The Team
  • Researchers

    Didier DEVYS

    Laszlo TORA

    Stéphane VINCENT

  • Post-Doctoral Fellows

    Gizem CALISKAN


  • PhD Students

    Véronique FISCHER

    Vincent HISLER


    Fang WANG

  • Engineers & Technicians

    Elisabeth SCHEER

    Matthieu STIERLE

Development and stem cells

Dynamics of chromatin structure and transcription regulation

Over the past years our lab has identified and characterized a large number of metazoan nuclear transcription factors. These regulatory proteins include RNA polymerase II initiation factors and co-activators that often form large multi-subunit complexes at promoter DNA to mediate transcription initiation and/or modify the epigenetic landscape of the genome. Our studies demonstrate that large co-activator complexes play a critical role in mediating general and cell type specific transcription as well as chromatin-regulatory processes. Our main research interest is to study the nature of the molecular machineries and mechanisms that control how specific protein coding genes are turned on and off in the nucleus of a given cell, during growth, differentiation and development, and how does disruption of this highly regulated process lead to various disease states We use biochemical, genetic, cell biology, imaging and structural approaches to study the control of gene expression, genome stability and chromatin architecture in different eukaryotic organisms (yeast, mouse and human). Our current and planned activities aim to better understand regulatory processes in different cellular systems under physiological conditions and also during the development of intact vertebrate organisms.

  • Current projects

    1. Study of TFIID and different chromatin modifying complexes during differentiation and development
    2. Study the assembly and dynamic action of transcription complexes in regulation of gene expression
    3. Study the regulation of histone H2B monoubiquitination and its role in cellular homeostasis
    4. Study the role of mRNA export complex in chromatin architecture and genome stability

    Using a combination of fluorescence microscopy, antibody labelling, GFP (green fluorescent protein) tracking, ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation), single molecule RNA FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization), we have started to analyse the mechanisms that regulate transcription at a higher resolution. Furthermore, to answer our questions, we use a wide combination of biochemistry based assays: protein immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry assays, genome-wide gene expression studies (RNA-seq) and transcription factor occupancy studies (ChIP-seq), 4-TU based nascent transcript measurements, but also yeast and mouse genetics and several other imaging techniques (FRAP, FCS, STED, 3D-SIM, spt-PALM).

  • Collaborations

    - Dr. Marc H.T.M. Timmers, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands, TAF-TFIID project
    - Dr. Iannis Talianidis, BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH CENTER, Alexander Fleming, Athens, Greece, TFIID project
    - Dr. Ferenc Müller, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham; UK, TAF-TBP like project,
    - Dr. Sophia Georgieva, Institute of Gene Biology, Moscow, Russia, mRNA export project
    - Dr. Cheng-Fu Kao, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, International common ANR project histone H2B deubiquitination
    - Dr. Graham Wright, Institute of Medical Biology, Singapore, Super resolution imaging, TFIID, SAGA and ATAC project
    - Drs. Yves Mely and Pascal Didier, UdS, Laboratoire Biophotonique et des interactions moleculaires, Illkirch, France, Super resolution imaging, TFIID, SAGA and ATAC project
    - Dr. Etienne Weiss, ESBS UdS, Illkirch, France, Dynamic visualization of nuclear transcription factors
    - Dr. Robert Schneider, IGBMC, Illkirch, France, analyzing novel acetylation sites in the chromatin
    - Dr. Patrick Schultz; IGBMC, Illkirch, France, EM structure of TFIID and ATAC complexes   
    - Dr. Imre Berger, EMBL, Grenoble, structure of TFIID and ATAC complexes


  • Prizes/Awards

    • Laszlo TORA - ERC Advanced Grant - European Research Council - 2013
    • Laszlo TORA - Etancelin Grand Prize - Institut de France de l'Académie des Sciences - 2011
    • Laszlo TORA - Scientific Prize - Helmholtz Humboldt Research - 2005
    • Laszlo TORA - Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) - European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) - 2001
    • Laszlo TORA - Silver Medal - CNRS - 2001
  • News

  • Publications

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  • Job opportunities

  • Alumni

    Former PhD students:

