Bienvenue !!

We are a research team located in Grenoble, French Alpes, in the Department Signaling Through Chromatin of the Institute of Advanced Biosciences.

We aim to explore chromatin signaling, how its deregulation can lead to pathological states and could be targeted to treat human diseases.

We are always looking for talented members. Contact us!

News & more

Last news (all news are here)

FEBS Fungal meeting #HFP2022

Hello ! We are excited to participate in the FEBS Advanced Lecture Course “Mechanistics of the host-pathogens interactions and virulence in human fungal pathogens“. aka #HFP2022 (twitter feed here). We…

Retreat of the Epigenetics Department !

We had the great pleasure to have our Deparment Retreat early October. Great pleasure to meet our colleagues again, and enjoy beautiful talks from Céline Vallot (I. Curie) and Carlo…

Last tweets

About the team

Why translational epigenetics?

Our team explores chromatin signaling pathways and how they are deregulated in human diseases.

We are investigating fundamental aspects of chromatin biology in model organisms and nuclear signaling. Indeed, we leverage a wide range of expertise in epigenomics, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, structural biology, and bioinformatics.

Our team benefits from the active involvement of several clinicians who participate in national and international medical networks to develop our translational research programs. This allows us to further structure translational research in epigenetics in collaboration with Grenoble Alpes University Hospital (CHUGA).

Team environment

Grenoble is an international center of excellence for R&D, recognized by Forbes as the 5th most innovative city in the world in 2013.

With 80,000 jobs in R&D (7.1% of the population, ranking n°1 in France), the science community of Grenoble offers the attractions of an exceptionally dense research plateau, together with a unique supportive atmosphere for investment and business development, within an outstanding location at the foot of the French Alps.

Grenoble hosts top class research organizations such as EMBL, CNRS, Inserm, INRIA, INRAE, CEA and IRSTEA. It benefits from an international high-tech cluster on digital and nano technologies, as well as R&D centers of multinational industrial R&D leaders (STMicroelectronics, Schneider Electric, etc).

Finally, Grenoble benefits from an outstanding quality of life, with a broad diversity of culture and sportive activities. More information on the Giant Genoble website.

Team policy

Our objective

Improve clinical care with translational research in epigenetics


Our vision

  • Combine various model organisms to reveal new epigenetic mechanisms, with potential clinical applications.
  • Discuss and collaborate.
  • Contribute to open science. Share protocols, reagents and data.
  • Promote scientific, moral and ethical consciousness with a safe, respectfull and rewarding professional environment.


Our responsibilities

  • Actively welcome new members with scientific and experimental guidance.
  • Provide for your salary/stipend, research materials, computational resources and physical workspace.
  • Create and support your attendance at scientific courses, conferences, tutorials, and workshops. Lab members generally attend at least one conference/year.
  • Provide career advice and mentoring. Support any career of your choice and help you secure your future job.
  • Provide an environment where ethical behavior is expected and where interpersonal conflicts and unethical behavior are handled in a professional manner.
  • Promote the values of Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the team’s environment.
  • Keep optimizing the team’s organization to maximize time dedicated to science while minimizing bureaucracy.
  • Provide fair authorship on publications, following the guidelines of The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (link).


Your commitments

  • Always have a professional behavior in line with the team values: respectful, responsible, inclusive and open-minded.
  • Properly document your scientific work with all experimental conditions. We expect to be able to revisit any experiment without your assistance when you will be gone.
  • Enthusiastically participate in the team life (lab meetings, journal clubs) and fulfill your lab jobs.
  • Use the team tools for scheduled meetings and reporting vacation/sick time.
  • Inform leadership if you experience any problem (working relationship, getting the resources, advice, or training you need.
  • Give credit when due. Obey intellectual property laws. Respect the confidentiality of internal and collaborators’ projects
  • Contribute to the lab’s culture of exceptional thoughtfulness and intellectual rigor so we can all continue to enjoy a healthy research environment.

Our research program


Our team explores chromatin signaling pathways and how they are deregulated in human diseases. Specifically, we study how chromatin factors control genome organization, gene expression, and cell identity. These mechanisms are largely conserved throughout evolution, from yeast to humans.

We investigate fundamental aspects of chromatin biology in model organisms and nuclear signaling in two distinct pathological contexts: infectious diseases and hematological cancers. For example, our work has led to demonstrating that a novel epigenetic reader is a potential drug target to treat pathogenic fungal infections. We also study abnormal gene expression in aggressive B-cell lymphomas to identify novel cancer drivers. This approach has revealed new lymphomagenesis pathways, including potential novel predictive biomarkers and targets for epigenetic-based therapies.

