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Encourages dual training in medicine and science to foster translational research

Encourages dual training in medicine and science to foster translational research. INSERM Liliane Bettencourt school offers since 2003 to students who has determination and ability to conduct in parallel their medical or pharmacy studies and a scientific formation conducting to a science PhD.



The only public research institute entirely devoted to human health, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. Its contribution to the implementation of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for treating cancer and genetic, metabolic and neurological diseases is considerable, as is its contribution to the development of drugs. Both HIV and the HLA system (vital to the success of transplants) were discovered at Inserm.

Inserm acts as an interface and ensures a continuum between basic biological research, clinical research, therapeutic research and public health. Under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, in 2008 Inserm was given the responsibility for coordinating all French biomedical research. In 2009, it was one of the founding members of the French National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health (Aviesan).



In 2003, Inserm created a school to facilitate contact between the research bench and the bedside to reduce the risk of scientists and doctors gradually being distanced by separate logics of research and patient care. This meant encouraging young doctors and pharmacists to engage in innovation in the fields of clinical research and basic research. Given its commitment to the life sciences with the goal of improving public health, the Foundation soon decided to support the Inserm School, which became the Inserm Liliane Bettencourt School, and it has been funding student support activities throughout the curriculum since 2007.

This is exactly the type of program I was looking for when I enrolled in first-year medicine: a long time ago, I decided to do biomedical research with a human clinical application.

Bénédicte Oulès, Inserm Liliane Bettencourt School class of 2004

By allowing students to study freely, with passion, the Inserm Liliane Bettencourt School is a special curriculum that contributes to both individual scientific enrichment and personal fulfillment.

Judith Chareyre, Inserm Liliane Bettencourt School class of 2008


Fifty students, nominated by the deans and selected by the school, participate in a two-week residential training and motivation session at the beginning of the second year of their medical or pharmaceutical studies. This scientific training, complemented by intense personal work, takes place in the run-up to the competitive selection process for the school’s second-year. During this second year, students can freely choose from Master's 1 degree classes and complete a full-time six-month research internship in accredited laboratories.
When they have completed this dual basic and experimental training, the students interrupt their medical or pharmaceutical studies to prepare for a Master’s 2 in a laboratory of their choice, in France or abroad.
The students then pursue a doctorate in science (Sc.D), either directly after their master’s degree or during a break from their internship.


A doctorate in science is the second stage of the dual-curriculum research program. Holders of a double doctorate (MD and Sc.D) can choose between several careers that allow them to conduct medical or pharmaceutical research.

Throughout the program, the school invites renowned speakers to conferences open to all students. These meetings allow in-depth scientific exchanges and the creation of strong professional ties for the community of medical and pharmaceutical scientists.

Ten years of experience confirm the relevance of dual education in medicine and science, as illustrated by the remarkable publications of some of the young physician-scientists trained at the Inserm Liliane Bettencourt School:


  • Renaud La Joie: class of 2007 (fourth-year medical student at the University of Lyon)

Intrinsic connectivity identifies the hippocampus as a main crossroad between Alzheimer's and semantic dementia-targeted networks.
La Joie R, Landeau B, Perrotin A, Bejanin A, Egret S, Pélerin A, Mézenge F, Belliard S, de La Sayette V, Eustache F, Desgranges B, Chételat G.
Neuron. 2014 Mar 19;81(6):1417-28. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.01.026.

  • Ahmad Yatim: class of 2006 (sixth-year medical student at the Université Paris Est)

NOTCH1 nuclear interactome reveals key regulators of its transcriptional activity and oncogenic function.
Yatim A, Benne C, Sobhian B, Laurent-Chabalier S, Deas O, Judde JG, Lelievre JD, Levy Y, Benkirane M.
Mol Cell. 2012 Nov 9;48(3):445-58. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.08.022. Epub 2012 Sep 27.

  • Thomas Bienvenu: class of 2006 (sixth-year medical student at the Université Paris Est)

Cell-type-specific recruitment of amygdala interneurons to hippocampal theta rhythm and noxious stimuli in vivo.
Bienvenu TC, Busti D, Magill PJ, Ferraguti F, Capogna M.
Neuron. 2012 Jun 21;74(6):1059-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.022.


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