Chromatin and Genomic Expression
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, RNA-Seq, ChIP-chip) and proteomic (mass spectrometry) approaches in yeast, mammalian cell lines and mice in order to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of this dialog.
The laboratory is currently organized around four 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, the role of histone chaperones FACT and Spt6 in the regulation of chromatin structure, and investigating the role of H2A.Z-mediated cryptic transcription in human cancers.
- 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)
Projects and major discoveries
Steunou AL, Cramet M, Rossetto D, Aristizabal MJ, Lacoste N, Drouin S, Côté V, Paquet E, Utley RT, Krogan N, Robert F, Kobor MS, Côté J, Combined Action of Histone Reader Modules Regulates NuA4 Local Acetyltransferase Function but Not Its Recruitment on the Genome, Molecular and cellular biology. 2016; 36(22):2768-2781.
Hönes JM, Botezatu L, Helness A, Vadnais C, Vassen L, Robert F, Hergenhan SM, Thivakaran A, Schütte J, Al-Matary YS, Lams RF, Fraszscak J, Makishima H, Radivoyevitch T, Przychodzen B, da Conceição Castro SV, Görgens A, Giebel B, Klein-Hitpass L, Lennartz K, Heuser M, Thiede C, Ehninger G, Dührsen U, Maciejewski JP, Möröy T, Khandanpour C, GFI1 as a novel prognostic and therapeutic factor for AML/MDS, Leukemia. 2016; 30(6):1237-45.
Support biomedical research
Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM)
110, des Pins Avenue West
Montréal, Québec H2W 1R7