    • Xavier Jacq,1992-1997, thesis: 14.10.1997.
      Drug Discovery, Project and Team Management, VP Biology at Almac Discovery, Cambridge, UK
    • Anne Bertolotti, 1993-1998, thesis: 20.04.1998
      Programme Leader, at MRC LMB and CSO, CamPhos, Cambridge, Royaume-Uni, Cambridge, UK
    • Jean-Christophe Dantonel, 1995-1999, thesis: 17. 12. 1999
      Health and Biotechnologies Director at Governement Agency, Paris, France
    • Marjorie Brand, 1996-2001, thesis: 20.2.2001.
      Group Leader at Sprott Center for Stem Cell Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
    • Doris Kirschner, 1997-2001, thesis: 14.03.2001.
      Responsable BOOSTER – Genopole, Évry, Île-de-France, France
    • Claire Leurent, 1998-2002, thesis 13.12.2002.
      Managing Director at Samsung Ventures, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
    • Màté Demény, 2001-2006, thesis: 31.05.2006.
      Research associate at University of Debrecen, Hungary
    • Sara Hardy, 2001-2005, thesis: 24.06.2005.
      Ingénieure en Bioinformatique - Chercheure en Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Auzeville-Tolosane, Midi-Pyrénées, France
    • Flavie Robert, 2001-2005, thesis: 15.06.2005.
      Chimiste, spécialiste en biotechnologie pharmaceutique,
      Co-fondatrice de Bokoloko (épicerie sans emballage), Vevey, Switzerland
    • Adrien Eberlin, 2002-2008, thesis: 09.11.2007,
      Chef de Projet Oncologie (MSD France), Alsace, France
    • Laure Jobert, 2003-2009, thesis: 28.11.2007
      Staff Scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Oslo, Norway,
    • Emese Gazdag, 2004-2009, thesis: 24.11.2008
      Post-doc at Department of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA
    • Arnaud Krebs, 2006-2010, thesis 21.09.2010
      Group-leader at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
    • Guillaume Lang, 2006-2011, thesis: 20.09.2011. PhD in Molecular Biology, Strasbourg, Alsace France.
    • Jacques Bonnet, 2007-2013, thesis: 16.03.2013
      Post-doc with Jürg Müller at MPI of Biochemistry, Martinsried, München, Germany
    • Anne Riss, 2007-2012, thesis: 16.09.2012.
      Technical Support Scientist for the UK/Nordics area at Merck Millipore, Molsheim, France
    • Akos Gyenis, 2008-2013, thesis: 16.12.2012.
      Researcher and laboratory supervisor at the institute of CECAD at University of Cologne, Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • Sarina Ravens, 2010-2014, thesis: 1.12. 2014.
      Junior Group Leader at Institut of Immunology, Hannover Medical School, Germany.
    • Nikolas Vosnakis, 2010-2014, thesis 16.12.2014.
      Post-doc with Jane Skok, at NYU Langone Medical Center, NY, USA
    • Tiago Baptista, 2013-2017, thesis 25. 09. 2017.
      Post-doc with Catarina Homem, at CEDOC – Chronic Diseases Research Center, Lisbon, Portugal
    • Federica Evangelista, 2014-2018, thesis 19. 12. 2017
      Journal development specialist in the Open Access journal “Frontiers” in Lausanne.
    • Paul Bardot, 2014-2018, Ph.D. student, thesis 28. 06. 2018.
      Medical Advisor assistant at Novartis, in Paris, France
    • Changwei Yu, 2015-2018, thesis 13. 12. 2018
      Post-doc (from 01. 09. 2019) with Julius Brennecke, IMBA, Vienna BioCenter, Vienna, Austria.


    Former Post-docs:

    • Veronika Dubrovskaya, 1993-1995
      Research Associate, Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, Bronx, NY, USA.
    • Elzbieta Wieczorek, 1995-1997
      Project leader at Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland.
    • Brendan Bell, 1997-2002
      Associate professor and Director of Microbiology graduate studies at University of Sherbrooke, Canada
    • Lorant Lakatos, 1999-2001
      Principal Investigator at Biological Reseach Center, Szeged, Hungary;
    • William Mohan, 1999-2003
      Scientists at Health Canada, Ontario, Canada
    • Elmar vom Baur, 2001-2002
      Director, Development Project Manager at Molecular Partners AG, Zurich, Switzerland
    • Evi Soutoglou, 2001-2003
      Group Leader at IGBMC, Illkirch, France
    • Mattia Frontini, 2001-2006
      BHF Senior Basic Science Research Fellow at Cambridge Cardiovascular, Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, UK.
    • Nathalie Matter, 2002-2003
      Science Manager, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe, Germany
    • Traci Hilton, 2003-2006
      Principle Investigtor at UbiVac, LLC, Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Zita Nagy, 2004-2008
      Junior Project manager chez Grand E-nov, l'Agence Régionale d'Innovation du Grand Est, Strasbourg, Alsace, France
    • Anne Helmrich, 2006-2012
      Technical Support for Merck Millipore Life Science, Molsheim, France
    • Maria Elena Torres-Padilla, 2006-2008
      Director of Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH), Germany
    • Meritxell Orpinell, 2007-2010
      Project Manager at eResearchTechnology, Inc., Geneva, Switzerland
    • Krishanpal Karmodiya, 2008-2013
      Assistant Professor at Center of Excellence in Epigenetics, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India
    • Anamika Krishanpal, 2009-2013
      Technical Specialist and Genomics Team Leader at Labs, at Persistent Systems, Pune, India
    • Monica Ballarino, 2010-2012
      Associate Professor at Dept. of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin" Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
    • Eda Süer, 2012-2013
      Post-doctoral Researcher at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
    • David Umlauf, 2010-2013
      Maître de Conférences at Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
    • Marjorie Fournier, 2010-2014
      Research Scientist, Proteomics Specialist, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK,
    • Chen-Yi Wang, 2012-2014
      Postdoctoral Research Scientist, NDORMS, Medical Science Division, University of Oxford, UK
    • Ivanka Kamenova, 2014-2017
      Associate Editor at Nature Protocols, London, UK


    Former Visiting Professors:

    • Prof. Michael Poirier (6 moths in 2018) Department of Physics, Ohio State University, USA
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