DNA is fundamental for life, but we are more than our DNA! In order to function, this molecule must be condensed in the cell nucleus, where it is contained. This condensed state is called chromatin, and the condensation of long chromatin polymers results in the formation of chromosomes. Chromosomes must produce the building blocks of life and ensure their own duplication during cell division in order to propagate life to our progeny.
Fundamental chromosomal processes, such as the regulation of gene expression, depend on the inheritance through cell division of three-dimensional chromosomal structures, rather than of the DNA sequence alone. Therefore chromatin should be considered the true hereditary template in eukaryotes. The goal of our research is to dissect the regulation of development genes by two classes of chromosomal factors called Polycomb Group and trithorax group proteins.
Our laboratory is at the Institute of Human Genetics, a major research center of the French CNRS research agency, The Institute is dedicated to excellence in fundamental research and pathology. The principal research interests of the IGH are genome dynamics and epigenetics, developmental genetics, and molecular and cellular pathology. We have an excellent infrastructure with state of the art facilities in genomics, imaging and proteomics, a large animal house for Drosophila and mouse, a very well furnished reagent store and in house services like image publication assistance, informatics, bioinformatics and web support. This makes the institute very attractive in itself. Moreover, Montpellier is a major biology area with a focus on basic research, biomedicine, plant biology and environmental science. Its science drive, the beauty of the region and its high quality of life make of it an ideal destination for scientists from all over the world.
Specialties: Chromosome biology, developmental biology, cancer biology, epigenetics, genomics