Institute of Cellular & Integrative Neuroscience (INCI) | UPR3212  Director: Michel Barrot




Team "Plasticity of Pain Controls"

Pierrick Poisbeau

Pierrick Poisbeau is Professor of neuroscience. His team works on the ontogeny of nociception, the plasticity of circuits shaping the pain sensation and its behavioural expression. Most of the research focuses on the impact of perinatal stress. Research is conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Hautepierre-Strasbourg hospital and in the CNRS laboratory using preclinical models. Current targets are the endogenous neuropeptide oxytocin and VIP which have a proven modulatory action on pain and play a major role during development. The causal link between early trauma and chronic pain is also investigated. In brief, the team is conducting a translational research on pain, in children and adults, which has its origin in clinical issues related to the vulnerability of newborns.

INCI Website of Team "Plasticity of Pain Control"


Team "Neuroanatomy, Pain & Psychopathology"

Michel Barrot & Ipek Yalcin

Michel Barrot and Ipek Yalcin are CNRS research directors. Their team works on chronic pain treatments as well as on their anxiety-depressive consequences. It is thus a pioneer in the study of the links between pain and mood disorders. Their study of pain treatments covers the action of opiates as well as that of antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Several techniques are used in this laboratory, combining behavioural, neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and genomic approaches.

INCI Website of Team "Neuroanatomy, Pain & Psychopathology"


Team "Nociceptive Signaling in the Spinal Cord"

Rémy Schlichter

Rémy Schlichter is a professor of neuroscience. His team studies the functioning of neural networks in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, more specifically nociceptive processes and pain. Their research is about the modulation and integration of nociceptive information. The team is also interested in gender-specific differences in analgesia and morphine tolerance. Numerous technical approaches at the molecular, cellular and integrated levels are used to carry out these studies: electrophysiology, imaging, biochemistry, and mass spectrometry approaches. Understanding the circuits and their sex-specific differences –should allow to identify new, more selective therapeutic targets for the management and treatment of pain.

INCI Website of Team "Nociceptive Signaling in the Spinal Cord"


Team "Impact of Pain on Sleep Regulation"

Patrice Bourgin

Professor Patrice Bourgin and his team work on sleep regulation mechanisms as well as on the role of light and its functional interactions with neuropsychiatric pathologies. The team made major advances in identifying genetic markers and understanding the pathophysiology of narcolepsy. Projects are being carried out by working on improving sleep in people with chronic pain (e.g. in fibromyalgia) or by trying to reduce the chronicisation of pain by improving sleep in patients at risk. Indeed, pain, when it becomes chronic, is associated with many comorbidities aggravated by sleep disorders. Conversely, when the quality of sleep is degraded, pain can become chronic. In addition to clinical research carried out at the Centre for Sleep Disorders at Strasbourg University Hospitals, work is also carried out on animal models.

The SUH website of Team "Impact of Pain on Sleep Regulation"


Team "Physiology of Neural Networks"

Philippe Isope & Matilde Cordero-Erausquin

Philippe Isope and Matilde Cordero-Erausquin are research directors at the CNRS. They work on understanding the functional properties of synaptic transmission and neuronal networks in mice. The main objective is to identify the procedures, in normal and pathological cases, of processing information in the cerebellum, the olfactory bulb and the spinal cord where the first relay of nociception is located. The researchers use different approaches: in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, molecular biology, optogenetics and biphotonic imaging in order to study these questions at all levels of organisation, from the cell to the organism.

INCI Website of Team "Physiology of Neural Networks"


Team "Peptidergic Control of Emotions"

Alexandre Charlet

Alexandre Charlet is a CNRS research fellow. His team’s research is focused on the understanding of cellular mechanisms underlying the regulation of emotions, from social interaction to pain and anxiety. Therefore, they explore how central neuropeptides modulate the neuroglia network in emotion-related structures, such as the amygdala. For this purpose the team members combine ex vivo and in vivo approaches of electrophysiology, calcium imaging and behaviour with genetic tools.

INCI Website of Team "Peptidergic Control of Emotions"