The Genetics and Developmental Biology Department (or Unit) of the Institut Curie was inaugurated in October 2008, with the support of CNRS and Inserm and in partnership with University Paris 6 (UPMC). The Unit currently consists of nine internationally competitive research teams.
The goal of this Unit is based on the simple, but fundamental, concept that an understanding of normal developmental regulation should provide us with a better understanding of the basis of human pathology. During development, cells have to integrate different types of molecular and physical information to proliferate, and to make decisions such as whether to maintain pluripotency or trigger differentiation and acquire specialisation for tissue-specific functions.
Cancerisation can result from perturbations at each of these levels and is linked to misregulation of developmental signalling pathways, uncontrolled cellular proliferation and a loss of cellular identity.