Institute for digestive tract diseases
Repair medicine
Regenerative Medicine
Tools for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine

Organization activities:

Created in 2005, the Institute for digestive tract diseases (IMAD) gathers, around and in Nantes University Hospital, liver, digestive tract and nutrition diseases specialists with more than 350 physicians, surgeons, healthcare and research personnel, researchers,  professors and students.


2 care services (Nantes UNiversity Hospital) :

  • The service dedicated to hepato-gastroenterology and nutritional assistance (Dr Jérôme Gournay)
  • The Clinic for digestive and endocrine surgery (Pr Eric Mirallie)

3 biomedical research units:

  • The UMR Inserm 1235 unit dedicated to de Neuro-gastroenterology (Dr Michel Neunlist)
  • The INRA 1280 unit interested in Nutrition Physiology (Pr Dominique Darmaun)
  • The Centre for clinical investigation specialised in “Gastro-Nutrition”, (Inserm / Nantes University Hospital, Pr Arnaud Bourreille)


The teams work in close collaboration pediatric et neonatology of Nantes University Hospital.

Thèmes de recherche de l’UMR Inserm 1235 « Enteric Neuropathologies and digestives diseases» of the « IMAD »  institute :


Created in 2003, the Inserm 1235 unit is a French leader in the study of the digestive and nervous system involvement in chronic digestive diseases (Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome) and extra-intestinal (Obesity, Parkinson).

Integrated within the IMAD institute, the unit develops projects of basic, translational and therapeutic research.


Our research is currently composed of seven topics centered around two main axes which cover the major areas of research in neuro-gastroenterology:



1)    Neuronal-glial-epithelial unit (NGEU) in inflammatory pathologies and digestive cancers

  1. NGEU dysfunctions in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)
  2. Interactions between NGEU and digestive immune system
  3. Nerve stimulation of the NGEU and chronic IBD
  4. NGEU dysfunctions and involvement in irritable bowel syndrome and motor pathologies
  5. NGEU dysfunctions and involvement in digestive cancers



2)    NGEU during growth and aging (neurodegenerative diseases)

  1. Role of NGEU in physiological and pathological post-natal growth of gut
  2. NGEU dysfunctions and involvement in neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease)


Research unit leader: Michel Neunlist –