Epigenetics and cell-fate in early mammalian development

We started an Alumni page just recently – enjoy!

Our lab celebrated its 10 years anniversary in December 2018. We got together to celebrate that in Munich, see picture below, and are looking forward to celebrate the next one!

Celine Ziegler-Birling, Research Assistant (2009-2016)

Celine was our research assistant during our time at the IGBMC Strasbourg (2009-2016). She was fundamental to the successful running of the lab and she also contributed to numerous projects throughout this time. When the lab moved to Munich in 2016 she stayed on as a research assistant within the IGBMC.

Ambre Bender, Master Student (2010)

Ambre performed her Masters I project in the lab in 2010. She studied the distribution of chromatin modifications in early stage mouse embryos. After obtaining her Master’s degree, she joined the lab of Michaël Weber at the Institute of Biotechnology and Cell Signaling in Strasbourg, where she completed her Ph.D on the study of DNA methylation dynamics during mouse development. She obtained a position as Ingénieur d’études in the same lab.

Angèle Santenard, PhD Student (2008-2011)

Angèle was the first PhD student in the lab between 2008 and 2011. She investigated heterochromatin establishment after fertilisation in the mouse embryo with a focus on histone variants and nuclear positioning. After her Ph.D, Angele continued her career in teaching as a Professor at a College in Pau, in the Academie of Bordeaux, in the South of France.

Anas Fadloun, Postdoc (2008-2012)

Anas was the first postdoctoral scientist in the lab between 2008 and 2012, with an FRM fellowship. He was the first one to investigate the expression of repetitive elements in the mouse preimplantation embryo in the lab and pioneered low input Chip techniques to uncover their chromatin signatures and regulation of expression. Anas went on for a second postdoctoral training in the IGBMC, Strasbourg, to develop his interest in studying a regulatory role for repetitive elements in cancer.

Yusuke Miyanari, Postdoc (2009-2013)

Yusuke performed his postdoctoral studies in the lab between 2009 and 2013 under EMBO and JSPS fellowships, during which time he pioneered a number of techniques related to the imaging of mouse preimplantation embryos. He discovered that the expression of the key pluripotency factor Nanog is regulated at the allelic level, with biallelic firing correlating with the establishment of ground state pluripotency in the epiblast. He also established a novel locus-specific DNA imaging approach using TALE technology called TGV. He then obtained a Principal Investigator position in the Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, where he has led his team since 2014 working on the dynamics of nuclear organization and genome regulation. He recently moved his lab to Kanazawa University. 

Ana Boskovic, PhD Student (2010-2014)

Ana was a Nucleosome 4D Marie Curie ITN PhD student in the lab between 2010 and 2014 during which time she studied the global chromatin architecture in mouse preimplantation embryos. She showed that early mouse development is characterised by unusually highly dynamic chromatin, which correlates with the plasticity of the cells. She then went to the lab of Oliver Rando, UMass, for her postdoctoral training under a long-term HFSP fellowship, where she studies the role of small noncoding RNAs in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. She obtained an independent group leader position at EMBL, in Rome, where she starts her lab in 2021.

Takashi Ishiuchi, Postdoc (2011-2015)

Takashi performed his postdoctoral training in the lab between 2011 and 2015 under HFSP and Uehara fellowships, during which time he set up the 2-cell like cell culture system in the lab, the in vitro model system for the early mouse embryo. He identified the chromatin assembly factor CAF1 as a regulator of 2-cell like cell emergence in embryonic stem cell cultures. After his postdoc, he moved to Kyushu University as Assistant Professor in the Division of Epigenetics and Development, to continue working on chromatin signatures in mouse embryos.

André Eid, Master Student and PhD Student (2011-2016)

André performed his Masters II and PhD in the lab between 2011 and 2016. He studied the function of heterochromatin after fertilization in mouse embryos and found that Suv4-20 activity controls timely DNA replication in this context. He also investigated the distribution of ncPRC1 components in early mouse embryos. After completing his Ph.D in the lab, he acquired both an EMBO and a HFSP fellowship to perform his postdoctoral research in the lab of Alex Gould at the Crick Institute, London, where he studies the response of neurons in the Drosophila brain to environmental stress.

