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. 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 consolidator Grant (2020)
  • Elisa Gomez-Perdiguero:  Paoletti prize (2015), ERC Starting Grant (2016), FSER laureate (2016)
  • Thomas Gregor: EMBO member (2019); NIH Grant (4DNucleome consortium, 2020)
  • Jerôme Gros:  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)
  • Ken McElreavey: International Visiting Professorship Award, ESPE (2020-2023)
  • Shahragim Tajbakhsh: René and Andrée Duquesne Prize (2020)
  • François Schweisguth: Therese Lebrasseur Prize (Fondation de France; 2019)

Recent recruitments:

  • Romain Levayer (from Bern University), recruited December 2016
  • Thomas Gregor (from Princeton University), recruited September 2017


  • 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 (www.revive.fr), has been awarded an extension by the French Government from 2020 until the end of 2024.
  • Dec 2019 – 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.





Featured Projects

Featured Publications



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