The “Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)” has recently launched a new program named “Programmes Transversaux “ to fund National research consortia in three major fields: “Microbiota”, “Ageing” and “Variability of the genomes within cohorts”. This cutting- edge program has been built to facilitate interdisciplinary approaches, to reinforce interfaces in biomedical research and to strengthen continuum towards economic development and societal improvement. Thus, each program will result in an in terdisciplinary National consortium, providing added value compared to existing collaborations, particularly on specific areas of innovative research or technological developments. The implementation of these national consortia should allow the French biomedical research to become a key player in Europe in these fields and get the community ready for future calls.
Concerning, the research program dedicated to microbiota, the key challenges are to go beyond correlations, to demonstrate causal effects and to identify molecular mechanisms in order to translate knowledge into diagnostic tools and rationale-based therapeutic strategies. The Program is divided into three main Work Packages (WP). The first WP intends to develop standardized metabolomics approaches to identify serum or tissue metabolites, derived from microbiota metabolism, which may influence onset or severity of several diseases studied by members of the consortium. The second WP aims at getting insight into functional intestinal ecology using innovative animal models, clinical trials or cohorts challenged by disrupting factors such as antibiotics and food interventions. The third WP aims at developing therapeutic strategies in metabolic and liver diseases, and will highlight the impact of bile salts metabolism in the outcome of host-microbiota interactions.