French partners

APHP - Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris


Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) is the public hospital system of the city of Paris and its suburbs. It provides healthcare, teaching, research, prevention, education and emergency medical service in 52 branches of medicine; it employs more than 92 000 people (practitioners and administrative staff) in 44 hospitals.  It is the largest hospital system in Europe and the most important group of hospitals in France, including numerous expert centers with international reputations.

Among those, the Department Rehabilitation of Cochin Hospital and the Department of Rheumatology of Saint‐Antoine Hospital will be involved in the project. Each of them is linked to a translational research unit at the INSERM Research Center and to the University of Paris’ colleges of medicine. Both departments are renowned for their respective expertise and have conducted several clinical trials in RA, osteoarthritis and low back pain and are investigators for national cohorts in RA and AS.


Team composition


Prof. François RANNOU, MD PhD


Is Head of the Department of Rehabilitation  of AP-HP’s Cochin Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University Paris Descartes and team leader of the team 2 of INSERM U1124 “Pharmacology, toxicology, and molecular biology of intervertebral disc and chondrocyte”. 

In basic research, he tries to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which mechanical stress activate gene expression in intervertebral disc cells leading to intervertebral disc degeneration. 

His clinical research is mainly focused on low back pain, creating or adapting some scales to evaluate impairment, disability and handicap in patients. He just described a new low back pain patient phenotype named “The active discopathy”. 

He is conducting several clinical trials as principal investigator devoted to pharmacological and non-pharmacological modalities in osteoarthritis and low back pain.



Prof. Francis BERENBAUM, MD PhD


Is Head of the Department of Rheumatology of   AP-HP’s Saint-Antoine hospital, Professor of Rheumatology at Pierre & Marie Curie University Paris VI and Team leader on “Age-related joint diseases and metabolism”.

He leads an experimental team at INSERM institute (UMR-S938). 

He is a former president of OARSI (Osteoarthritis Research Society International) in 2008-2010 and is President of the French Society of Rheumatology. 

Dr Berenbaum's basic research interests include the understanding of relationships between metabolic diseases and OA. His clinical research focuses on hand OA and on new targeted therapies for treating symptoms and structural changes in OA.





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