Montpellier Institute of Molecular Genetics (IGMM)
The Montpellier Institute of Molecular Genetics (UMR 5535; CNRS/University of Montpellier) is an institute for advanced studies in life sciences with applications in human health. 230 people from 27 nations work at IGMM and 50% of group leaders come from outside of France. The Institute is composed of 18 teams, 6 support and logistic services and 6 technological platforms. IGMM, which was founded in 1993, is located on the “Route de Mende” CNRS campus, in close proximity to the University of Montpellier. The site hosts two additional partner institutes in Life Sciences (CRBM and IRIM) and a CNRS/University service unit (CEMIPAI), with the 600 individuals in the 3 institutes sharing core facilities and scientific programmes. In the near future, the campus will also welcome the Pole Balard, gathering all of Montpellier’s chemistry research institutes (a workforce of 700 people) in a single structure.
Research objectives and scientific production
The overall scientific aim of IGMM is to conduct high quality fundamental research in molecular and cellular medicine with a clear ambition of developing novel biotherapies and diagnostic tools. This is made possible by translational research collaborations with clinicians and several partnerships with industry. The main focus of IGMM’s research is Cancer Biology, which encompasses a wide range of studies in RNA biology, Genetics/Epigenetics, Immunology, Virology and Biotherapies. Many of our groups develop projects involving ≥ 2 of these themes, highlighting the pluridisciplinarity of IGMM’s scientific strategies in cancer biology.
Since 2010, IGMM scientist have published >380 articles, including manuscripts in journals such as Cell, Nature, and Nature Genetics. IGMM publications are of high impact with 5265 citations for these recent publications.
Facilities and platforms
To achieve its scientific objectives, IGMM relies on 6 internal support and logistic services, 4 core services that are shared with its neighboring partner institutes and various cutting-edge technological platforms that are organized on a Montpellier-wide level (UMS BioCampus). IGMM has set up and manages 6 such platforms accessible to all other institutes: (i) Cytometry/cell sorting, (ii) DNA Combing, (iii) Animal house, (iv) ES cell production, (v) Montpellier Genomic Collection (with CRBM) and (vi) Adenoviral Vector Production.
Valorisation and collaborations
IGMM scientists are involved in extensive international and national collaborations, resulting in co-authored articles and joint grants. They have organized and participated in EU FP7 networks including Networks of Excellence and International Training Networks. Two of IGMM current group leaders have ERC funding and two others benefit from an NIH programme project grant. Moreover, 45 and 49 have been funded by National Cancer Agencies (INCa and ITMO Cancer) and the French National Funding Agency (ANR), respectively, over the past 10 years. Finally, 8 IGMM groups have been distinguished as teams of the French National League against Cancer and the French Foundation for Medical Research while 11 groups are members of National Laboratories of Excellence (Labex).
IGMM is at the origin of three start-up biotech companies. Our first start-up, Splicos, was created in 2008. It was recently at the forefront of a merger to create a global leader in therapeutic vaccines, Abivax. Strong links that we maintain with Abivax are highlighted by the creation of our CNRS/UM/Abivax collaborative laboratory (Abivax Therapeutics), supported by the French Public Investment Bank (BPI). Two other industrial start-ups were created in 2011, Metafora Biosystems and Prestizia, with the latter acquired by Theradiag and both start-ups expanding beyond IGMM to pursue the development of innovative diagnostics.