The CRCL, Cancer Research Centre

Basic research is focused on understanding basic biological mechanisms leading to cancers.

This research takes place in the Cancer Research Centre of Lyon (CRCL), located in the Centre Léon Bérard.

The Cancer Research Center of Lyon (CRCL) is a centre of Excellence in research on cancer biology affiliated with the national health and research bodies (Inserm and CNRS), the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, the Léon Bérard Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CLB) and the Lyon University Hospitals (HCL) as clinical partners. Managed by Alain Puisieux and Charles Dumontet, the CRCL was created in 2011. Its mission has been extended by the national authorities for 2016-2020.

The CRCL in figures

22 teams of which 17 on the campus of the Centre Léon Bérard.

420 persons of whom 130 on the campus of the Centre Léon Bérard.

3 sites located nearby at the Lyon east Cluster: the Centre Léon Bérard (Cheney A and Cheney D buildings), Inserm buildings on the Cours Albert Thomas and at the Medicine and Rockfeller University, 1 site within the Hospital in the South of Lyon.


One major objective: to support the development of a strong translational research to rapidly give the benefit of breakthrough in basic research to patients.

3 scientific departments focusing on primary research axes:

  • Signaling of tumoral escape: Director: Patrick Mehlen, Deputy: Laurent Bartholin
  •  Cancer Cell plasticity: Director: Alain Puisieux, Deputy: Mathieu Gabut
  •  Immunity, Virus, Inflammation: Co-management: Christophe Caux and Fabien Zoulim

The CRCL teams lay on cutting edge technical equipment (cytometry and cell sorting platform, imaging platform, laboratory L3, Tumour Model Laboratory, mutualized technological platforms on the Lyon East hub and shared services (administration unit, launderette…) to support them in their projects.

According to the assessment of their projects the Research, teams benefit also from financial supports from charity associations (e.g. foundation ARC, the French Ligue against cancer, foundation Synergie Lyon cancer, foundation for medical research, foundation of France…), national funding agencies (INCa, ANR, ANRS), CLARA Canceropôle or Lyon Biopôle centre of excellence, investment programs or else, industrial partners or Europe.

The CRCL is also strongly supported by the fund raisings organized by the Centre Léon Bérard.

Of note, the CRCL develops numerous international partnerships, especially for young researchers and set up twinning and exchanges throughout the year to welcome foreign students within its structure or to propose internships in laboratories all over the world to Lyon students.

Did you know?

The creation of the CRCL is one of the founding elements to the set-up of two new cancer research structures on the Lyon East hub, following 2 national calls for proposals:

  • The laboratory of excellence “DECweCAN” (Director: Patrick Mehlen), following the national call for projects “Investissement d'Avenir”

  • The “LYRIC” project (Director: Jean-Yves Blay), a project that was successfully evaluated following the call for proposal SIRIC (Integrated Cancer Reseach Cluster) from the 2nd cancer plan of the INCa in 2010.

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