Developmental biology first made its appearance in the Pasteur Institute when François Jacob and François Gros with their colleagues became interested in extending their pioneering work on messenger RNA 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. Initially these and other research groups were part of the Molecular Biology Department in the Jacques Monod building, which opened at the end of the 1960s, after the award of the Nobel prize to Jacob, Monod and Lwoff. The Department of Developmental Biology was then created in 2001. Its name was changed into the Department of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology in 2014 to recognize the advent of stem cell research in the context of living organisms with the support from the Labex REVIVE.
Today research in the Department converges on three main poles of interest. One concerns the regulation of gene expression, ranging from molecular studies on transcription factors to epigenomics. The other focusses on cell lineages, cell fate and cell behaviour in the embryo, with an interest on morphogenesis and organogenesis. A third pole of interest concerns the biology of stem cells, particularly in the context of tissue regeneration and disease modeling.
Various model organisms (mouse, zebrafish, chick, quail, fly, nematode, sea anemona) are used. Precise information about research activities is given under each Unit or Group.
Recent distinctions :
- Laure Bally-Cuif: EMBO member (2016), French National Academy of Medicine prize (2016), CNRS Silver Medal (2017), Academia Europaea (2018), François Jacob Award (2019)
- Anu Bashamboo: Academy of Sciences Prize for research on reproduction (2018), Henning-Andersen Award (2019)
- Germano Cecere: ERC Starting Grant (2015)
- Elisa Gomez-Perdiguero: Paoletti prize (2015), ERC Starting Grant (2016), FSER laureate (2016)
- Thomas Gregor: EMBO member (2019)
- Jerôme Gros: FSER laureate (2015), EMBO Young Investigator Programme (2016), ERC Consolidator Grant (2019)
- Romain Levayer: ERC starting Grant (2017), French Cell Biology young researcher’s prize (2018), FSER laureate (2019)
- Sigolène Meilhac: Prix Pasteur Vallery-Radot (2018)
- Pablo Navarro: FSER laureate (2016), ERC consolidator Grant (2017)
- François Schweisguth: C.-L. Mayer prize (2015), Therese Lebrasseur Prize (Fondation de France; 2019)
Recent recruitments :
- Pauline Spéder (from Cambridge, UK) recruited May 2015
- Elisa Gomez Perdiguero (from King’s College, London) recruited April 2015
- Germano Cecere (from Columbia University), recruited September 2015
- Laure Bally-Cuif (from NeuroPSI Institute, Gif-sur-Yvette), recruited September 2016
- Romain Levayer (from Bern University), recruited December 2016
- Thomas Gregor (from Princeton University), recruited September 2017
- Congratulations to Jérôme Gros, Head of the Dynamic Regulation of Morphogenesis Unit, who was awarded the 2019 ERC Consolidator Grant for his project “MechanoSelfFate” (Role of Tissue Mechanics in Embryonic Self-Organization and Cell Fate Plasticity).
- 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” https://www.nathan.fr/catalogue/fiche-produit.asp?ean13=9782092578056
- The LABEX REVIVE, Stem Cells in Regenerative Biology and Medicine (www.revive.fr), has been awarded an extension by the French Government from 2020 until the end of 2024.
- Another successful joint poster session with the Institut Curie, Developmental Biology and Cancer Department took place on the 3rd December 2019. A total of 33 posters were presented at the meeting as part of an ongoing series of events facilitate collaborations between the Institut Curie and Institut Pasteur.