France Villejuif

National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm); Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP) U1018

Integrative Respiratory Epidemiology

Brief Overview

The department (led by Rachel Nadif) is involved in several national and international projects in respiratory epidemiology. Our mission is to clarify the aetiology of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease over the life span through an integrative approach. Major objectives are to study: 1) early-life environmental determinants of respiratory health 2) environmental, social and lifestyle determinants of respiratory diseases and their interplays in adults 3) new respiratory phenotypes and their evolution throughout the life course. Our transdisciplinary research program benefits from complementary skills in respiratory epidemiology, biology, statistics and genetic, and is based on several large cohorts.

Research Areas

Asthma\Biomarkers\COPD\Environmental medicine & lung diseases\Epidemiology

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

The department hosts or has access to several databases from large epidemiological respiratory health studies. The team has a high-quality technical platform including several servers for computation and backup. All researchers are equipped with PC or Mac, and networked to the Center of Informatics. All researchers have access to statistical analysis software (SAS, R, Stata). The administrative and support services of Inserm are available as needed. Other Inserm-related resources include BiblioInserm (, a web portal created by Inserm to facilitate access to scientific information, and HAL-Inserm (, a multi-disciplinary open access archive for the deposit and dissemination of scientific documents.

Research funding/Resources

We regularly obtain major national, European and international funding (over the last 5 years, we were PI or co-PI of 29 academic research grants including highly competitive ones). The group coordinates several cohorts in adults – EGEA (, and children – CRESPI ( We participate in several consortia and develop respiratory research projects in large French cohorts – E3N (, SEPAGES (, Constances (, Nutrinet-Santé ( ); European cohorts – ECRHS ( ), SAPALDIA ( ); and American cohorts – NHS, NHSII ( ), HPFS ( ). EGEA collection was certified ISO 9001 from 2006 till 2018.

Links to non-academic sector

The department works closely with Epiconcept, a French company specialised in the development of information technologies systems for public health (, to develop new tools (eg, Smartphone application) to assess both environmental/occupational exposure (eg, cleaning products) and respiratory health in epidemiological surveys.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

Our department has hosted several international researchers on ERS Fellowships and on Inserm funding for postdoc program. Besides scientific aspects, our mentoring plan includes advice on publications and presentations, training for grant applications, and guidance to improve management, teaching and mentoring skills. All postdoctoral researchers in our host center (CESP) also have the opportunity to participate to a new mentoring program (started in 2019) designed to support early-career researchers in their professional development. In addition, incoming postdoc fellows will be offered to attend seminars given by the Paris-Saclay University (, the “Public Health and Epidemiology Summer School” (, or the thematic School of the “Air Quality Research Network Paris Region” ( Scientific seminars are also offered by Inserm ( Opportunities for career development include access to all the scientific and technical training sessions offered by Inserm, available in the Inserm newsletter received weekly by all staff

HR Excellence in Research – EU award