Group leader IGH: Biologie des sequences repetees (Since 2009). DR1 INSERM (Since 2020)
Head of the IGH ‘Genome Dynamics’ Department (Since 2021)
DNA is stained in blue, telomeres replicated by the leading strand machinery are stained in red while telomeres replicated by the lagging strand machinery are stained in green. The arrow points to a telomere sister exchange, where leading and lagging strand telomeres have exchanged sequences by recombination. This phenomenon is active and underlies the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres pathway.
Chromosome Orientation FISH on metaphase spread of embryonic stem cells chromosomes
Repeated DNA accounts for the majority of mammalian genomes and usually assembles into a condensed structure termed heterochromatin. Heterochromatin contains only few cellular genes and is commonly perceived as refractory to most DNA transactions. Repetitiveness makes this fraction of the genome particularly difficult to study for geneticists because it is almost impossible to remove repeats and analyse phenotypical consequences. Moreover, repeats are difficult to map in the genome. My lab is focused on understanding the contributions of heterochromatin factors and DNA repeats to genome stability, gene expression and genome evolution.
Heterochromatin is viewed as a simple structure, regulated by the same actors, harboring common ‘epigenetic’ marks (Histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation and DNA methylation), and having a similar function: restricting DNA transactions to control gene expression and genome stability. Our efforts to characterize the protein composition of repeated loci suggest heterochromatin is more plastic than anticipated. In fact, a specific type of heterochromatin is forming at each of these loci. We need to understand this complexity, in particular at telomeres during early developmental stages, which seem to be maintained in a unique fashion, and at retrotransposons insertions.
• 2004 PhD, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France, Giacomo Cavalli's lab
• 2004-2009 Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA, Bob Kingston’s lab.
• 2009-2015 Appointed Junior Group Leader (INSERM CR1, permanent position) Research associate (CNRS CR, permanent position), IGH Montpellier, France.
• 2015-present Appointed Senior Group Leader (INSERM, DR2 permanent position), IGH Montpellier, France.
• Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), 2017
• Olga Sain award from La Ligue contre le Cancer comite de Paris, 2011
• RISE1 award from the Epigenesys Network of Excellence, 2011
• Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), 2010
• Laureate of an EMBO Long Term Fellowship 2005
Locus-specific chromatin isolation.
2020, Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol.
Telomeric Chromatin and TERRA.
2020, Mol Biol
Purification and enrichment of specific chromatin loci.
2020, Nat Methods