Vision & Ambition

The Indo-French associated international laboratory on "Systems Immunology and Genetics of the Infectious Diseases  (LIA SIGID) has been created in November 14th, 2012 by French CNRS and Indian DBT to integrate multidisciplinary teams in India and France including clinicians, immunologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, mathematicians dedicated to the study of Immunology and Genetics of infectious diseases with a particular focus on Malaria, Filariasis and Leishmaniasis, three of the most prevalent parasitic diseases in India affecting millions of individuals per year.

SIGID is a  "laboratory without walls"  resulting from a long and fruitful collaboration between research teams  from joint research units from CNRS with Inserm, Institut Pasteur of Lille, Pierre and Marie Curie University and Lille  University in France and from DBT laboratories in India and TIFR. SIGID includes also two clinical centres, the SCB medical College and the ISPAT general Hospital.

the International Associated Laboratory SIGID (system immunology and genetics of infectious diseases have been Malaria, Filariasis and Leishmaniasis are complex diseases that results from infection by a parasite transmitted through bites of infected insects. They involve the interaction of several integrated biological systems: a virulent pathogen with a susceptible host in an environment favourable to disease development. They exhibit a gradient of multifaceted disease phenotypes with both genetics and immunological complex controls. In addition, they are affected by multiple environmental factors including changes in ecological, meteorological conditions, urbanisation, socioeconomic factors, agricultural and cultural practices. Thus, the interaction between a pathogen and its host cannot be regarded as simple interplay. Using both reductionist and systems approaches together with advanced high throughput technologies, advanced bio-informatics and mathematical modelling, SIGID aims to implement an integrated approach based to address the numerous interconnected aspects of infection and disease in Malaria, Filariasis and Leishmaniasis with environmental factors by combining technological, clinical and fundamental studies.

Knowledge gain from the emergent properties of the immune system during infectious diseases would be of a paramount importance and could lead to potential breakthrough in the design of more effective therapies and in the development of new generation of vaccines.

SIGID may promote excellence in fostering and integrating multidisciplinary ongoing research on infectious diseases in India and in France through a network where ideas are conceived to allow the development of new approaches to understand the complexity and combat infectious diseases. Its also offers a unique opportunity of collaboration in the field of infectious diseases between INSERM, CNRS, UPMC Lille 2 University, DBT research institutes, TIFR and key clinical centres. Most of all, SIGID should facilitate a translational research by promoting an efficient collaboration between basic research and applications.

In addition to the research network, SIGID members are setting up an Indo-French integrated International Master and PhD program with Pierre and Marie Curie and Lille Universities, and IISER Pune on the topic of “Systems Immunology and Genetics of Infectious Diseases", coordinated by Prof. A. Six (UPMC, Paris) and Dr. L.S. Shashidhara (IISER Pune).


The SIGID objectives are to:

  • 1. Strengthen, structure of existed link and promote excellence in fostering and integrating multidisciplinary ongoing research on infectious diseases in India and in France;

  • 2. Reinforce the French and India competitiveness in the domain of infectious diseases and particularly parasitic diseases by facilitating a translational research and by promoting an efficient collaboration between basic & field researches and applications;

  • 3. Promote cross-training of scientists, engineers, technicians and students and  facilitate interactions between all SIGID members on the basis of mutual interests and and mutual benefit by transnational exchanges of scientists, engineers, technicians, PhD students and post doctoral fellows and by the organization of workshops and seminars;

  • 4. Create with the French universities participating to SIGID with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune a joint International Master and PhD Program for the training of additional students in the fields of systems immunology and genetics of infectious diseases.

​The SIGID Consortium

The research programme synergizes interactions between different disciplines through a multidisciplinary consortium. The project will combine technological developments and detailed generic clinical, cellular and molecular studies on infected patients manifesting different disease phenotypes and/or on experimental models.



Coordinators :

In France

Dr. Sylviane Pied, Centre for Infection and Immunity of Lille (CIIL), CNRS UMR 8204-Inserm 1019, University of Lille Nord of France, Institut Pasteur de Lille.

In India:

Dr. Ravidran Balachandran, Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Department of infectious diseases, Bhubaneswar.



In France

  1. Centre for Infection and Immunity of Lille (CIIL), Lille, Nord Pas de Calais.
    Participants: Dr. Sylviane Pied, PhD, DR CNRS, Team 4 "Basic and clinical Immunology in parasitic diseases" (BCIP), CNRS UMR 8204-Inserm 1019, Lille University, Institut Pasteur de Lille.
  2. Immunology-Immunopathology-Immunotherapy (I3), Paris, Ile de France.
    Participants: Prof. Adrien Six, UPMC; Prof. Pierre-André Cazenave UPMC, Institut Pasteur Paris, Team "Integrative Immunology" (i2), UPMC/Inserm UMRS 959, CNRS FR3632,  Sorbonne Universités.
  3. Neurosciences Paris Seine (NPS) Paris, Ile de France.
    Participants: Dr. Arndt Benecke, PhD, CR CNRS, Systems epigenomics group, CNRS UMR8246, UPMC UM119, INSERM UMRS1130, Sorbonne Universités.

