Public health

Cluster of Excellence HEADS

 (HEAlth Determinants in Societies )

Cohort on student health i-Share

Santé© Fotolia


Objective: accelerating innovation in research and the organization of healthcare systems by promoting and supporting multi-disciplinary brainstorming and research.

Under the leadership of Pascal Ragouet.

HEADS is designed as an integrative program, accelerator of innovations in research and health care systems organization.

To address the following challenge: systematically revisit and update the social determinants of health, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach to health.

Taking strength from the University of Bordeaux’s specialists in various academic domains and areas of expertise, breaking barriers between health and social sciences, HEADS seeks to generate and promote research excellence characterized by a new way of approaching research objects and questions.

Thus HEADS is to meet two watchwords: transversality and internationalization in research and training regarding health.



Lise Monneraud
Project manager


4 research projects launched on the loss of autonomy in old age, the impact of medication regulation, successful schooling, and psychosocial risks in the workplace 4 theses produced (health law, psychology, and political science)
2 editions of the Bordeaux International School of Population Health Sciences (BISPHS) 3 internationally renowned speakers giving talks on crucial issues for the future (the economic and social determinants of health, mental health categorization, and occupational stress)
Pascal Ragouet, professeur des universités et chercheur titulaire au Centre Émile Durkheim© Pascal Ragouet

Interdisciplinarity helps to take account of the complexity of the subjects on which we are working. To allow dialog between disciplines, their representatives firstly need to listen, exchange, and become aware of the mutual benefits to be drawn for their own work. HEADS can and must contribute to the development of structures within the Bordeaux site which will promote real interdisciplinary dialog on the relationships between health and society. And, since disciplinary traditions vary from one country to another and health systems are not organized in the same way, it is important that this interdisciplinarity be rooted in a comparative approach and that we intensify our exchanges with foreign colleagues.

Pascal Ragouet,
University Professor and Research Fellow at the Émile Durkheim Center

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Allen Frances in BordeauxAllen Frances in Bordeaux

In order to create an inclusive research community in Bordeaux focused on the links between health and society, the HEADS emerging program offers a series of scientific seminars led by internationally renowned researchers specializing in this field. One of the most prominent was the lecture given on November 26, 2014 by American psychiatrist Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University. This researcher is best known for chairing the think-tank that produced the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), a reference work published in 1994, characterizing and classifying all known mental disorders. He is also at the vanguard of the critiques of the subsequent version of this manual (DSM-5), a highly controversial update, due to the extension of the list of pathologies to disorders until then considered as...


Objective: collecting, analyzing and exploiting the results of a study conducted with 30,000 students over a period of 10 years, to improve understanding of their current health issues and determine the impact of their current habits on their future health.

Under the leadership of Christophe Tzourio.

The i-Share project, which won the Investissements for the Future scheme in 2011, is led by the University of Bordeaux, in collaboration with the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en–Yvelines. Solely requiring online participation, the i-Share project is known as an e-cohort, using the Internet and social networks.

Eight main fields of research are covered:

  • mental health (anxiety, stress, depression, etc.
  • migraine
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • high-risk conducts and behaviors (alcohol, drugs, etc.
  • sleep
  • nutrition
  • physical exercise
  • the workings of the brain

Researchers, doctors, psychologists, sociologists and statisticians collaborate on this vast research platform. The analysis of the data collected will enable them to identify the main health trends throughout life.

Clic to download the PDF presentation.


Centre INSERM U897
Université de Bordeaux
Bât Isped - Case 11
146 rue Leo Saignat
33076 Bordeaux Cedex

Elena Milesi
Project manager
Communication and international promotion
Tel : 05 47 30 42 25

30.000 students 10 year study 8 main fields of research

Pr. Christophe Tzourio, neuroépidémiologiste à Bordeaux et responsable de l’étude i-Share© Goussard-I Share

The i-Share cohort came to be because there is little information on the health of young adults. By monitoring their health over a 10-year period, i-Share will provide better understanding of their health status and its determinants, and make it possible to track its development over time. This platform will also allow targeted research projects to be set up. 

Christophe Tzourio,
Professor neuroepidemiologist in Bordeaux and in charge of the i-Share study

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The brain MRI projects conducted with the cohortReconstruction of tracts of white matter via diffusion MRI - © i-ShareThe brain MRI projects conducted with the cohort

The study of brain maturation and, in particular, that of brain reserve which is related to cognitive capacities and, in old age, to Alzheimer’s disease, is a major i-Share project. This year, the University of Bordeaux acquired a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla MRI system, partly funded by i-Share, to carry out 2,000 MRI scans on i-Share participants over a period of 18 months. «It is now recognized that the brain reserve develops in early adulthood and that higher education is a known protective factor against brain aging. These MRI scans will enable us, inter alia, to examine the link between higher education, social/psychological/genetic factors and brain maturation», explains Pr. Christophe Tzourio, neuroepidemiologist in Bordeaux and in charge of the study. «We will also study the impact of stress and depression on brain areas such...