CRMBM - UMR 7339

Center for Magnetic Resonance in Biology and Medicine

Directrice : Monique BERNARD - Chef du service CEMEREM : Maxime GUYE

Faculté de Médecine
27 Boulevard Jean Moulin
13385 Marseille CEDEX 05

The The Center for Magnetic Resonance (MR) in Biology and Medicine (CRMBM) conducts translational research by developing and applying MR methods and instruments (RM) to explore the morphology, metabolism and physiology of human diseases and associated animal models (rodents). With the support of methodological and engineering teams, our research teams aim at (i) better characterizing healthy and pathological states of the central nervous, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems and (ii) defining new diagnostic and/or therapeutic strategies.

Research is conducted on state-of-the-art MR scanners for rodents at CRMBM (Horizontal 4.7T, vertical 11.75T, and horizontal 7T Bruker systems) and for humans at CEMEREM, the clinical site of CRMBM (Timone University Hospital), equipped with 3 clinical Siemens MR scanners (1.5T, 3T and the first 7T whole-body MR scanner in France).

Pictures from the CRMBM laboratory

Research teams

Among the CRMBM teams, two work on the nervous system. However, only Professor Ranjeva’s team, located at the CEMEREM and working on the human central nervous system, is affiliated to the neuroscience master’s program and can thus train neuroscience master’s students.

Human Central Nervous System (Jean-Philippe Ranjeva)

Exploring the Human Central Nervous System

In close collaboration with clinical departments of Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM, Marseille public university hospital system), our CNS team provides innovative non-invasive in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) parameters and post-processing tools for better understanding the pathophysiology, structural abnormalities and dysfunction accompanying or causing neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and spinal cord injury. Collaborative projects also focus on Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia.

We develop new MR parameters oriented on clinical questions :

  • we quantify ionic exchange dysfunction using 23Na-MRI
  • we map brain network organization using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG)/resting state functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion weighted tractography
  • we observe CNS plasticity or metabolic dysfunction using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS and 1H MRSI)
  • we study structural, microstructural and microvascular CNS abnormalities using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetization transfer imaging (MTI), susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), arterial spin labeling (ASL), and dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI.

Post-processing pipelines are also developed or adapted to extract these parameters and contribute to addressing clinical questions.


Jean-Philippe Ranjeva, Maxime Guye, Virginie Callot, Wafaa Zaaraoui, Sylviane Confort-Gouny, Jean Pelletier, Bertrand Audoin, Guillaume Duhamel, Olivier Girard, Elisabeth Soulier, Marie-Pierre Ranjeva, Soraya Gherib, Françoise Reuter, Audrey Rico, Pierre Lehman, Marc Bydder, Pierre Besson, Aurélien Massire, Adil Maarouf, Catherine Faget, Ben Ridley, Jonathan Wirsich, Manuel Taso, Maxime Donadieu , Henitsoa Rasoanandrianina. Total : 7 HDR.

Research axes

  • Structure-function relationships within networks in the healthy brain and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy
  • Multimodal MR imaging of the spinal cord
  • Defining new in vivo MR biomarkers at ultra-high field (7T) for CNS pathologies


  • Brain imaging and stimulation – Man (fMRI, TMS, Multimodal MRI…)
  • Psychophysical tests
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Brain imaging – Animal
  • Post-processing of medical images


magnetic resonance imaging, human, brain, spinal cord, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cognition, Alzheimer’s disease, connectivity, microstructure, metabolism

Disorders of the nervous system - Human cognition and behavior - Novel methods and technology development

Magnetic resonance of rodent models of brain pathologies (Angèle Viola)

The overall purpose of the research undertaken in our team is to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms of selected brain pathologies on murine models developed in the lab and obtained via collaborations with external research units. We use a multimodal approach combining state-of-the art MRI/MRS methods with biochemistry and histology methods. In vivo MRI and MRS permit longitudinal studies of the same subject and offer versatile approaches for defining the structural, functional and metabolic alterations associated with CNS pathologies. These studies have a translational potential since they provide the opportunity of comparative investigations in humans and models. Our preclinical studies aim at identifying structural, functional and metabolic markers associated with pathogenesis that could translate into clinical studies, and be used to assess disease progression and evaluate new therapeutic strategies.

Our studies are intended to increase fundamental knowledge on disease pathogenesis by improving the characterization of :

  1. structural and microstructural alterations (anatomical MRI, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), relaxometry),
  2. inflammation dynamics (MRI with contrast agent injection, vascular permeability quantitative MRI),
  3. hemodynamic dysfunctions (MR angiography, perfusion MRI),
  4. metabolic dysfunctions (1H-MRS, 31P-MRS, metabolic imaging),
  5. metabolic profiles by ex vivo NMR for the study of relations between genotype, disease development and metabolic phenotype.


Angèle Viola, Adriana-Teodora Perles-Barbacaru, Emilie Pecchi, Isabelle Varlet, Nathalie Cuge. Total : 1 HDR.

Research axes

  1. Characterization of murine models of human diseases (mainly models of multiple sclerosis, cerebral malaria, ischemia).
  2. Pre-clinical evaluation of new therapeutic strategies
  3. Development of MRI/MRS techniques, and image analysis methods in collaboration with physicists and image processing experts of our laboratory.


  • Brain imaging – Animal
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Histology


MRI, MRS, murine models, brain, neurometabolism, inflammation, myelin, models of multiple sclerosis, experimental cerebral malaria, infectious diseases

This team is not affiliated to the Neuroscience Master’s

Animal cognition and behavior - Disorders of the nervous system
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