Research Interests

Our team is interested in neuroadaptations in different psychiatric pathologies. We combine behavioral, neurochemical, electrophysiological and molecular expertise to provide a better understanding of neuroadaptations: 1) induced by repeated drug use, 2) induced by exposure to acute or chronic stress and 3) in neurodevelopmental models of autism spectrum disorders. We use the knowledge acquired in animal models to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in humans thanks to the presence in our team of clinicians and medical biologists.

We have 4 main research axes:

  1. Characterization of the role of brain cholesterol in drug addiction and relapse through behavioral analyses, the use of viral vectors and molecular analyses. (Nathalie Thiriet)
  2.  Demonstration of the relationship between behavioral patterns in a semi-natural enriched environment and drug addiction (Marcello Solinas)
  3.  Identification of changes in the neuronal activity of the insular cortex and its connections induced by stress or associated with the risks of relapse to addiction, by electrophysiological and fiber photometry analyses, use of viral vectors and behavioral analyses. (Pauline Belujon)
  4.  Exploring new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues in autism spectrum disorders through behavioral, molecular and genetic analyses. (Mohamed Jaber)

In parallel, our clinical research aims at transposing the results obtained in these preclinical research axes by 1) setting up clinical trials in order to study the effects of environmental enrichment of addicts on relapse (C. Lafay & MC Perault-Pochat), 2) searching for epigenetic modifications in patients suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders, in diagnostic errance. (F. Bilan & M. Egloff). A third clinical axis aims at identifying biological parameters allowing a better diagnosis of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (S. Pain & MC Perault-Pochat).


  • 2022-2024 – EU Grant, NextGenPS (83k€, Partner : M. Solinas)
  • 2022-2025 – IRESP (420 K€, PI : N. Thiriet)
  • 2021-2023 – Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, (110 k€, Partner : P. Belujon)
  • 2019-2022 – IRESP (99 K€, PI : M. Solinas)
  • 2020-2024 – Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, (210 k€, PI : M. Solinas)
  • 2017-2020 – CPER/FEDER, HaBiSan (364 K€, PI : M. Solinas)
  • 2020 – AFRETH ( 477k€, PI: C. Lafay)
  • 2019 – PHRC GIRCI-SOHO (202 k€, PI :S. Pain)
  • 2017 et 2018 – Fondation pour la Recherche en Alcoologie (8 K€, PI : N. Thiriet)
  • 2015-2019 – Agence National de la Recherche, ANR JCJC (260 K€, PI : P. Belujon)
  • 2014-2017 – Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (200 K€, PI : M. Solinas)
  • 2014 – Fondation de l’Avenir (50 K€, PI : M. Solinas)



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