• Place de la Comédie Montpellier

    A BioHealth research program selected by the French Ministry of Research and Education in the framework of the "Laboratoires d'Excellence" initiative.

    EpiGenMed wants to foster the best BioHealth basic and clinical research and to encourage interdisciplinary projects. The EpiGenMed project was selected by the French Ministry of Research and Education in the framework of the national "Investments for the Future" program in 2011. The project received 12 million euros in funding for a 10-year period, essentially devoted to science training through the recruitment of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and Chairs of Excellence.

    EpiGenMed involves 58 of the best research groups in Montpellier, implicated in five areas of research that cover Genome and Epigenome Dynamics, Cell cycle, Cell fate and Development, Infectious diseases and Immunology, Cell signalling and Neurobiology, Biophysics and Systems biology. It is hosted by the University of Montpellier and national science institutions and benefits from an excellent industrial environment

     

    Biological research is booming. If physics and informatics have changed our way of life in the 20th century, undoubtedly, during the 21st century, our lifestyle and medical care will be revolutionised by life sciences. Biology turned molecular in the 20th century, medicine will become it in the 21st. An explosion of data coming from genetics, genomics and epigenetics will give a new impetus to all life sciences, leading to important diagnostic and therapeutic breakthroughs that will improve public health exponentially. The future medical check-up will take into consideration also our genome and its products and a complete molecular balance will become part of routine analyses in probably less than a generation. This will revolutionise our knowledge, research, hospitals and patients' care.

    This merge of molecular biology, physiology and medicine demands a huge collaborative effort by scientists from different fields as well as interdisciplinary research. This is the new challenge and Montpellier is now at the forefront of this new way of doing research. This is one of the best places in Europe for BioHealth Research, with excellent basic research and university hospitals. Montpellier also has a strong industrial environment with large biotech companies and dynamic start-up firms in biomedical sciences.

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    EpiGenMed will nurture and increase BioHealth research in Montpellier through advanced PhD and Post-doctoral programs, as well as the awarding of Chairs of Excellence to promising junior scientists and internationally renowned senior scientists.

     

    The Labex EpiGenMed project, which was submitted by Giacomo Cavalli in response to the "Investments for the Future" call of the French Ministry of Research in 2011, was awarded a grant of 12 million Euros for the recruitment of PhD students, Post-doctoral fellows and Chairs of Excellence. It was the only multidisciplinary Labex project selected in the field of BioHealth Research.

     

    EpiGenMed gathers together 58 research groups and more than 500 scientists who cover 5 fields of research:

    • Genome and Epigenome Dynamics
    • Cell cycle, Cell fate and Development
    • Infection and Immunity
    • Integrating Systems in Neuroscience
    • Biophysics and Systems biology

     

    Several technical facilities for basic science, clinical and applied science as well as technology transfer services are supporting this Labex project. A BioHealth science communication program will be housed at Genopolys, a new building devoted to foster the relations between basic scientists, clinicians, industrials and lay people.

     

    The Labex EpiGenMed is directed by Marcel Méchali (Institute of Human Genetics, CNRS) with a Board of Directors for Scientific formation (Pierre-Emmanuel Milhiet, Center for Structural Biochemistry), Chairs of Excellence (Giacomo Cavalli, Institute of Human Genetics, CNRS), Communications and Clinical Relationship (Marc Piechaczyk, Institute of Molecular Genetics) and Translational Research (Jacques Mercier, University Hospital Center of Montpellier).

     

    The strategic governance relies on a Steering Board composed of the Board of Directors as well as the representatives of the institutions involved in the Labex, and on an International Advisory Committee that can provide recommendations.

     

    The Scientific Council includes the Board of Directors and six other members who represent the six scientific axis', the Director of the Science Doctoral School and a University representative. It is composed of: Marcel Méchali (Labex EpigenMed's Director, Board Labex), Giacomo Cavalli (Board Labex), Marc Piechaczyk (Board Labex), Pierre-Emmanuel Milhiet (Board Labex, Representative axis 5), Robert Feil (Representative axis 1), Simonetta Piatti (Representative axis 2), Monsef Benkirane (Representative axis 3), Laurent Fagni (Representative axis 4), Sofia Kossida (Director doctoral school CBS2) and Jacques Mercier (University of Montpellier's Vice-President in the field of research). The Scientific Council takes major decisions in all selection processes for the different Labex programs (PhD, Postdoc, Chair of Excellence, Labex Grants etc.).

