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 15 research structures, 2 technological platforms housed in the Institut Pasteur Pole “Biomics”, and 12 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 “Biomics”.
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.