Genomes & Genetics


Didier Mazel

Deputy Director

Micheline Fromont-Racine



The Genomes and Genetics Department was formed in 2006, mainly from the teams of the Structure and Dynamics of Genomes Department led by Bernard Dujon.

The department has a staff of 170, working in 13 research structures, 4 technological platforms housed in the Institut Pasteur Genopole, and 6 associated research groups. The teams explore experimental and informatics approaches to determine the nature of genetic information in organisms of increasing complexity, ranging from bacteria and yeasts to humans.

Teams in the Genomes and Genetics Department work in 4 main areas:

  • Evolutionary genomics
  • The Three R’s (Recombination, Replication and Repair)
  • Functional and regulatory networks
  • Host–pathogen interactions

The teams use the full range of genomic and post-genomic approaches to study the various models that can be bacteria (chiefly tuberculosis bacilli, Streptococci, Vibrio, and Legionella), yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and Candida albicans) or human models. The different pathogenic and model organisms are studied in depth with the aim of understanding how they live and what determines their pathogenic potential. Yeasts are studied, both for their own sake and as archetypes to facilitate our understanding of human genetics.

The department is also investigating the evolution of infectious agents and the selective pressures they have exerted on human genes over time.

The progress of these different research programs benefits greatly from developments in new sequencing and genotyping techniques which we are closely involved in given our links with the Institut Pasteur Genopole.

The Genomes and Genetics Department is also developing major in silico approaches in biological system modeling and bioinformatics analysis in addition to its own research projects and providing support to the Institut Pasteur’s various research structures in conjunction with the CIB.

The department was led by Antoine Danchin between 2006 and 2009.



Next Seminar

Natural and synthetic genome instabilities in yeast and human cells: from mechanisms to gene therapy
Guy-Franck RICHARD
IP, Paris
Amphithéâtre Jacques Monod, sous-sol bâtiment Jacques Monod – jeudi 10 novembre 2016 11:00

Contact: Didier Mazel (

Engineering yeast to brew antibiotics
Thomas ELLIS
Centre for Synthetic Biology and Department of Bioengineering
Imperial College London, UK
Amphithéâtre Jacques Monod, sous-sol bâtiment Jacques Monod – jeudi 24 novembre 2016 11:00

Contact: Didier Mazel (



  • Cnrs-Q

Featured Publications


The zinc cluster proteins: a fungal family of transcriptional regulators with functions ranging from carbon metabolism to drug resistance
Dept of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montréal Québec
-en année sabbatique dans l’Unité Génétique des Interactions Macromoléculaires-

Research in my lab focuses on a family of transcriptional regulators that are called zinc cluster proteins. Members of this family are only found in fungi (or amoeba) and possess the well-conserved motif CysX2CysX6CysX5-12CysX2CysX6-8Cys. The cysteine residues bind to two zinc atoms, which coordinate folding of the domain involved in DNA recogition. The best known member of this family is probably Gal4, a transcriptional activator involved in galactose metabolism in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Zinc cluster proteins function in a wide range of processes including metabolism, stress response, meiosis, and drug resistance. In budding yeast, we have characterized a number of zinc cluster proteins that are involved in controlling non fermentable carbon utilization through a complex regulatory network. More recently, we have extended our studies of this family of transcription factors to Candida glabrata, an important human fungal pathogen. Results show that a number of zinc cluster proteins modulate drug resistance in this pathogen

Amphithéâtre Jacques Monod, sous-sol bâtiment Jacques Monod – jeudi 15 septembre 2016 11:00

Contact: Alain Jacquier (