IRCAN discoveries to the public through classical media channels (newspapers, radio, TV) or via hands-on activities (national science fair, visit to schools or welcoming pupils in our laboratories), conferences and exhibitions as well as cancer patient associations.