IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Scientific News

​IRSN researcher wins best poster award in radiobiology
Olivier Guipaud received a best poster award in radiobiology at the ENLIGHT (European Network for Light ion Hadron Therapy) annual meeting, held on July 1–3 in Caen.


The poster, entitled Molecular profile of human primary vascular endothelial cells exposed to high doses of carbon ions in comparison to photon irradiations, focused on work carried out by the Radiobiology of Medical Exposure Laboratory (LRMED)* under the France Hadron platform and IRSN’s ROSIRIS program.

The study compared the cellular and molecular effects produced in vitro by exposure to carbon ions—with irradiation performed at the GANIL heavy ion accelerator in Caen—to those produced by exposure to photons traditionally used in radiotherapy (with irradiation performed at IRSN using a LINAC). More generally, the work aims to develop ways to assess the impact of radiation or a specific irradiation method on vascular endothelial cell function. The irradiation of these cells—in both normal and cancerous tissue—causes them to malfunction, resulting in early and late tissue damage. The study is also helpful in reviewing the concept of relative biological effectiveness (RBE), a radiobiology tool used to assess the risks of new radiotherapy techniques (“flash” radiotherapy, hypofractionation, hadron therapy, etc.) and help adapt the associated radiation protection guidelines.


* Part of the Department for Research in Radiobiology and Regenerative Medicine (Seramed) – IRSN Environment and Health Division

Find out more about the ENLIGHT annual meeting
Find out more about LRMED 

Event - AwardThe IRSN recognized at the last SFRP conference
The French Radioprotection Society (SFRP) conference was held from June 18-20 in La Rochelle and was a great success! The IRSN played a key role in the event by presiding over nearly half of the sessions and co-leading four of the nine tutorials. Two researchers from the institute were presented with an award, specifically the first and second place awards for the Henri Jammet Prize.

Every two years, the SFRP conference provides all professionals who are involved in the protection against ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in the fields of research, medicine, manufacturing, and nuclear electricity with an opportunity to present their latest work and views.

Annaïg Bertho, a doctoral student at the IRSN's LRMED1, won the Henri Jammet Prize for her thesis on pulmonary lesions resulting from stereotactic irradiation. Her research combines preclinical modeling with the acquisition of radiobiological data using various types of pulmonary cells and will contribute to science's understanding of the risks and effects of stereotactic irradiation on healthy tissue. As the winner of the award, Annaïg Bertho will be invited by the SFRP to attend the international IRPA conference, which will take place in Seoul, South Korea in May 2020. There, she will take part in the "Young Professional Awards" and follow in the footsteps of Nadia Bendabdallah, an IRSN colleague who won the previous edition of the awards. The second place award of the Henri Jammet Prize was presented to Tiffany Beaumont, a researcher at the LAMIV2 who also recently won the Pheniics Award for her presentation on the contribution of 3D printing to the production of calibration phantoms designed for personalized internal dosimetry measurements.

Every two years, the Henri Jammet Prize recognizes young professionals or scientists for the quality and originality of their radioprotection research. This year, the jury included:
  • Bernard Le Guen, President of the SFRP and the jury (EDF);
  • Florence Ménétrier, representative of the "Radioprotection" Journal Commission (CEA);
  • Sylvain Papin, representative of the Young SFRP Member Club (SPRA);
  • Didier Gay, SFRP board member and president of the program committee (IRSN);
  • Pierre-Yves Hémidy, member of the SFRP, environment section (EDF);
  • Martine Souques, member of the SFRP, non-ionizing radiation section (EDF);
  • Valérie Chambrette, Director of the SFRP.
The SFRP also designated Yann Billarand as its newly elected president during the La Rochelle conference. Yann Billarand is a manager under the IRSN Environment Director within the Health and Environment Division. He will take office during the next conference, which is scheduled to take place in Dijon in 2021.

1. Medical Exposure Radiobiology Laboratory, Health and Environment Division
2. In Vivo Measurement Laboratory, Health and Environment Division

Find out more about Annaïg Bertho thesis

Find out more about Tiffany Beaumont work

Find out more about SFRP

An IRSN doctoral student wins a Young Scientist Award
Alexia Lapière, a doctoral student at the Radiobiology of Medical Exposure Laboratory (LRMed)*, won the third Young Scientist Award during the 13th International Probiotic Congress (IPC) held from June 17-20 in Prague, Czech Republic. This was the fourth award presented to the doctoral student since the beginning of her thesis.

