Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

CNRS was founded in 1939 and is a state-funded science and technology establishment placed under the authority of the French Minister for Research and Higher Education. Laboratory Evolution des régulations endocriniennes (UMR 7221) is a joint research unit under the umbrella of several establishments, including CNRS and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN). Several MNHN employees are involved in the ERGO project. MNHN is a museum and research centre created in 1635, with the mission to make knowledge about the natural world accessible to everyone and to make as many people as possible aware of the importance of protecting our planet. The main objective of the research unit is now to understand the physiological regulations that control development, tissue homeostasis, regeneration and aging in normal and altered conditions. The unit focuses on how the modulation of gene regulatory networks mainly through thyroid hormone signalling contributed to the evolution and generation of biodiversity and how these regulatory processes might be affected by disruption. The group’s objective is to determine the physiological consequences of exposure to endocrine disruptors and environmental changes related to stress and life cycle transitions. The team develops four axes of research: 1) the evolution of molecular control of life cycle transitions with a special emphasis on amphibian metamorphosis, a post-embryonic developmental process that is linked to change of environment, controlled by environmental challenges and initiated by thyroid hormones, 2) the control of cell fate plasticity by thyroid hormones, 3) the impact of endocrine disruptors on thyroid signalling, and 4) the interaction between thyroid hormone signalling and glucocorticoid signalling, one of the mediator of stress and environmental changes.

Laurent joined CNRS as a research scientist in 1999 following a post-doctoral period at NIH in the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology. He became group leader in 2007 and deputy director of the laboratory Evolution of endocrine regulation in 2017. His main expertise lies in the molecular mechanisms underlying metamorphosis in amphibians and in particular using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays in vivo, high throughput sequencing and germinal transgenesis to address the functions and mechanisms of action of the thyroid hormone receptors. Recently, Laurent has focused on the role of the 3D organisation of the chromatin in gene regulation by thyroid hormone and the crosstalk between thyroid hormone and glucocorticoid signalling. Laurent is a member of the endocrine disruptor working group at the ANSES, the French agency for food, environmental and occupational health and safety. He has been awarded over 10 research grants as PI or co-PI and supervised more than 40 Bachelor, Master and PhD students. Laurent will coordinate the CNRS’s scientific contribution to ERGO. Laurent Sachs will provide expertise and management for the OMICs studies in ERGO. His group will be involved in WP2, WP5 and WP8.

Nicholas joined MNHN as an assistant professor in 2007. His main expertise lies in molecular biology and bioinformatic including treatment of next generation sequencing data from Illumina, SOLiD and Oxford Nanopore technologies and the subsequent analysis of the raw data. In association with Laurent, Nicholas uses ChIP-Seq, ChIA-PET, MethylCAP-Seq, RNA-Seq, RNA-PET and DNA-PET to analyse the role 3D organisation of the nucleus DNA in gene regulation by thyroid hormones and glucocorticoids. Nicolas is a member of the MNHN’s scientific council since 2012 and responsible for the MNHN’s calculation cluster. In ERGO Nicolas contributes to WP5. He will be responsible for OMICs analysis provided by the CNRS (transcriptome analysis by RNA-Seq and methylome analysis by MethylCAPSeq). He will work on T4.6, T4.7 and T.5.5.

Jean-Paul is an animal keeper at MNHN with expertise in Xenopus and Zebrafish maintenance for more than 10 years. Jean-Paul Chaumeil contributes to WP5. He will be responsible for providing the animals required for the OMICs analysis using amphibians. He will work on T5.3 and T5.5.