Institut Pierre Louis d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique

UMR-S 1136

Responsable: Dominique Costagliola

Pierre Louis was a French physician, clinician and pathologist known for his work on tuberculosis, typhoid fever and pneumonia. He is considered as one of the fathers of evidence based medicine in the USA, for the development of the numerical method, forerunner to epidemiology and the modern clinical trial. He is particularly known for his dispute with Broussais. He showed that the use of bloodletting for pneumonia was ineffective, with an observational approach accounting for bias and confounding. We therefore feel he represents well our common general objectives, where good clinical observations and the use of numerical methods are critical to improve our knowledge on diseases and health.

Starting in January 2014, the Institute will be constituted of 7 INSERM/UPMC teams, plus an UPMC Group of Clinical Research (GRC) and a transversal administrative and computer and information technology staff. D Costagliola will be the director of the Institute and G Thomas the deputy director.

We will cover the main domains of epidemiology, whether clinical, populational or social, as well as pharmacoepidemiology, biostatistics, statistical and mathematical modelling, clinical research including methodology and clinical trials, relations between environment and health status, social determinants of health, and health care organisation. In terms of applications we are dealing mainly with communicable diseases (influenza, HIV infection, viral hepatitis, …), nosocomial and emerging infections, with chronic diseases, (respiratory, allergic and cardiovascular diseases), with psychiatric disorders and with critical care. Our outputs are contributions to knowledge on disease determinants and mechanisms, improvement in surveillance information systems and modelling of communicable diseases, development of statistical techniques for the analysis of the so-called “big data” (including for instance clinical and genetic data on the human host, on the infectious agents and on the network between human hosts for communicable diseases, or on history of various environmental and social life-time exposures for chronic diseases), producing information to guide changes in clinical practice and healthcare organisations and to advise public health and policy makers, without leaving out patient organisations.

The teams are listed below:

Team E1 to E4 are oriented toward communicable diseases and their activities are strongly established and well recognized. It is frequent within Public Health departments of American universities (such as Harvard or Johns Hopkins) to have a microbiology department. Therefore Team E4, a mixt of virologist and statisticians is perfectly located in the Institute. There are already strong historical links with Team E3 and new links will develop with Teams E1 and E2.

In the current world, the impact of environment on population health is a critical issue, at the heart of research in Team E5, devoted to allergic and respiratory diseases. Team E5 was recently awarded the FP7 ENV-2013 project HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys) with Isabella Annesi-Maesano being the PI of the project.

Team E6 is a new team, which emerged from research activities conducted previously. Its research themes are becoming of critical importance in the current development of the French healthcare system, and also worldwide and a priority for policy makers. It is therefore natural to highlight this research activity in creating a new team in an Institute devoted to epidemiology and public health, even though it is a relatively new team. Team E7 will present a unique opportunity to create a large, strong and visible team in social epidemiology, thanks to researchers joining the team who were already active in previous units. This team also works in a domain that is becoming a priority of policy makers.

GRC8 was recently created with the Clinical Research Group label from UPMC, allowing them to hire PhD students, it has a long history of clinical and population epidemiology and there are opportunities of collaborations with other teams in terms of methods (such as causal inference models also used in team E2 and E3) or applications (such as with team E3 on osteoporosis in HIV infected patients).