• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 6 12 52 08 15
  • Location : Paris, France
Last update 2013-11-25 23:01:35.245

Françoise CLERGET-DARPOUX Ph.D. Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics

Course and current status

Emeritus Research Director with the French National Institute of Medical and Health Research (INSERM), 
INSERM U781 (head: A. Munnich),  "Genetics and Embryology of Congenital Malformations" team (S. Lyonnet). Hopital Necker Enfants Malades,  Paris-Descartes University, Paris, France

Past positions

Jan. 2010 – Aug 2011: Directeur de Recherches de Classe Exceptionnelle
INSERM U669 (head: B. Falissard), "integrative Epidemiology Genetics and Multifactorial Human Diseases" team (P. Broët).

Jan. 2000 – Dec 2009Head of INSERM U535
 "Genetic Epidemiology and Human Population structures", Paris-Sud University , Villejuif, France

Jul 1982 – Dec 1999 : Permanent position at INSERM: Research Scientist in 1982,  Research Director in 1986
INSERM U155, "Genetic Epidemiology" (head: J. Feingold), Paris, France

Sep. 1980 – Jul. 1982: Post-doctoral at NIMH
National Institute of Mental Health, Psychiatric Genetics dpt, Bethesda, USA (head: E. Gershon)


M.Sc.  in Mathematics (1970) and  Ph.D. in Genetics  (1980)

Research areas

Etiology of human diseases. Mapping of human genome. Study of genetic risk factors in multifactorial diseases. Development of analytical methods. Application to auto-immune and neuro-psychiatric diseases.

Genetic study of monogenic and multifactorial diseases in consanguineous populations, in founder populations.

Professional Experiences

  • Research networks : coordinator of a national network on Alzheimer's disease ; coordinator of a network between France and Tunisia on celiac disease ; partner of an national network on the genetics of Multiple Sclerosis; partner of a European network on the genetics of celiac disease ; partner of a European network on the genetics of cardiomyopathy.
  • Teaching : responsible fo the genetic epidemiology teaching of Paris XI University ; training workshops in France, Italy and Tunisia; external examiner for the Master of Science "Genetic Epidemiology", University of Sheffield, UK.
  • Scientific societies : International Genetic Epidemiology Society (President in 1998), European Society of Human Genetics (Scientific Committee) ; Association for Research on Multiple Sclerosis (Scientific Committee).
  • Advisory board : INSERM, Genetic Analysis Workshop (USA), Max Plank Institute (Germany).
  • Editorial board : Human Heredity (Editor since January 2013); Genetic Epidemiology (Editor, 1998);  European Journal of Human Genetics (Associate Editor, 2008-2012); Annals of Human Genetics; International Journal of Human Genetics; Genes Brain and Behaviour,



  • Leadership Award of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (1998)
  • Beauperthuy prize from the French “Académie des Sciences” (2008)
  • Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur


PHD Students

Marie-Hélène Dizier
Research scientist (CR1) at INSERM, Genetic Variation and Human Diseases Lab (U946), Paris.

Patricia Margaritte Jeannin
Computer scientist at INSERM, Genetic Variation and Human Diseases Lab (U946), Paris.

Marion Leboyer
Professor of Psychiatry at the faculty of the University of Paris East, France.

Emmanuelle Génin
Research director at INSERM U1078, Génétique, Génomique Fonctionnelle et Biotechnologies, CHU Morvan, Brest.

Dominique Campion
Praticien-Hospitalier en Psychiatrie au Centre Hospitalier du Rouvray.
INSERM 614 « Génétique du cancer et des maladies neuropsychiatriques »

Catherine Bourgain
Research scientist at CERMES (Centre de Recherche Médecine, Sciences, Santé, Santé mentale, Société)

Sophie Tézenas du Montcel
Médecin de santé publique- Département de Biostatistique, Santé Publique. Hôpital Pitie Salpétrière. Paris 

Anne-Sophie Jannot
Médecin interne – Service d’épidémiologie Clinique – Hopitaux universitaires de Genève

Patrice Verpillat
Directeur Real-World Data Investigations - Sanofi-aventis Groupe

Anne-Louise Leutenegger
Research Scientist (CR1) at INSERM, Genetic Variation and Human Diseases Lab (U946), Paris.

Mathieu Bourgey
Senior Bioinformatics Specialist - Genome Quebec, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Salma Kotti
Clinical Research Assistant in the Department of Pharmacology, AP-HP, Saint-Antoine Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) in Paris, France.


Scientific summary

I am an Emeritus Research Director at INSERM. For ten years, I have been the head of a department devoted to multiple aspects of statistical genetics, population genetics and genetic epidemiology encompassing both methodology developments and their applications to the study of human diseases (in particular, auto-immune and neuro-psychiatric diseases). For 15 years, I have been responsible for the teaching of Statistical Genetics (master level) at University Paris-Sud.

An important aspect of my work relates to the modeling of the genetic factors involved in multifactorial diseases and the impact of using wrong models in genetic analyses. I am particularly concerned with the GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) syndrome one can observe today in predictive medicine for multifactorial diseases.  For the majority of such diseases, the etiology is heterogeneous and the genetic factors involved in the disease process depend on the environmental exposure. Consequently, considering that the risk of an individual is a function of the number of genetic risk alleles, identified through large case control samples which are heterogeneous in terms of environmental exposure, is extremely misleading.

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