We leverage a wide range of expertise in epigenomics, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, structural biology, and bioinformatics. We also benefit from the active involvement of several clinicians who participate in national and international medical networks to develop our translational research programs.

More on our research program
Cutting-edge research in epigenetics

We are pursuing our fundamental exploration of epigenetic mechanisms in model organisms, notably sexual differentiation in the yeast S. cerevisiae. This work is be also carried out in models of aggressive lymphomas, for which treatment resistance currently remains a real clinical challenge. These two application models are perfectly suited to study the intricate link between epigenetic-mediated control of gene expression and the metabolic state of cells. Our current and future projects will therefore be focused on addressing the cross-talk between metabolism and epigenetics.

In addition, our projects will integrate single cell technologies to better capture epigenetic heterogeneity, notably to detect the emergence of drug-resistant cell populations and their contribution to disease progression. These approaches are being implemented in close connection with clinicians (infectiology / onco-hematology).

Pursuing our translational approach

We have an optimal configuration to carry out truly operational translational research in epigenetics with both experts in biology, epigenetic signaling and medical care. The team comprises 7 physicians, including S. Carras (PHU), PI in the team, but also deputy director of the CHUGA Clinical Research and Innovation Direction (DRCI), and of the Biological Resources Center (CRB).

This active involvement of hospital staff, as well as the perfect alignment of our research objectives with the CHUGA/HCERES axis “Epigenetic, cancer and infertility” put us in a particularly effective position to conduct genuine translational research. We are also increasingly committed to national actions, through for instance, our involvement in the scientific board of the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA).

Structuring a strong community centered on epigenetics

Our team is also promoting the development of the local epigenetics community, especially within the Health Campus.

With Jérôme Govin leading the epigenetics department, we are actively working  with our colleagues to further develop this community, boost its research potential and increase its local, national and international visibility through structuring actions, teaching and scientific animations (Meetings “Interface Clinics & Epigenetics”, Grenoble Epigenetics Club, Memorandum of Understanding IAB-EMBL).

A selection of our on-going projects
Epigenetics in yeast spores

This research program focuses on epigenetics and chromatin in yeast spores. Yeast sporulation is a widely established model for studying meiosis. However, post-meiotic events and the final differentiation of spores remain largely unexplored. In particular, spores display a very distinct organization of chromatin, which is highly compacted, but ready to reactivate rapidly when given nutrients. We are exploring how chromatin compaction conditions the gene expression program.

Epigenetics in aggressive B-cell lymphomas

We are particularly interested in the mechanisms by which tumor cells escape the epigenetic controls that govern their somatic identity, enabling them to acquire aberrant identities. In collaboration with the EpiMed platform (IAB), we have adapted a bioinformatics pipeline, which was applied to transcriptomic data from large patient cohorts to identify “off-context” gene expression in lymphoma. This innovative approach has unraveled several aberrant gene reactivations associated with patient prognosis that are being functionally investigated with the objective of identifying novel druggable cell vulnerabilities.

Diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive and frequent hematological malignancy. DLBCLs are driven by major epigenetic deregulations, as they harbor many mutations in chromatin factors. DLBCL therefore represents an attractive system to study the link between epigenetic deregulation and therapeutic resistance. We are currently investigating how these alterations shape the epigenetic landscapes and how their heterogeneity conditions the emergence of persistent cell populations using cutting edge single-cell epigenomics. In this objective, we are exploiting various lymphoma models and patient cohorts to reveal novel epigenomic mechanisms of lymphoma progression and resistance.

Therapeutic targeting of chromatin regulators

A first project is developing new molecules capable of acting on infections by pathogenic fungi. These infections kill around 1.6 million people every year, as many as tuberculosis or malaria. The alarming increase in drug-resistant strains, combined with the toxicity, high cost and limited repertoire of available drugs, has created an urgent need for new therapeutic agents.

We collaborated with Carlo Petosa (Structural Biology, IBS) and Charles McKenna (Medicinal Chemistry, USC, Los Angeles, USA), creating the perfect opportunity to transfer our expertise on the Bdf1 protein to biomedical applications. By screening chemical libraries, we have identified small-molecule compounds that inhibit this protein in pathogenic yeasts of the Candida genus. These results could ultimately lead to the development of new classes of antifungal drugs.

We are also interested in how epigenetic inhibitors can be used to treat high-grade B lymphomas. We are particularly interested in bromodomain inhibitors, to better characterize their molecular targets and rationalize their clinical use as single agents or in combination therapies.


Finally, we are studying also the impact of a new generation of bromodomain inhibitors on the inflammatory response. We are evaluating the anti-inflammatory effect of a new generation of BET inhibitors, derived from an innovative synthesis route based on green chemistry (collaboration Yung-Sing Wong, DPM/UGA) in cellular and preclinical models of inflammation (in ovo and in a rat model of inflammation-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, (collaboration T. Decaens / Z. Macek-Jilkova, IAB/CHUGA and Inovotion).


