My laboratory aims to understand how chromosomal inheritance is achieved with such fidelity in mammalian cells. We study the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control the faithful transmission of our genetic material.
Specifically, we are interested in centromeres, key chromosomal loci required for cell division. We aim to identify: i) how centromeres are established, ii) the mechanisms that govern centromere function, iii) how their integrity is maintained during the cell cycle and iv) the role that centromere failure plays in genome instability.
We use molecular and cell biological approaches combined with genetics, physics and biochemistry.
UNDERSTAND THE ARCHITECTURE AND ORGANIZATION OF CENTROMERESConducted at the Institut Curie, Daniele Fachinetti's team's work, Molecular Mechanisms of Chromosome Dynamics, represents a significant advance in our understanding of the basic architecture and molecular organization of human centromeres.22/03/2022
Deciphering centromeres to understand how cancer cells developCentromeres are, in most of the cases in humans, the center of our chromosomes and play an essential role in the conservation of our genetic makeup during cell division. Changes to this process can cause cell transformation and, ultimately, can allow cancer to develop.03/03/2021
Daniele was born in Milan, Italy where he carried out his PhD in the laboratory of Marco Foiani (IFOM). Here, he identified for the first time the sites where DNA replication termination occurs and the molecular pathways that control this process (Fachinetti et al., 2010). The study of replication fragile zones sparked his interest in centromeres, which led to his move in 2010 to the laboratory of Don W. Cleveland at the Ludwig Institute in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). As a post-doc, he characterized a system for rapid protein degradation in human cells (Holland, Fachinetti et al., 2012) and, by combining genome-editing techniques, he answered two long-standing questions in the genetics field: the nature of the epigenetic mark of centromeres (Fachinetti et al., 2013; Fachinetti et al., 2017) and the contribution of centromeric DNA sequence in centromere function (Fachinetti et al., 2015).
He then started as a junior group leader at the department of “Cell biology and cancer” at the Institut Curie supported by the ATIP-AVENIR program in 2016, and became a CNRS member in 2016. He obtained prestigious awards such as the Emergences program from the City of Paris and the EMBO young investigator program (YIP), and in 2021 he was promoted to director of research of the CNRS (DR2).
The Institut Curie is a major player in cancer research and control. It consists of a hospital and a research center with more than 1,000 employees and a strong international presence.
The objective of the Institut Curie Research Center is to develop basic research and to use the knowledge produced to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer as part of the continuum between basic research and innovation in the service of patients.