In India

  1. Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
    Participants: Dr. Balachandran Ravindran, Director,
    Department of infectious diseases.
  2. National Centre of Cell Sciences (NCCS), Pune, Maharastra.
    Participants: Dr. Shekar Mande, Director, Structural Biology; Dr Girdhari Lal, Dr Prakash Deshpande, Dr Gyan C. Mishra, Infection and Immunity.
  3. National Institut of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, Delhi State.
    Participants: Dr. Chandrima Shaha, Director, Reproduction, Development & Cell Biology; Dr Soumen Basak, Immunity & Infection.
  4. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, Maharastra.
    Participants: Prof. Shobhona Sharma, Dr. Sulabha Pathak,
    Department of Biological Sciences.
  5. Ispat General Hospital (IGH), Rourkela, Orissa.
    Participants: Dr. Saroj Mishra, Director.
  6. Shri Ramachandra Bhanj Medical College (SCB), Cuttack, Orissa.
    Participants: Prof. Bidyut Das, Dr. Lity Mohanty, Department of Medicine 

Project Coordinators          

Sylviane PIED

PhD, Senior Scientist at CNRS, Head of the Team 4 BCIP, CNRS UMR 8204-Inserm 1019, Lille University & Institut Pasteur de Lille, France.


PhD, Director of the Institute of Life Science, Bhubaneswar, India.

Actions / Research Projects

The SIGID project is running research projects on different infectious diseases, as well as setting a teaching/training programme:


The SIGID project is currently supported by the following institutions or agencies: Cefipra, CNRS, DBT, Inserm, Université de Lille 1, Université de Lille 2, Université Pierre et Marie Curie.


Scientific, industrial and economic impacts

Altogether, results from investigations in these three parasitic diseases shall provide important insights into mechanisms underlying both pathogenesis and immunity. Moreover, this approach shall also lead to original idea and criteria for identifying new prognostic or diagnostic markers and targets for therapeutic intervention (drug or immunotherapeutic). This shall also help to develop better strategies of intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality due to parasite infection. It is vital such work be carried out in situations where the results may be rapidly applied to new immunotherapeutic approaches suitable for controlling parasitic disease and in a more extent other chronic infections.

Societal, legal & economic impact

The project should provide conceptual advances for the development of new therapeutics as well as rational development for disease control. In addition, the project shall generate new knowledge to underpin informed policy decisions on the efficiency and responsiveness of health care systems in India and more effective strategies in health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and therapy. Efficient monitoring, prevention and treatment of outbreaks, epidemics reduce economic losses due to inactivity, incapacitation and medical care. The success of the project relies on expertise and models that are unique to each of the team involved. Economic benefits are also expected.

We believe that the IAL will have a profound impact on the strengthened of existed link between France and India and will be a platform for new French, EU and Indian partners. The projects attempt to identify the most demanded objects in the field of Parasitic diseases. The skills and competences assembled within this collaboration will reinforce the French and India competitiveness in the domain of infectious diseases and particularly parasitic diseases. The identification of the drug target, a vaccination principle and an adjuvant are the most important objectives in the current state of infectious diseases.

History of SIGID creation

Our collaborations between Indian and French laboratories on the study of endemic infectious diseases in India have been established more than 20 years ago thanks to the support of CEFIPRA. The collaboration has started in the field of Immunology with our mentor, Prof. Pierre-André Cazenave with is strong involvement in the setting up of the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi in 1984. These collaborations have been extended these last 20 years thanks to several supports from CEFIPRA, INSERM-ICMR and CNRS. The major objective of the work done together focusses on the understanding of immune responses in malaria pathophysiology. The collaboration started with Dr. G.C. Mishra and Dr. P. Deshpande, NCCS Pune. Soon after, the network started growing with the participation of Prof. S. Sharma TIFR Mumbai, Dr. B. Ravindran ILS, Bhubaneswar, Prof. B. Das SCB Medical college Cuttack and recently with the inclusion of Dr. C. Shaha and Dr. S. Basak from NII, New delhi and Dr. S. Mande and Dr. G. Lala from NCCS, Pune.

A lot of knowledge has been accumulated to describe in detail elementary parts constituting the immune response in malaria and their properties by using reductionist approaches. However, in front of the complexity of these responses, it became necessary to extend our studies by an integrative research with new perspectives and in using advanced high throughput technologies and systems biology approaches to integrate and analyze the data at a large scale by including Dr. A. Benecke from CNRS and Prof. A. Six from Université Pierre and Marie Curie.