Current members

Permanent members

  • Jérôme GOVIN (team leader)
  • Anouk EMADALI (project leader, staff scientist)
  • Marie ARLOTTO (lab manager)
  • Patricia BETTON (technician)
  • Thierry BONNEFOIX (staff scientist)
  • Thierry GAUTIER (staff scientist and University Lecturer)
  • Sieme HAMAIDIA (technician)
  • Emilie MONTAUT (statistics)


Post Docs and PhD students

  • Anna-Maria ALAZZI (PhD student)
  • Raphaël DUPEYRON (PhD student)
  • Andrea GARCIA SANDOVAL (PhD student)



  • Lucile BUSSOT
  • Sylvain CARRAS
  • Rémy GRESSIN
  • Marie-Christine JACOB
  • Christine LEFEBVRE


Rotation students (2023 – 2024)

  • To be updated soon!

We are proud that 100% of our former members have a fulfilling job.

Post Docs & PhD

  • Encarna GARCIA-OLIVER, post doc. Now post doc in IGMM.
  • Flore MIETTON, post doc. Now Chief Research Officer at the Fertility Department of the Hospital of Grenoble.
  • Morgane CHAMPLEBOUX, PhD student. Now Research Scientist in Synthetic Biology in Michelin.
  • Sara EL KENNANI, PhD student. Now Project leader in the AIOVA start up (Paval Lab).
  • Kaiyao WEI, PhD student. Staff scientist in Pharmaceutical Industry in China.
  • Loris DELRIEU (PhD student).
  • Camille SAYOU (Post Doc). Now staff scientist at CEA.


Former rotation students

  • 2023. Alexia TORROJA (Master, Clinician), Oriane VIRAVAUX (Master).
  • 2022. Oriane VIRAVAUX, (Master student), Camille TESTE (Master student), Fabien CLAVES (Master student, Clinician), Anna Maria ALAZZI (Master student).
  • 2021. Léa CERATO (Master student), Mathilde FORGET (Junior High School), Diane PLISSONIER (Bachelor student), Andrea CECILIA GARCIA SANDOVAL (Master student), Victoria RICCO (MD student), Juliette ROSSET (Junior High School), Camille TESTE (Master student).


The full list of publications can be found here.

Selection of our major papers

  • Wei K, et al. Targeting fungal BET bromodomains as a pan-Candida antifungal strategy. bioRxiv.DOI
  • Carras S, et al. Long-term analysis of the RiBVD phase II trial reveals the unfavorable impact of TP53 mutations and hypoalbuminemia in older adults with mantle cell lymphoma. Haematologica. 2023 Nov 30.PUBMED. DOI.
  • Bouroumeau A, et al (2021) Extranucleolar CYCLON Staining Pattern Is Strongly Associated to Relapse/Refractory Disease in R-CHOP–treated DLBCL. HemaSphere. 5(7):e598. Pubmed DOI
  • Cappuccio G, et al. (2020) De novo SMARCA2 variants clustered outside the helicase domain cause a new recognizable syndrome with intellectual disability and blepharophimosis distinct from Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome. Genet Med. 22(11):1838-1850. Pubmed DOI
  • Crespo M, et al. (2020) Systematic genetic and proteomic screens during gametogenesis identify H2BK34 methylation as an evolutionary conserved meiotic mark. Epigenetics Chromatin. 13(1):35. Pubmed DOI
  • Gressin R, et al.  (2019) Lymphoma Study Association. A phase 2 study of rituximab, bendamustine, bortezomib and dexamethasone for first-line treatment of older patients with mantle cell lymphoma. Haematologica. 104(1):138-146. Pubmed DOI
  • Mietton F, et al. (2017) Selective BET inhibition as an antifungal therapeutic strategy. Nat Commun 18;8:15482. Pubmed DOI
  • García-Oliver E, et al. (2017) Bdf1 Bromodomains are Essential for Meiosis and the Expression of Meiotic-Specific Genes. PLoS Genet. 13(1):e1006541. Pubmed DOI
  • El Kennani S, et al. (2017) MS_HistoneDB, a manually curated resource for proteomic analysis of human and mouse histones Epigenetics & Chromatin 10:2. Pubmed DOI
  • Emadali A, et al. (2016) Haploinsufficiency for NR3C1, the gene encoding the glucocorticoid receptor, in blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasms. Blood. 127(24):3040-53. Pubmed DOI

  ORCID profiles : J. Govin, A. Emadali, S. Carras.

Location & contact

We are located in Grenoble, French Alps. Detailed directions are available here.

Contact us!