Frédéric Laumonnier PhD Human Genetics and Physiopathology

Course and current status

Current Position: CR1 Inserm, Inserm Unit 930 "Imaging and Brain", Tours, France

- Since April 2007     INSERM researcher,  UMR « Imaging and Brain » INSERM U930, Team "Neurogenetics and neurometabolomics", Tours (France)

Scientific topic : genetic and neuronal networks involved in cognitive dysfunction ; autism ; intellectual disability ; neurobiology


- 2005-2007      Research Associate, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Team « Genes to Cognition », Hinxton (United Kingdom)

Scientific topic : Functional analysis of the dynamics of postsynaptic proteins belonging to the PSD complex linked to the NMDA receptor ; Live cell imaging ; FRAP.


- 2001-2004       PhD student in Human Genetics and Physiopatholgy, INSERM U619, Tours, France .

Scientific topic : Identification of genes involved in autistic disorder and mental retardation ; glutamate synapse ; X-linked intellectual disability ; channelopathy

Fellowship from Fondation Orange and Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale 

Scientific summary

Genetic and molecular networks involved in autism and intellectual disabilities.

My research work carried out during my Ph.D (2001-2004) led to the characterization of the first mutations associated with intellectual disability and autism, involving the SOX3, NLGN4X, PHF8 and KCNMA1 genes, which encode proteins for synapse function and transcriptional processes. These findings suggested that autism and intellectual disability could share, at least partly, common genes and biological pathways (NMDA receptor complex) although these conditions have a distinct definition.

Thereafter I moved in Seth Grant’s lab (team Genes to Cognition) at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Hinxton, UK) to study the dynamics of proteins of the postsynaptic density complex using Live cell imaging approaches (FRAP).

I am currently a researcher at INSERM  in the Research Institute U930 "Imaging and Brain" where I'm leading a group working on the identification and the functional analysis of genes involved in neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders, mostly intellectual disabilites and autism.

I have been involved in an european FP7 project (Genetic and epigenetic networks in cognitive dysfunction) ( that followed a systems biology approach integrating a series of disciplines, with a focus on the genetic bases of intellectual disabilties and autism, to reveal the common molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to cognitive impairment. The overall concept was to: (1) Identify novel genes involved in cognitive disorders (CD); (2) Elucidate associated molecular networks that are commonly disrupted in CD; and (3) Identify genetic modifiers and small compounds that are able to modulate the disease phenotype. 

My research projects follow this translational approach by directly interacting with the departments of Clinical genetics and Child Psychiatry of the University Hospital of Tours. 

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