The school of biotechnology of Strasbourg-Illkirch, France, is a trinational French-German-Swiss school devoted to the training of engineers in biotechnologies for health and environment.
It also harbors a research center, Irebs, whose main interest is to decipher signaling pathways in cells and animals, with the help of animal models and small molecules, in the fields of genome stability –carcinogenesis- and information processing and transport across membranes.
To this end, the research center has established a full program for the discovery of new molecules that comprises a series of relevant instruments: a chemical library of 50.000 compounds (a copy of the French Chemical Library), a collection of 1,5 billion mini-antibodies that can be used as pharmacological agents, a target protein production platform : IMPReSs, a drug screening platform : PCBIS and a platform for preclinical evaluation of distribution, toxicity, efficacy and metabolism of molecules : TechMedill.
The associated training program comprises initial training for graduate students in biotechnologies and chemical biology, as well as continuous training for technicians and engineers in recombinant protein production and in target identification and validation (ESBS formations).
Research projects are supported by a laboratory of excellence , Medalis, co-founded by several teams of the institute. This laboratory-without-walls promotes drug discovery with explicit vocation to go toward technology transfer to industry.
In order to cover all aspects of therapeutic approaches related to biotechnologies, the research institute and the school have launched a program on synthetic biology . This new discipline constitutes a modern revolution of biology since it goes beyond the descriptions made by traditional cognitive sciences towards predictive research and technologies. Synthetic biology uses biological bricks –natural or mutated genes together with regulators of gene expression- that are assembled in new complex networks that confer new properties -not invented by nature- to the engineered cells. This new science delivers original new concepts and products for therapeutic, diagnostic or environmental science applications.
Irebs gathers 2 laboratories: