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Since the Institut Curie was created in 1909, it has always part of its culture to create an environment conducive to cross-fertilization between disciplines. This expedites progress and paves the way to the research of tomorrow.

There are several main lines of basic research:

Cell Biology and Developmental Biology

Several research teams are working exclusively on cell-related issues (movement and shape, adhesion, signaling pathways, protein transport to the various cell compartments, cell cycles, etc).

•    Developmental Biology and Genetics - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 3215 / Inserm U934
•    Subcellular structure and cellular dynamics - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 144


The alterations that cause cancer often affect proteins involved in the transmission of cellular signals, such as interferons and cytokines. Better understanding of these proteins should enable immune defenses to be boosted, so as to stop tumor growth. The study of host-tumor relations could lead to the development of new treatment strategies based on a more effective response of the immune system.

•    Immunity and cancer - Institut Curie / Inserm Unit 932

Human Genetics and Oncogenesis

The basic goal of Institut Curie oncologists is to identify genomic alterations in human cancers. Using highly sophisticated tools, they are engaged in detecting major and minor genomic modifications in tumor cells and in identifying the genes that carry such alterations.

•    Dynamics of genetic Information : fundamental Basis and Cancer - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 3244 / UPMC
•    Genetics and Biology of Cancers - Institut Curie / Inserm U830


Epigenetics and Genotoxicology

The Institut Curie has a long history of work on genotoxicology, the study of interactions between DNA and various genotoxic agents (ionizing radiation, solar radiation, etc.), as well the DNA lesions caused by these agents. The research aims are to identify and understand cell mechanisms that detect and then repair such lesions in order to restore genome integrity. 

•    Genotoxic Stress and Cancer - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 3348
•    Genotoxicology, Signalisation and experimental Radiotherapy - Institut Curie / Inserm U612
•    Nuclear Dynamics and Genome Plasticity - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 218



Research in pharmaceutical chemistry is designed to synthesize anticancer drugs that act specifically on cancer cells without killing healthy cells. This work uses two basic tools—molecular modeling, which is used to design tailor-made drugs, and combinatorial chemistry.

•    Conception, Synthesis and Targeting of Biomolecules - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 176


Physical Chemistry of Living Systems

Institut Curie physicists are studying organized molecular assemblies that have led to the development of what is known as soft matter. These structures are involved in the major functions of living organisms, such as cellular mobility and adhesion, and intracellular trafficking. One of the main goals is to control the migration of cells, which form distant metastases.

•    Physical chemistry Curie - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 168 / UPMC
•    Structure and Assembly of membran Proteins in native Membrans by atomic Force Microscopy - Institut Curie / Inserm U1006


Molecular Mechanisms and Oncogenesis

In multicellular organisms, harmonious development and functioning depend upon the quality of the communication established between cells and the environment which sends them signals. The study of cell signaling is essential to our understanding of the pathways activated during oncogenesis.

•    Normal and pathological Signaling: from the Embryo to the innovative Therapy of Cancers - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 3347 / Inserm U1021
•    Signalisation, Neurobiology and Cancer - Institut Curie / CNRS UMR 3306 / Inserm U1005


Cellular and Molecular Imaging

Researchers at the Institut Curie use powerful imaging techniques to elucidate the structural basis of the cellular processes involved in normal and pathological cell proliferation. They make use of  the Institut Curie’s high-technology platforms, notably for scientific imaging.

•    Integrative Imaging: from Molecule to Organism - Institut Curie / Inserm U759


Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Institut Curie mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists use their skills and know-how to make available state-of-the-art technologies for the analysis of genetic networks responsible for the development of cancer, and also methodological tools to process and interpret the data. The automation of biological techniques generates vast amounts of data which, to be used effectively, have to be modeled, analyzed, compared, and stored.

•    Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Epidemiology and computational Systems Biology of Cancer - Institut Curie / Inserm U900

Institut Curie