France, U.S. Sign Medical Partnership Agreement
Leading French and American health organizations aiming to advance research in the life sciences signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) on May 7.
Agreed between France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, the document, signed at NIDA’s facility in Rockville, Md., outlines a multi-part plan to strengthen cooperation in the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry.
Results from the partnership will be applied to addiction and its many disorders.
The accord will advance efforts to establish a framework for sharing skills and knowledge in these research fields, while stimulating exchanges and joint research, specifically at the post-doctoral level.
Dr. André Syrota, Chairman and CEO of INSERM, traveled from Paris to provide his signature. He was joined by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA and the Ambassador of France in the United States, Francois Delattre.
The ceremony was introduced by a plenary address by Dr. Syrota on “New Challenges in Life and Health Research: Opportunities for Cooperation in the French Research Landscape.” Amb. Delattre gave the opening remarks at the occasion, where French and American officials and counterparts were also in strong attendance.
The agreement builds on momentum from a previous gathering in October 2012. At the International Society for Neuroscience annual conference, held in New Orleans, INSERM and NIDA, along with France’s Multi-Organization Thematic Institute (ITMO), jointly hosted a workshop that would pave the way toward the more formal agreement signed in May.
Areas identified by each organization in the MOI as potential subjects of study included animal research, drug discovery and development, clinical research, and brain imaging capabilities. The agreed methods of collaboration included training and exchange programs, seminars, supplemental research support, clinical trials, and a common website for the INSERM-NIDA partnership.
Conscious of the problems that addiction and related disorders can create in society, French researchers have long recognized the importance of effective medical counter-measures. France is currently ranked 5th worldwide in addiction research.