Innovative analysis for improving human health

The Theme Health brings together 11 research groups that combine their high-level expertise to develop innovative analytical tools and methods for improving human health. The developments are more particularly focused in four domains:

  • Quantification and clinical evaluation of biomarkers. ISA elaborates pioneering proteomics and metabolomics approaches through analytical and instrumental developments based on mass spectrometry and NMR, to identify, validate and quantify biological markers (proteins and small molecules) in cancer and infectious diseases as well as in epidemiology research.
  • Development of methods for innovative biomedical diagnostics tools. Scientists at ISA are experts in the design of biotechnological and analytical point-of-care devices (biosensors, lab-on-a-chip, micro/nano biotechnologies), and are developing a new generation of MRI contrast agents with augmented sensitivity.
  • Characterization of biologics (proteins, antibodies), lipids and small molecules (drugs, leads, metabolites). ISA develops advanced methods that combine various analytical technologies (chromatography, ICP-MS, CE-MS, NMR, mass …) for the identification, the quantification (up to ultra-trace), the quality control, the structural investigation and the interaction/complexation properties of small to large molecules.
  • Development of methods to boost small-molecule drug discovery. To facilitate structure-based drug discovery for difficult “undruggable” therapeutic targets, ISA develops NMR methods for the structure determination of challenging proteins (membrane proteins, fibers). ISA also develops fragment-based screening using NMR and WAC.

The Theme Health has highly advanced instrumentation in mass spectrometry, (DNP) MAS solid-state NMR, Liquid-state NMR, Magnetic resonance imaging, Chromatography, ICP-MS

Theme Animators

Carole CHAIX, Research director, Isabelle KRIMM, Researcher,

Related groups

The 11 research groups involved in the Theme Health are detailed below:

Biological Analysis by Mass Spectrometry

Biomarkers can be used to detect a change in the physiological state of a patient that correlates with the risk or progression of a disease (eg. Alzheimer’s disease) and/or to assess chemical exposure and the cumulative, adverse effects of toxicants in ecotoxicology. The discovery and the validation of new biomarkers raise many both analytical and […]


Chromatography & Hyphenated Techniques

The group develops chromatographic techniques from analytical to preparative scale, with a view to push the limits in terms of both separation power and sensitivity. i.e. Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC or countercurrent chromatography), Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) and Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) with a particular focus on multi-dimensional chromatography hyphenated to multi detection […]


Interfaces & Biosensors

The main activities of the group are focused on the conception and elaboration of biofunctionnalized microdevices for biosensing , medical diagnosis and therapeutic applications. For sensing applications, we design and engineer surfaces and layers, including recognizing (bio)molecule layers, well adapted to various electrochemical transducers (amperometric, conductometric, impedancemetric, etc.). The team has acquired a strong expertise […]


Isotopic & organic platform

Stable isotope investigations are widely used to trace and understand biological or industrial processes. The Isotopic & Organic Platform carries out innovative developments using stable isotopes measurements (2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N and 18O/16O) in different research programs with industrials and/or academic organisms. Analyzes are performed on gases (CO2, N2, H2, CO) using Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers […]


Micro & Nanobiotechnology

Within the fields of nanobioscience, micro&nanotechnology, electrical engineering, and applied physics the group develops biosensors and unconventional micro&nanotechnologies to create flexible analytical tools based on BioLab-on-chips, micro/nanosensors, micromixers, and microfilters. These innovative tools, designed to be suitable for large-scale production at low cost have application in healthcare and life sciences, ranging from uncovering and diagnosing […]


Plasma spectroscopies, hyphenated methods & speciation

The Applied spectroscopies group evaluates and develops spectroscopic tools and their hyphenations. Two main fields of research are investigated : speciation methods and laser assisted spectroscopy whose applications are related to process control, sustainable chemistry and environmental issues. Our work in laser assisted spectroscopy is mainly dedicated to: Instrumental and strategy developments, such as calibration […]


Separative Methods

Based on both thermodynamic and kinetic approaches of transfer processes in separation tools, the group develops separation methodologies to tackle characterization of complex samples within the fields of environment, health, nuclear and industrial analysis. Research is driven by the reduction in size of separation devices and the development of innovative stationary phases (monolith) and coatings […]



The group develops analytical methods, based on both targeted and untargeted approaches by mass spectrometry, to study the exposure of environmental ecosystems and human beings to organic micropollutants and their impact on Health. We develop innovative methods involving improvements at each step of the analytical protocol: sampling, sample preparation, chromatographic separation, detection by mass spectrometry […]