NCCR “Frontiers in Genetics – Genes, Chromosomes and Development” (2001-2013)

​NCCR Director: Prof. Denis Duboule (2001-2013)

Home Institution: University of Geneva

Research in the NCCR and major results

The NCCR “Genetics - Frontiers in Genetics: Genes, Chromosomes and Development” has focused its research activities on understanding the function and regulation of certain genes during development, as well as their role in maintaining health or favouring the emergence of pathology.

The research programmes included setting up original approaches to address complex issues. Thus, custom-made animal models for human diseases or developmental defects were engineered. Transgenic mice helped to investigate the function and regulation of specific genes, such as architect and clock genes, as well as factors controlling different “developmental” genes. At the cellular level, the NCCR studied how the dynamic three-dimensional structure of the genome is affecting gene activity, as well as chromosome replication and repair. Deciphering the processes involved in the body’s energy balance was a centre of interest as well, since their altered regulation contributes to the development of metabolic diseases, one of the main concerns in westernised societies.

Due to the different points of focus and the numerous targets, it is hard to single out any scientific highlights for this NCCR. A total of 116 papers were published in the three high-ranking journals Science, Nature andCell.