Pr Jerome Honnorat

Neuro-oncology department

The neuro-oncology department is interested in the management of brain tumors and the neurological complications of systemic cancers. It is also the National Reference Center for paraneoplastic neurological syndromes and autoimmune encephalitis.


Projects / Research Theme

Professor Jérôme Honnorat is head of the neuro-oncology department at the Pierre Wertheimer Hospital since 2011, and in 2012 became head of the Lyon Neurological Hospital’s medical pole activity, which includes the neurology, neurosurgery and intensive care departments.

He is also director of the “Synaptopathies and Autoantibodies” (SynatAc) team at the NeuroMyoGene Institute (UMR INSERM U1314, CNRS 5284, University Claude Bernard Lyon1), whose main research objective is to get a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neuronal and synaptic dysfunctions characterizing neuropsychiatric diseases. In particular, they study the pathophysiology of two groups of rare diseases: autoimmune encephalitis (EA) and paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS).

Prof. Honnorat heads the French Reference Center for Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndromes (PNS) and Autoimmune Encephalitis (AE), which role is to diagnose and treat patients suffering from PNS and AE, thanks to the identification of antineuronal antibodies specific to these conditions in patients’ blood or cerebrospinal fluid. The Reference Center has developed over 20 diagnostic tests for these diseases in 6 years, and receives over 10,000 serum or CSF samples for testing every year.

Prof. Honnorat is the coordinator of the RHU BETPSY, funded with 7.3 million euros by the PIA (Programme d’investissement d’avenir), which aims to improve the diagnosis and management of patients suffering from autoimmune encephalitis and/or paraneoplastic neurological syndromes, by identifying new biomarkers and their signaling pathways, developing diagnostic tools and studying the mechanisms of these diseases in collaboration with the SynatAc team at MeLiS.


Research focus

– Identification of new biomarkers

– Characterization of autoimmune encephalitis and paraneoplastic neurological syndromes

– Genetic biomarkers and HLA haplotyping

– Identification of immune cell biomarkers using animal models

– Characterization of tumor genetic alterations and identification of mechanisms of immune tolerance breakdown



  • Allemagne (University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein/Charité Berlin/Klinik für Epileptologie)
  • Espagne (HC Marbella/University Clinic Hospital of Barcelona & Universitat de Barcelona)
  • France (Institut Cochin)
  • Hollande (Erasmus University Medical center)
  • Italie (Udine University Hospital)
  • Lituanie (Vilnius university)
  • Norvège (University of Bergen)
  • Royaume Uni (University of Oxford)
  • Suède (Karolinska Institutet)
  • Suisse (University of Zurich)
  • USA (Mayo Clinic Miami/Mayo Clinic Clairemont/Johns Hopkins University/UT Health McGoven Medical School/USCF / Biohub/Stanford University of medecine/Yale University)