Her presentation focused on her thesis research and was entitled, "Faecalibacterium prausnitzii Treatment Reduces Radiation-Induced Colorectal Injury: Application to the Management of Pelvic Radiotherapy Complications". Her work focus on the effects of a probiotic, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, on delayed onset colonic lesions, which can occur up to 10 years after pelvic radiation therapy. This research, carried out in collaboration with INRA (French National Agronomic Research Institute) aims to assess the efficacy of this probiotic, which is administered preventively before radiation therapy, to reduce lesions in healthy tissue. Its effectiveness has already been proven in pre-clinical studies, where it was used to treat other inflammatory pathologies of the colon, such as Crohn's disease.
Alexia Lapière accepts her award. © IPC

The Young Scientist Awards, which are presented during the IPC, recognize young scientists at the start of their careers who are conducting excellent work in the fields of basic or applied research regarding probiotics and prebiotics.
*From the Health and Environment Division (PSE) of the IRSN

Find out more about IPC


The 19th issue of Aktis, IRSN’s scientific newsletter, is available

Aktis-19_EN.jpgThe nineteenth English-language issue of Aktis, the quarterly newsletter on IRSN’s research, is available on a HTML and PDF package. Aktis is published only in a digital version and available in HTML or text format for e-mail, RSS and pageflip PDF.


In this issue, focus on whether the vascular endothelium is a key target for improving radiotherapy treatments. Aktis n°19​ also treats of Fukushima Daiichi decommissiong and also of links between radiation-induced effects, heredity and epigenetics. As well, it deals with nuclear safety regulation from 1945 to the present.​


The subscription for the English and French versions is complimentary. To read this issue or subscribe, go to​​.

Read the pageflip PDF​​​​​

Read the HTML


Research programs

Reduction of the side effects of aerodigestive tract radiotherapy on bone tissue. Launch of the IXBONE project


The IRSN has launched its IXBONE project, which aims to develop a new cell therapy strategy to limit induced side effects on bone tissue following radiation therapy used in the treatment of cancers of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts. The project receives funding from the ANR (Agence nationale de la recherche) obtained under the 2018 call for projects PRCE "Projet de recherche collaborative-Entreprise".


The aim of the IXBONE project is to develop a protocol for a cellular and matrix therapy based on the use of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in a biomaterial matrix, to help regenerate bone tissue damaged by radiation therapy in ENT. This four-year project is coordinated by the RmeS laboratory (INSERM U1229, University of Nantes-Oniris), in partnership with the Laboratory of radiobiology of medical exposures (LRMed) of the IRSN and the company OTR3.


The fourth most common cancer in humans in France, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 90% of cancers in ENT. When treated with radiotherapy, 5% of patients develop a serious side effect called mandibular osteoradionecrosis (ORN), a necrosis of the jaw that can lead to fractures and serious disorders of swallowing and phonation (production of the sounds of spoken language).


The principle of the IXBONE project consists of local injections of bone marrow MSCs, protected by a hydrogel matrix (hydroxypropylmethyl-cellulose – HPMC) and associated with synthetic molecules, RGTAs (Regenerating Agents), which increase the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs. This principle has already been used successfully in the development of a new therapeutic strategy aimed at relieving the side effects of abdominal and pelvic radiotherapy (the ANTHOS project). MSCs are known to act effectively in the regeneration of tissues and bones as a result of the activity of certain proteins they release.


Thanks to the development of a biomaterial intended to serve as a matrix for the MSCs as they are injected, the IXBONE project will eventually propose an effective therapeutic strategy for patients developing ORN, with the aim of a future clinical trial involving human patients suffering from ORN.

Find out more about the IXBONE project

Find out more about the Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR)

Find out more about the involved IRSN laboratory

The IRSN strengthens its commitment towards open science

The IRSN's scientific publications will now be automatically uploaded to the French national open archive HAL (Hyper articles en ligne), which was created in 2001 by the CNRS's Center for Direct Scientific Communication (CCSD). Anyone can now access the IRSN's digital research articles for free in accordance with the distribution rights specified by the publisher.

Over the past several years, the IRSN was been working to promote open access, particularly through the HAL platform. The institute signed an agreement to develop the platform in 2013. Using a new service that automatically publishes its scientific articles on HAL, the IRSN is strengthening this partnership. This decision also helps reach the goals regarding the publication of scientific knowledge and expertise sharing expressed in the French National Plan for Open Science and an initiative launched by Science Europe named Plan S(1). The aim of both of these plans is to ensure that 100% of all new French scientific publications are made available on an open-access basis. The IRSN is also planning on publishing all the scientific articles written by the institute since its founding in 2002 on the HAL platform by 2021.

Jean-Christophe Niel, Director General of the IRSN, inaugurates a new service that will publish all IRSN publications on HAL. Audrey Legendre, Knowledge Engineering Manager, stands at his side. © Sandrine Marano/IRSN

By making its scientific publications available in this way, the IRSN helps to share and distribute research findings, thereby increasing the visibility of French research. The institute supports knowledge sharing in the radiology and nuclear science industries.
The IRSN receives a number of benefits by granting free access to its publications, including limitless archival storage on HAL, increased visibility of its research (complete article and full citation list), accessibility (digital and free), and distribution in accordance with the copyright limitations set by publishers.
(1) The S Plan, an initiative launched by Science Europe to promote open access to scientific publications, is supported by the European Research Council and the research funding agencies of 12 European countries.

Go to HAL portal of the IRSN

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