The Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (IBDM), an institute overseen by the CNRS and the AMU (Aix-Marseille University), incorporates twenty teams whose research is primarily oriented towards developmental biology and pathologies associated with problems of development.
The institute, the only one of its kind in France, encompasses a number of complementary scientific approaches including experimental embryology, physiology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, neurobiology, biocomputing and genomics.
Our research effort is aimed at understanding genes and molecular mechanisms regulating the early stages of animal development: in particular the definition of axial polarity, the regionalisation of the embryo, the control of morphogenetic processes, the cellular interactions which control the different stages of organ development, including the development and the plasticity of the nervous system, and somite and heart development.
A range of animal models are used to address these questions, including drosophila, ascidia, xenopus, as well as chickens, rats and mice. Each of these model organisms has its own advantages when studying different aspects of development and their complementarity assures an overall scientific coherence within the institute.
The scientific equipment necessary for this type of research is grouped into innovative and effective technical platforms. One of the key objectives of the IBDM is to encourage interaction with different disciplines – in particular mathematics, physics and chemistry – in order to develop new experimental approaches. For instance, IBDM hosts a part of the national infrastructure France-BioImaging, funded by “Investissements d’Avenir”. Another priority is to encourage the development and integration of new independent research teams.
In addition to its major role in carrying out basic research, the IBDM continues to promote projects in the field of applied science, aimed at the development of therapeutic molecules. Furthermore the institute, in collaboration with the scientific departments of the university, plays an important role in the development of teaching programmes in biology and at the interface between biology and other disciplines.