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Developmental biology first made its appearance at Institut Pasteur when François Jacob, François Gros and their colleagues extended their pioneering work on mRNA in bacteria to gene regulation in eukaryotic systems. This led to the introduction of mouse genetics and embryology and to work on differentiating cells in culture, at the time within the Molecular Biology Department. The Department of Developmental Biology was then created in 2001, and became the Department of Developmental & Stem Cell Biology (DSCB) in 2014 to recognize the advent of stem cell research in the context of living organisms, with the support of Labex REVIVE. The Department of Developmental & Stem Cell Biology aims at generating mechanistic insights into the fields of developmental biology, epigenetics and stem cell biology with relevance to human health. The research teams focus their attention in three main directions:

  • the regulation of gene expression and epigenetics: using a wide range of methods – molecular, genome-wide, single-gene, imaging-based, computational, etc. -, we study the core mechanisms whereby the (epi)genome responds to and transmits information through mitosis and generations at the cellular and organismal levels as well as during stress;
  • morphogenesis and cell fate transitions: with different cell and animal models (including C. elegans, fly, fish, avian, murine embryos, human cells, and -oids), we investigate the rules governing development in embryos and adults;
  • stem cell biology: we explore how adult stem cells are generated and how they contribute to tissue maintenance and regeneration, in healthy conditions but also in ageing organisms and in pathological perturbations such as tumors or infections.

The Department of Developmental & Stem Cell Biology is directed by Laure Bally-Cuif. Departmental retreat May 2022 – Île d’Oléron


  • Dec 2020 – Congratulations to Germano Cecere, Head of the G5 “Mechanisms of Epigenetic Inheritance”, who was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project “Somatic and Germline Mechanisms of Small RNA Inheritance”.


  • Dec 2019 – Congratulations to Jérôme Gros, Head of the Dynamic Regulation of Morphogenesis Unit, who was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project “MechanoSelfFate” (Role of Tissue Mechanics in Embryonic Self-Organization and Cell Fate Plasticity).


  • 2019 – The department strongly encourages public outreach to promote science. Congratulations to Germano Cecere on the publication of the children’s book “L’incroyable aventure de la génétique” (more info here)

  • 2019 – The LABEX REVIVE, Stem Cells in Regenerative Biology and Medicine (, has been awarded an extension by the French Government from 2020 until the end of 2024.


Associated teams


Recent disctinctions

  • Laure Bally-Cuif: François Jacob Award (2019), ERC Synergy Grant (2022), elected member of the French Academy of Sciences (2022)
  • Anu Bashamboo: Henning-Andersen Award (2019)
  • Thibaut Brunet: ERC Starting Grant (2022), SBCF Young Researcher Award (2022)
  • Germano Cecere: ERC Consolidator Grant (2020), Prix Pasteur Vallery-Radot (2022)
  • Thomas Gregor: EMBO member (2019), NIH Grant (4DNucleome consortium, 2020)
  • Jerôme Gros: ERC Consolidator Grant (2019), Prix Pasteur Vallery-Radot (2021)
  • Romain Levayer: FSER laureate (2019), ERC Consolidator Grant (2023)
  • Ken McElreavey: International Visiting Professorship Award, ESPE (2020-2023)
  • Shahragim Tajbakhsh: René and Andrée Duquesne Prize (2020), ERC Advanced Grant (2022)
  • François Schweisguth: Therese Lebrasseur Prize (Fondation de France, 2019)
  • Léo Valon: SBCF Young Researcher Award (2021)


Featured Projects

Featured Publications


Pictures & Media

Presentation of the history of our department and its main research axes by Etienne Appert (2022)



Doriane Thouvenot Department of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Tel: +33 1 4438 9239/  Email: Institut Pasteur 25 rue du Dr. Roux, F-75015, Paris.