Trono Lab – Laboratory of Virology and Genetics

Our research interest are Krab-Zinc finger protein, transposons and epigenetics.
Shown here is the internal, self-organised structure of a stem cell derived, human cerebral organoid. Rosettes of neural progenitor SOX2 positive radial glia (red) are interspersed with TUJ1 positive newborn neurons (green). Nuclei are marked in blue | © Christopher Playfoot & Didier Trono

More than half of the human genome is derived from retroelements, which are mobile genetic units spreading by the copy-and-paste mechanism used by retroviruses such as HIV. Retroelements are essential motors of evolution, as they can disrupt, activate or inactivate genes, move pieces of chromosomes around, and serve as hot spots for genetic recombination. These mutations are often deleterious, and retroelements are accordingly kept under very tight control through so-called epigenetic modifications, which are imposed to their sequences during the earliest stages of embryonic development. Our research explores the delicate equilibrium between retroelements and their hosts, dissecting how these genetic invaders and their controlling mechanisms impact on higher organisms including humans, whether in health or in disease


Head of Laboratory : Didier Trono

Office : SV 3512

Phone : +41 21 69 31751

Mail : [email protected]

Head of Unit : Priscilla Turelli

Office : AI 3151

Phone : +41 21 69 31811

Mail : [email protected]

Administrative Assistant : Séverine Reynard

Office :  AI 3147

Phone : +41 21 69 31761

Mail : [email protected]

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