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Our research

The Joint Research Unit (UMR) SESSTIM is part of the Aix-Marseille University and remains to this day the only UMR in France outside the Ile-de-France region specialised in epidemiology, biostatistics, and human, economic and social sciences (SHES) in health which is accredited by Inserm and IRD. Furthermore, there is no equivalent scientific structure in these fields in the rest of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) region.

SESSTIM comprised three interdisciplinary teams in human, economic and social sciences (SHES) and public health focused on cancer-related applications (Team CaLIPSo), on infectious diseases and addictions (Team SanteRCom), and on medical information processing (Team QuanTIM).

Building on the previous achievements of UMR379 INSERM/University (1994-2027), of the former IRD UR002 (2001-2007), of the UMR SE4S INSERM/IRD/University (2008-2011) and the research unit LERTIM (1989-2011), since 2012 strives to promote a new research dynamic around the following scientific objectives:

  • To affirm and strengthen our position as one of the reference centers at the interface between the different research areas of human, economic and social sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics and informatics in health; 
  • to maintain and further develop our strong rooting in the disciplines which we work in and our proximity to biological, clinical, epidemiological and community research;
  • to be at the forefront of biomedical innovations, both in terms of methodology and social utility;
  • to contribute to the development of interdisciplinarity in the field of public health;
  • in order to produce research that can contribute to the development of predictive, personalized, pre-emptive and participatory medicine, especially in the field of cancer and infectious and communicable diseases.

These objectives are common to SESSTIM’s three teams which share cross-thematic themes, such as social inequalities in health, and performing studies in partnership with developing countries (mainly Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal). They are implemented in such a way as to constitute their own specific and complementary scientific lines of research, and benefit from the skills and expertise of members of other teams for scientific purposes or for specific research projects or for structural projects within the UMR.

In terms of research, SESSTIM is a partner in two research “superstructures” which were awarded funding following successful tenders for projects under the French government’s « Investissements d’Avenir » (“Investments for the Future”) programme: they are the University Hospital Institute (IHU) “Méditerranée Infection” and the LABEX Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE). SESSTIM is associated with Columbia Mailman School of Public Health (New York, USA) the International Associated Laboratory (LIA) Social Sciences, Health Policy and Public Health accredited by INSERM.