Labex EPIGENMED Montpellier, France

From genome and epigenome to molecular medicine

LABEX EpiGenMed

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), Translational Research (Jacques Mercier, University Hospital Center of Montpellier) and Valorisation (Jean-Philippe Pin, Institute of Functional Genomics).

 

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), Jean-Philippe Pin (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), Michel Desarménien (Director PhD 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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