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Developmental Biology

Which genes are responsible for complex genetic diseases such as cancer,diabetes and hypertension? What role do these genes play in the development of such diseases?

To answer these two vital questions,this unit is investigating the structure and function of the genome of certain mammals and especially the rat, which is used as a model.


After to mapping of over 300 genes in the rat, the team helped develop the genetic and chromosomal map of the rat and contributed towards the creation of the international database of gene mapping of the rat (RATMAP).

The team is also developing comparative mapping, which involves transposing genetic information from one species to another, and drawing lessons from the rat model, in particular in the study of predisposition to cancer.

This research should provide a means of developing more appropriate preventive and therapeutic approaches. It may even lead to the development of new treatment methods, in particular in the case of genes that mediate breast cancer susceptibility of certain forms of female sterility.

In addition, the laboratory has developed new tools and methods for molecular cloning which facilitate this type of operation which is common in the fields of molecular biology and biotechnology. These tools and methods are also useful, inter alia, for the generation of mice in which a specific gene is invalidated to investigate its role. Such genetically altered mice can exhibit anomalies that resemble human diseases and thus provide a model for the study of these diseases, in particular, for the development of new drugs.

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