College of Corsica: the well being theme expands the disciplinary space

Prominent practitioners working on the continent and other Corsican scientists are approaching the University of Corsica around an ambitious project. Mathematical modeling applied to health is at the heart of thought to consider multiple perspectives

Just a year ago, Professor Dominique Barbolosi’s visit to the Cortenais campus brought to light the project under the leadership of this islander, who had become a famous scientist near Aix-Marseille. A mathematical researcher for 40 years, he devotes his laboratory to a topic close to his heart: his discipline in health, specifically cancer treatment. An arrow that interests the University of Corsica, its health institute, but also and above all its mathematicians, physicists and other computer scientists. At the beginning of the 2021 academic year, the prospects were already attractive. In the meantime, the project has matured. A recent one-day workshop showed that it’s well and truly up and running.

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Returning to the Corten campus, Professor Barbolosi attracted many people, including some Corsican scientists who, like him, were involved in this approach* to a highly specialized scientific field: mathematical modeling and artificial intelligence carried out to serve medicine. The president of the University of Corsica is more than happy that the meeting room was full of local environmental researchers from UMR sciences who are determined to contribute to this building both scientifically and educationally. All are determined to contribute their experience and know-how. “This project, which brings us closer to other outstanding researchers, including not only new scientific perspectives, but also affectively driven Corsicans, is primarily our participation in a new discipline, in this case applied mathematics. , Dominique Federici says. This is an opportunity for Corsica to expand our offer in this very important discipline, to demonstrate that there is a real health ecosystem here between training and research, then to contribute to the project. the health of our area, to allow the public. the power to seize it, especially the establishment of the CHU.”

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And the president, turning to valuable partners, insisted on interest “from an opinion”, as a spokesperson for the local scientific force waiting to learn what it can do to help. Professor Fabrice Barlesi, a specialist in thoracic oncology and director general of the Institut Gustave-Roussy in Villejuif, is all the more enthusiastic about this broad partnership because for him “Talents are everywhere. The goal is to give these talents the means to express themselves, especially to create access to exchanges. I am sure that the vast majority of great discoveries in the future will be related to the confrontation between multi-talented people. Different disciplinary fields. Achieving breakthrough innovations.”

And in the field of applied mathematics in medicine, the general manager of Gustave-Roussy is trying to popularize his speech to understand all the interest. “If we are able to find, not just mathematical solutions, but the ones that are most likely to work, we give ourselves the tools to innovate and benefit patients. Artificial intelligence is already very much in healthcare. If we look at, for example, the ability to analyze a CT scan image, our human eye it can distinguish a lot of things, but it’s a bit like looking at a landscape from afar. AI will analyze these images pixel by pixel and can identify features that are completely invisible to the human eye, allowing it to distinguish diseases that have a worse prognosis than others.

“We have projects, funding, but we need students”

Dominic Barbolosi’s work is already at the center of these concerns. The mathematician from Aix-Marseille did not mention the mathematical tool dedicated to the treatment of metastatic thyroid cancer, cardiology and even resuscitation. “But this line of research, which is a promising field that can be developed in the medical world, still has a big deficit. We have projects at our level, we have funding, but we need students.” The beginning of this interdisciplinary collaboration between Corsican and continental academics has already been concretized with a doctoral dissertation. All the actors hope that other works will come, because the stakes are great.

It is about developing a curriculum in parallel with research, especially related to mathematics, physics, data processing and health. This can lead to the construction of digital tools that can be used directly in clinical practice. During this first workshop in Corte, the prospects of nuclear medicine were discussed, in particular the interest of implementing Pet scanning in Corsica.

It is clear that the approach is nothing more than a departure from Corsica’s thorny health file, the subject of many expectations.

* In addition to those already mentioned, there were: Dr. Xavier Muracciole, radiotherapist and oncologist at Marseille University Hospital; Professor David Taieb, specialist in nuclear medicine at Marseille University Hospital; Professor Joseph Ciccolini (in the video), a pharmacokinetic specialist at Marseille University Hospital; Dr. Sebastien Benzekry, director of the COMPO Inria-Inserm team; Bianca Fazi, executive consultant in charge of the health dossier at Corsica Collective.

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