Systems Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Chromatin and Genomic Expression

Under the direction of François Robert

Research Unit

François Robert's laboratory studies the role of chromatin in gene expression. The team has different research axes but they all relate to transcription by RNA polymerase II and its relation to its physiological substrate: chromatin. Cells take advantage of the plasticity of chromatin and use it as an integral and central part of gene expression regulation. Indeed, the regulation of transcription involves, in most if not all cases, some reorganization of chromatin. 

More recently, the lab and others have shown that transcription can influence chromatin structure. There is therefore a dynamic molecular dialog going on between transcription and chromatin. We use functional genomic (ChIP-seq, ChIP-exo, ChEC, MNase-seq, RNA-seq, ChIP-chip) and proteomic (mass spectrometry) approaches in yeast, drosophila and mammalian cell lines in order to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of this dialog.

The laboratory is currently organized around three different research axes: dissecting the role of Mediator in transcriptional regulation in vivo, the role of the RNA polymerase II CTD in the regulation of chromatin at active gene and the role of histone chaperones FACT and Spt6 in the regulation of chromatin structure.

François Robert

Research Unit Director

  • Director, Chromatin and Genomic Expression research unit
  • Full IRCM Research Professor
  • Full Research Professor, Department of Medicine (accreditation in molecular biology), Université de Montréal
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, McGill University
  • Research Scholar, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé
  • Holder of the FRQS research chair - Étude du rôle de la chromatine dans la régulation de l'expression génique chez les eucaryotes

Awards and honours

  • 2008 Maud Menten New Principal Investigator Prize, Institute of Genetics (CIHR)

Degrees and relevant experence

  • PhD in molecular biology, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Postdoctoral fellowship in functional genomics, Richard A. Young’s laboratory, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts, USA (1999-2003)
François Robert
Research Unit Director
Marjorie Andrea Aleman Alvarado
M.Sc. Student
Fanny Eyboulet
Postdoctoral fellow
Célia Jeronimo
Research Associate
Elie Lambert
PhD Student
Miyauchi Micaela
M.Sc Student
Kavindu Puwakdandawa
M.Sc. Student
Valérie Magoon
Administrative Assistant

Projects and major discoveries


Support biomedical research

Make a difference for health researchers and students with your donation.
Donate to the IRCM Foundation

Contact information

Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM)
110, des Pins Avenue West
Montréal, Québec  H2W 1R7

Contact us
Systems Biology and Medicinal Chemistry