Jérôme Govin PhD Cell Biology - Biochemistry

Course and current status

• Since 2018: Team Leader (IAB, Grenoble, France). Translational Epigenetics.

• 2012 - 2017: Group Leader (BIG, Grenoble, France). Launch and develop an independant research program, on Epigenetics and Chromatin dynamics in Gametes.

• 2007-2011: Post Doctoral fellow (University of Pennsylvania, USA). Yeast spores as a new model to study sperm differentiation

• 2002-2006: Graduate student (University of Grenoble, France). Chromatin organization during sperm differentiation.

Scientific summary

The characterization of chromatin signaling pathways has been developing exponentially during the last decade. It is reaching a new level of maturity with the on-going clinical evaluation of  "epidrugs", molecules targeting epigenetic proteins. Yet many aspects of chromatin dynamics remain to be discovered to inspire new therapeutic strategies. We explore chromatin organization and signaling pathways to reveal new molecular mechanisms.  We aim to translate this knowledge into new therapeutic clinical applications.

Our research program is currently focused on two scientific aims. First, we decipher chromatin signaling pathways during yeast sporulation in S. cerevisiae. When deprived of nutrients, yeasts induce this specific differentiation program which starts by meiosis and form four spores. Yeast spores are highly differentiated cells with a thick protective spore wall. Their nucleus is very compacted and its volume is reduced by 90% of a normal nucleus. Despite this compaction, yeast spores rapidly germinate to return to growth upon addition of glucose. Our basic research program investigates the organization, composition and functionality of chromatin in spores.

In a second aim, we use this information to develop new therapeutic strategies for biomedical applications. We are currently working to improve the treatment of systemic fungal infections, responsible of the death of 1.5 million of patients each year. We are developing a new line of epidrugs to increase the therapeutic options available in the clinics.

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