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Pleiotropy of morphogens



Our research team was recently created and focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the multiple roles of morphogens during the nervous system development. Our lab is part of the Institut du Fer à Moulin (IFM), which hosts many other research teams devoted the study of neurodevelopment, neural plasticity and pathology. Our research center is affiliated to INSERM (French National Institut for Medical Research) and Sorbonne University.


How do morphogenic signals control distinct responses during neural development?

During embryonic development, the formation of the brain by the generation, differentiation and finally the precise connection of new neurons is controlled by many molecular factors. Amongst these factors, extracellular secreted molecules, called morphogens, instruct the shape of the nervous system. During neuronal differentiation, cells change from a proliferative state to acquire cell identity, to perform migration and finally to grow axons and connect to other cell types. Thus, cells need to change their responses to their environment to achieve the correct behavior. Our research addresses fundamental questions on how a single (and then multiple) morphogenic signal(s) act at different steps of neuronal development to induce these different responses. We use the murine and human developing cerebral cortex as a model.

   Experimental approaches

Overall, our projects aim to determine the molecular and temporal bases for morphogenic response modulations during differentiation during the development of the nervous system.


We are involved in teaching programs such as :


Our research team is supported by several funding sources. We would like to thank:     



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Julien Ferent

Principal investigator
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Sara Douceau 

Postdoctoral fellow 
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Tanya Deutsch

PhD student
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Sarah Baudet

Postdoctoral fellow

Contact us

Ferent Lab
Institut du Fer à Moulin
INSERM - Sorbonne University UMR-S 1270
8 rue des fossés Saint Marcel
75005 Paris
Send us an email
Tel. +33145876235
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Copyright © 2020 Julien Ferent