     

    The EpiGenMed program illustrates and reinforces the dynamics and qualities of basic and clinical research and contributes to the international reputation of Montpellier in life sciences.

     

     Marcel Méchali

     

     

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Subcategories

  • Axis 1

     

    Axis 1: Genome and Epigenome

    Leaders: Robert Feil and Bernard De Massy

    Covalent modifications on the DNA and the proteins that organise the chromatin are stably maintained in specific cell lineages and tissues. These modifications together constitute the epigenome and modulate nuclear functions. This Axis explores genomic and epigenomic regulation and unravels their importance in cellular identity, development and human disease. It brings together twelve teams who investigate diverse biological functions, including chromosome compaction, DNA replication, meiotic recombination, DNA damage repair, gene expression and RNA processing.

     

    Article Count:
    16
  • Axis 2

     

    Axis 2: Cell Cycle, Cell Fate and Development

    Leaders: Simonetta Piatti and Martine Simonelig

    The obvious connections between cell cycle and tumour progression have been largely explored during the past 30 years, providing the bases for the design of effective therapeutic strategies. It is now becoming increasingly clear that regulation of the core cell cycle machinery has a key role also in cell differentiation and metazoan development.

    Besides responding to external stimuli, such as nutrition, cell cycle regulators can themselves influence metabolic processes, which makes them potential therapeutic targets also for metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes.

    Goal of this axis is to uncover the molecular mechanisms at the heart of cell cycle and development using a multidisciplinary and multitask approach, with the future perspective to identify new prognostic markers and potential therapeutic targets for the cure of cancer, developmental and metabolic diseases.

     

     

    Article Count:
    13
  • Axis 3

     

    Axis 3: Infection and Immunity

    Leaders: Monsef Benkirane and Naomi Taylor

     

    The goal of Infection and Immunity axis is to elucidate the intimate host-pathogen interactions occurring during the pathogen life cycle and to investigate unconventional pathways/approaches that will ultimately lead to optimal immune responses against invading pathogens. We aim at:

    1- Better understand the strategies used by pathogens to invade and to survive within organisms and cells; these include cell recognition, adherence of cell surfaces and intercellular bridging

    2- Unravel pathogen strategies for spreading throughout the organism

    3- Identify host defenses against pathogens with a particular emphasis on metabolic alterations

    4-Enhance adaptive and memory immune responses to pathogens, with a specific interest in clinically relevant cytokine therapies and strategies aimed at modulating antigen presenting cells (DC)

    5- Further the elucidation of host-pathogen molecular interactions to identify new vulnerabilities of the pathogen

    6- Characterize the variability of pathogen diversity and resistance in order to explore the possible functional consequences on the host genome

    Article Count:
    13
  • Axis 4

     

    Axis 4: Integrating Systems in Neuroscience

    Leaders: Laurent Fagni and Christian Hamel

     

    One of the most important challenge of this XXIst century will be the discovery of efficient therapies against neurological disorders. To this end, a reasonable strategy is to improve our understanding of sensory organs and brain functions and dysfunctions. We follow this strategy and focus on neurodegenerative diseases of genetic and epigenetic origin, with the objective to unravel the molecular and cellular substrates that are responsible for neuronal cell death. We use a multi-scale approach with genetic and cellular analyses, in animals and human. We will generate new transgenic animal models and bioactive molecules. Thus we believe that our work will contribute to the discovery of novel, customized and more efficient therapeutic treatments.

     

     

     

    Article Count:
    11
  • Axis 5

     

    Axis 5: Biophysics and Systems Biology

    Leaders: Pierre-Emmanuel Milhiet and Emmanuel Margeat

    Our main objectives are to characterize and better understand the physical mechanisms underlying bio-molecular function using multi-scale approaches, from individual molecules to the cell. We are using and developing ensemble and single molecule biophysics techniques as well as multi-scale modelling of the biological processes (systems biology) to take into account the stochasticity and complexity of biological functions. We are also developing multifunctional peptide-based systems for in vivo targeted-delivery of therapeutic molecules.

     

     

    Article Count:
    5

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