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Institute of Human Genetics

CNRS – UMR 9002

141 rue de la Cardonille

34396 Montpellier cedex 5


Monsef Benkirane


The Institute of Human Genetics (Institut de Génétique Humaine, IGH) is a joint research unit CNRSUniversité de Montpellier (UMR 9002)  dedicated to excellence in fundamental research and study of pathologies. The principal research interests of the IGH are genome dynamics, developmental genetics, epigenetics, and molecular and cellular pathology.

Around 250 staff and student researchers work at the IGH in 22 research groups.
One of the major research areas is genome dynamics and epigenetic control. The main research fields are DNA replication and genome integrity, recombination and meiosis, the retrotransposition and its control, chromatin and nuclear dynamics, the control of gene expression and RNA silencing.

Developmental genetics is another important research area. Exploiting a combination of model animal systems including Drosophila and transgenic mice, research themes include cell cycle control of microtubule dynamics, gonadal development, RNA regulation, neurogenetics, memory and circadian regulation.

The third research objective at the IGH is to extend this research toward the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This work concerns DNA metabolism, epigenetics and signaling in cancer, molecular basis of myogenesis, immunity, inflammatory pathologies, AIDS, neuronal degeneration and cellular therapies particularly the analysis of stem cell biology and viral vectorology.

The IGH has an active student training program and many graduate students and post-docs work in IGH research groups. Fully endowed with state of the art scientific equipment, the IGH generates an excellent scientific environment for high quality and intensive scientific life.

  • Molecular bases of human pathologies
  • Genome dynamics
  • Genetics and development

The Institute is equipped with up-to-date material for developmental, molecular and cell biology and biochemistry. In addition, it has developed and maintains cutting edge facilities as well as important infrastructure to promote the most efficient and effective research. These include two bio-safety L3 laboratories, mouse, Drosophila and Xenopus facilities, a large imaging centre. This facility, called MRI – IGH, has an instrumentation park worth more than 3,000,000 €, including 3 confocal microscopes, ten top-level epifluorescence microscopes and a super-resolution fluorescence microscope that puts this facility at the absolute forefront in fluorescence imaging in France and in Europe. Finally, the IGH hosts IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system.

Several of the laboratories of the IGH have filed patents, including the Méchali, Benkirane, Déjardin and Pasero/Moreaux groups. Teams at IGH have active collaborations with research institutes in Montpellier, in France and abroad.