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The department Development and Evolution of the Brain

Head : Sylvie Rétaux, Vice-Head : Muriel Perron

The DevEvo Department, at the forefront of basic research, is exploring the molecular, genetic and epigenetic information governing the development, evolution, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system. DevEvo research groups place particular emphasis on the study of
- (1) neural stem cells under both homeostatic and pathological conditions and
- (2) the evolution of brain morphogenesis and neural patterning.

These questions are addressed in the context of the whole organism and at multiple scales of analysis, integrating the dynamics of molecular and cellular events. Such studies rely on a wide array of cutting-edge approaches in genetic, molecular and developmental biology, “evo-devo”, genomics and advanced imaging.

DevEvo groups take advantage of a variety of animal models (fish, Xenopus, chick or mouse). The Department is particularly renowned for its animal facility and expertise on aquatic models. Fish and amphibian are indeed highly appropriate to study adult neurogenesis as their brains maintain, throughout life, multiple niches of stem cells that can be advantageously studied and compared. Moreover, teleost fish are incredibly diversified and therefore relevant for a comparative approach of their adaptive “strategies” to build their brains.

The DevEvo Department hosts five highly collaborative research groups and a technological platform dedicated to fish phenotyping by advanced imaging, sharing resources and facilities, promoting interactive research, exchange of ideas and providing exciting training environment. In addition, we are located in proximity to researchers in related Neuroscience fields at Neuro-PSI.


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