Joanna Jachowicz, PhD Student (2012-2016)

Joanna studied her PhD in the lab between 2012 and 2016, during which time she investigated the function and regulation of repetitive elements in early mouse embryos. She discovered an important role for the timely expression of Line-1 elements during early mouse development. She also found that the nuclear localisation of the major satellite elements is necessary for their silencing. She moved for her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Mitch Guttman at the California Institute of Technology where she is studying the role of non-coding RNA in genome architecture.

Quang Thanh Dang-Nguyen, Postdoc (2014-2015)

Thanh was a postdoctoral scientist in the lab between 2014 and 2015, who helped us setting up nuclear transfer experiments. He also studied the functional link between gene positioning and expression in the mouse preimplantation embryo. After leaving the lab, he started a second postdoc in the lab of Hiroyuki Kaneko lab at the Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO, Japan working on improving preservation and maturation methods of porcine germ cells.

Xavier Gaume, Postdoc (2015-2017)

Xavier performed his postdoctoral studies in the lab between 2015 and 2017. He followed up on the pioneering work of Takashi to identify numerous chromatin-based regulators of the emergence of 2-cell like cells in embryonic stem cell cultures. After his postdoctoral training in the lab, he moved back to Lyon, where he currently leads an R&D project as research scientist at Adocia, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of Diabetes.

Emir Akmeric, Master Student (2017)

Emir was a Masters student from Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in the lab in 2017. After his Masters, he obtained a position as imaging assistant in the BIOSS Centre for Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg.

Julien Pontabry, Imaging Analysis Specialist (2013-2018)

Julien was an imaging analysis specialist with a background in mathematics and computer science, who was a member of the lab between 2013 and 2018. He specialized in advanced image analysis, contributing to numerous projects and technological innovations in the lab. After his time in the lab, he moved to RS2D (Reinvent Systems for Science and Discovery), as Head of Software development, continuing his research and development of pioneering imaging analysis methods, specifically for NMR and MRI data processing and analysis.

Máté Borsos, PhD Student (2015-2018)

Máté carried out his PhD in the lab between 2015 and 2018 with a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds fellowship. Máté studied the establishment of nuclear architecture in the mouse preimplantation embryo, and found that lamina-associated domains are formed de novo upon fertilization. He then moved for his post-doc at the California Institute of Technology in the Gradinaru lab, engineering adenovirus-associated viruses (AAVs).

Diego Rodriguez-Terrones, PhD Student (2016-2019)

Diego pursued his PhD in the lab between 2016 and 2019. Diego studied single cell trajectories during the transition of mouse embryonic stem cells to the 2-cell-like state, revealing a distinct intermediate population of cells characterised by Zscan4 expression. He also revealed distinct metabolic features of totipotent-like cells and contributed his genomics expertise to different projects in the lab. After his Ph.D in the lab, he undertook his postdoctoral studies on reprogramming during limb regeneration in the Axolotl in Elly Tanaka's lab at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, for which he obtained an EMBO long-term fellowship and a Vienna Internal Postdoctoral Program Fellowship.

Jiangwei Lin, Postdoc (2018-2019)

Jiangwei was a postdoc in the lab between 2018 and 2019. He studied cellular mechanisms regulating the emergence of 2-cell like cells and nuclear transfer-based reprogramming. After his postdoc in the lab, he obtained a Principal Investigator position at Kunming Institute of Zoology, China where his lab works on somatic cell nuclear in non-human primates. 

Elias Ruiz-Morales, Undergraduate Intern (2018-2019)

Elias was an undergraduate intern in the lab between 2018 and 2019, with background in bioinformatics and genomics. He contributed to a number of different projects during his one year in the lab. He then moved to start his PhD at the Sanger Centre, Cambridge UK in the Trynka lab working on immune genomics.

Natasha Jansz, Postdoc (2018-2020)

Natasha was a post-doctoral scientist in the lab between 2018 and 2020. She obtained Alexander von Humboldt, EMBO (non-stipendiary), HFSP and NHMRC Fellowships for her investigation into the function of repetitive elements in the establishment of genome architecture at the beginning of mouse development. She decided to change career path in February 2020 and joined the Faulkner lab at the University of Queensland in 2021 working on mobile DNA elements in cancer.

Ane Iturbide, Postdoc (2016-2020)

Ane was a post-doctoral scientist in the lab between 2016 and 2020, during which time she undertook a large-scale small molecule screen in ES cells to enable an efficient induction of 2-cell--like cells and identify new molecular pathways regulating genome activation during early embryogenesis. She moved on to a research associate position in data science at Evotec in 2021.