IGBMC resulted from the fusion of two Strasbourg laboratories, the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Eukaryotes (LGME) and the Structural Biology Laboratory, led respectively by Pierre Chambon and Dino Moras. The Institute was built in 1990 with the support of the CNRS, Inserm, University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg and the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers-Squibb, on the Parc d'Innovation d’Illkirch site, a competitive centre dedicated to scientific research and biotechnologies.
Since its inauguration in 1994, researchers at the IGBMC are recognized for the excellence of their results on the international scientific scene. Under the direction of Pierre Chambon (1994-2002), the research conducted by the teams mainly addressed the question of the regulation of gene expression. From 2002 to 2009, the Institute was co-directed by Jean-Louis Mandel and Dino Moras, who developed the human genetics and structural biology axes. Then it has been led from 2009 to 2012 by Olivier Pourquié, specialist in the development of muscles and vertebrae, and from 2012 to 2013 by Brigitte Kieffer, whose research on opioid receptors is internationally acclaimed. Since January 2014, Bertrand Séraphin and Yann Hérault have been appointed respectively Director and Deputy Director of the IGBMC. The domains of investigation carried out by the Institute range from developmental biology to integrative structural biology, via functional genomics, cancer, translational medicine and neurogenetics.