The result of a genuinely interdisciplinary approach, the meeting of geochemists from the Lyon Geological Laboratory and Lyon health actors brings new light on diseases involving the metabolism of metals through the study of their stable isotopes.

Metals are central to normal cellular function and their metabolic deregulation is very often associated with several diseases, such as hemochromatosis, neurodegenerative diseases and even cancers.

Chemical elements, including metals, are a mix of stable isotopes that geochemists have used for decades to understand how the Earth and planets work. The study of changes in the proportions of stable isotopes makes it possible to quantify the flow of matter between terrestrial reservoirs. It is this formalism that has been transposed to the study of the human body and diseases.


Several studies have already shown the value of this translational approach, in particular for diagnostic and prognostic purposes (Wilson’s disease, osteoporosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancers), but also for understanding pathological mechanistic (hemochromatosis, HIV, Type 2 diabetes).

Determined to encourage original research at the crossroads of several disciplines, the Bullukian Foundation has been supporting these studies conducted by Vincent Balter for several years.

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