It is of course essential to study the effects of ionising radiation and toxic materials used in the nuclear industry on living organisms. It involves the detailed investigation of the mechanisms at work at the molecular and cellular level. The data collected will be used to refine the scientific evaluation of the risks of low level doses
A second line of investigation develops the applications of the technologies stemming from nuclear: tracking and detection of radiation in health and biotechnology and medical imaging that enables the exploration of organs in a non-invasive way. Physicists, doctors and pharmacists work together on the use and development of these techniques in cardiology, neurology, oncology and for studying cognitive function.
Other teams study the structures and functions of proteins in order to create proteins with new properties, particularly useful in medicine. This is protein engineering.
Finally pharmeceutical-immunological specialists develop ultra-sensitive dosage methods. After developing the most sensitive test for detecting mad cow disease they are now finalising a blood test.
All this research involves many scientific disciplines and partnerships with universities and other French research bodies (CNRS, INSERM, INRA, Armed Forces Health Service, public health, Paris hospitals).