The LAI was founded by Pierre Bongrand in 1994 in the Hospitals of Marseille with the pioneering idea to develop integrated research at the interface between medicine and physics.

Pursuing this spirit, the LAI is a multidisciplinary research unit composed of investigators with backgrounds in physics, biology and medicine, supported by French national institute of health (INSERM), physics (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille University. Its aim is to adapt physical concepts and methodologies to achieve a quantitative understanding of cell function, notably cell adhesion and migration in the immune system, with the goal of applying the results of our fundamental research to relevant clinical problems.

The LAI has two locations in Marseille, one in the scientific campus of Luminy in the Calanques National Park and one at the Timone hospital in the city center. The main research activity is based at Luminy, whereas La Timone hosts the developments of transfer to medicine.

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