The Institut Curie is a foundation of public interest, which combines the largest French cancer research center and two state-of-the-art hospitals. This hospital structure has pioneered many treatments and is a center of excellence for the treatment of breast cancer, pediatric tumors and ocular tumors. Besides, it disseminates medical and scientific innovations in France and abroad. Founded in 1909 on a model devised by Marie Curie and still at the cutting edge: “from fundamental research to innovative treatments”, the Institut Curie gathers together 3,000 researchers, physicians, clinicians, technicians and administrative staff.

Launched in March 2012, the DEEP Labex (Development, Epigenetics, Epigenetics and lifetime Potential) brings together two research units from the Institut Curie : the Nuclear Dynamics and Genome Plasticity Department and the Genetics and Developmental Biology Department. Funded for 8 years within the “Laboratory of Excellence” program, this project meets new scientific challenges with high potential impacts both intellectually and therapeutically. The DEEP Labex works in close association with its partners within the ENS and IDEX PSL (Excellence Paris-Sciences-Lettres Initiative).

A Center of Excellence in Developmental Biology and Epigenetics
The program of the DEEP Labex aims to dissect the mechanisms that govern the development of a complex organism to better address the issues associated with diseases. To this end, three fundamental research fields are developped: epigenesis, epigenetics and lifetime potential. A key additional goal is to communicate our knowledge, transmit and inform society of our findings and future therapeutic challenges.

State-of-the-art technologies
The research strategy is based on an intense collaboration of teams with complementary expertise in developmental biology, epigenetics and stem cell biology. This core team will be enriched with new expertise through training and recruitment. From yeast to human, our researchers explore and deepen the concepts of epigenesis and epigenetics at different scales, from the molecule in a single cell to the analysis of tissue morphogenesis or the study of whole organisms. The DEEP project will integrate new approaches and advanced technologies through the development of new platforms (NanoString, Synthetic Genetic Array), the optimization of its own equipment (imaging facility) and the implementation of quantitative methods for multiscale image analysis associated with “omics” technologies.

A bet on the future
The DEEP Labex is a bet on the future: recruitment, training and career development for young researchers is therefore a priority. The DEEP project includes strong support for the implementation of courses and workshops for PhD students together with the training unit of the Institut Curie. Besides, an ambitious junior / senior international post-doctoral program has been launched.

The DEEP Laboratory of Excellence is an original project of scientific collaboration involving training, technology and innovation for biomedical research.

Some benchmarks

• Head of the project: Edith Heard (Dir. UMR 3215) and Geneviève Almouzni (Dir. UMR 3664)
• Financing “Investments for the Future”: € 7.2 million for 8 years
• Launched: March 2012
• 14 research teams