In order to structure collaboration between two reputable research teams or laboratories (one in France and the other abroad) with existing joint publications, the creation of an International Associated Laboratory (LIA), a “laboratory without walls”, then became a necessity.  With formalized contractual memorandums between the heads of both organizations, these two partners embarked on a progressive course with distinct provisions covering issues such as intellectual property rights. Additionally, human resources and materials were underlined as a pooled entity to accomplish the project. The relationship also outlines the need for teams or laboratories associated through an LIA to retain their separate autonomy, status, director and location. Simply put, the LIA activities are coordinated by two co-principal investigators and a cohesive scientific steering committee with definite boundaries and specified goals.

In May 2015, an application was made by Taylor’s University (TU - Malaysia) and University Toulouse
- Jean Jaurès (UT2J - France) to establish an LIA under the auspice of CNRS (the French National Scientific Research Organization). In December 2015 a positive response was received from CNRS to support LIA for a period of four years (2016-2019).  LIA is coordinated jointly during the four years’ period by; -

- Professor Dr. Jean-Pierre Poulain (to link the name with the CV), a Sociologist (UT2J; ISTHIA; CERTOP), and

- Emeritus Professor Dr. Mohd Ismail Noor (to link the name with the CV), a Nutritionist (TU; CRI-FNPH; CRiT).


LIA was officially launched in Taylor’s University, Malaysia, on the 20th October 2016 with the presence of:

  • The Malaysian minister of health Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam;
  • Professor Michael Driscoll, Vice Chancellor and President of Taylor’s University;
  • Professor Gilbert De Terssac, Director of Research Emeritus, Founder of CERTOP, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS);
  • Mr. Jean-Pierre Galland, Cultural and Cooperation Consular, Embassy of France;
  • Professor Pascal Marty, Directeur Adjoint INSHS, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS);
  • Professor Dr. Pradeep Kumar Nair, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Taylor’s University;
  • Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Dean of School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts;
  • Professor Dr. Jean-Pierre Poulain, Head of Chair of Food Studies: Food, Cultures and Health; Co-Director of TTUC & LIA-CNRS;
  • Emeritus Professor Dr. Mohamed Ismail, Co-Director of TTUC & LIA-CNRS;
  • Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Visweswaran Navaratnam, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Post Graduate, Research Management and Innovation, and Enterprise Data Management;
  • Professor Dato’ Dr. Muhammad Jantan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, of University Science Malaysia.

From left to right: Professor Dato’ Dr. Muhammad Jantan, Professor Pascal Marty, Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Visweswaran Navaratnam, Mr. Jean-Pierre Galland, Professor Dr. Pradeep Kumar Nair, Professor Michael Driscoll, Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam, Professor Dr. Jean-Pierre Poulain, Professor Gilbert De Terssac, Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Emeritus Professor Dr. Mohamed Ismail.


The French National Scientific Research Organization, or CNRS, is a public organization under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Education and Research.

The National Centre for Scientific Research is one of the largest research institutions in the world. It is Internationally recognized for the excellence of its scientific work, the CNRS is a reference in the world of research and development as well as for the general public.

For more information, please visit the CNRS website,


With its humble roots beginning in 2008, Taylor’s University (TU - Malaysia) and University Toulouse - Jean Jaurès (UT2J - France) established a centre named: “Taylor’s Toulouse University Centre” (TTUC). Both chancellors of respective universities and a conscientious board of 14 members (seven representatives from each institution including the CERTOP UMR - CNRS 5044) oversee this centre and meet annually, alternating between Kuala Lumpur and Toulouse.

The management of TTUC is entrusted to the deans of School of Hospitality Management, Tourism & Culinary Arts (TCHT) and Toulouse School of Tourism, Hospitality Management and Food Studies (ISTHIA). The recent five years alone observed a rapid growth with TU. While the research activities were listed high up on TU’s agenda, simultaneously, vast emphasis was also laid on research in TTUC.

In 2012, the creation of a chair position entitled: “Chair of Food Studies: Food, Cultures and Health” was proposed by TTUC Board and subsequently, validated by the decision bodies of the two universities.

Primarily, the mission of the Chair is to foster research in the frame of Centre for Research and Innovation in Tourism (CRiT), Cluster for Research Initiative in Food, Nutrition and Public Health (CRI-FNPH) and “Santal” axis (Santé Alimentation) of CERTOP UMR-CNRS 5044.

Under the Chair of Food Studies


The TTUC scientific cooperation policy addresses the needs and opportunities of an interconnected world. The
objectives of the research activities cooperation are to:

  • Carry out research in Food, Cultures and Health under the auspices of the “Chair of Food Studies: Food, Cultures and Health”;
  • Secure national and international research grants;
  • Develop joint research programmes in the fields of food studies, tourism development, hotel and food system organization, cultural aspects of tourism and food in Asia;
  • Organise annual research seminars in the field of food studies;
  • Publish scientific papers related to the research programmes;
  • Disseminate research findings and analyses.

For more information, please visit the website,


Encompasses 2 main research programs:

  • Impact of socio-technological contexts on food practices », a European-Asian mirrored study through the use of two experimental platforms,
  • Dynamic and modernized dimensions of food patterns in developing multi-ethnic societies». Relying on macro-sociological data collected by the MFB, a study of the consequences of changing food practices on public health (obesity and non-communicable diseases) and food cultures patrimonialization is currently being carried out.


It will be complemented by an attempt to assess the specific challenges related to a multidisciplinary study on human eating behaviours.

The main objective of LIA is to pool expertise, facilities and material resources to carry out a scientific project to study the links between diet and health from the perspective of Euro-Asian populations. Initially the two focus areas of research are: strengthening the network of “Food Barometers" in Asia and the establishment of “Experimental Restaurants” to study the eating behaviour, based on standardized protocols both in Toulouse, France and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

After several years of educational and scientific cooperation with Taylor’s University, the establishment of this LIA marks another milestone of partnership and scientific research between the two universities. It extends and amplifies the work developed under the Chair of Food Studies of TTUC.

For more information, please visit