Giacomo Cavalli

Giacomo Cavalli studied Biology at the University of Parma. In 1991, he moved to Zürich at the University of Science and Technology (ETH) to do his PhD, where he worked on chromatin structure and function in yeast with Fritz Thoma and Theo Koller. In 1995, he started a postdoc in the laboratory of Prof. Renato Paro at the University of Heidelberg. In 1999, he moved to IGH in Montpellier, France, to set up a junior lab and stayed at IGH ever since. Giacomo Cavalli made seminal contributions in the field of epigenetics. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, he discovered that epigenetic inheritance of new phenotypes can occur independently on changes of the DNA sequence. His lab also discovered that the three-dimensional organisation of chromosomes in the cell nucleus is a heritable trait that plays an important gene regulatory role. The Cavalli lab identified 3D structural chromosomal domains dubbed Topologically Associating Domains or TADs. Finally, the Cavalli lab has shown that PcG proteins have tumor suppression activity in flies. Giacomo Cavalli has published more than 120 papers, cited over 16,000 times and many of which in top journals. He received numerous awards and distinctions, including an EMBO membership, the CNRS silver medal, the Allianz Foundation price, the Grand Prix 2020 of the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale and two advanced ERC grants. He was director of the IGH Genome Dynamics department from 2007 to 2010 and IGH director from 2011 to 2014. He was and is organizer of major international conferences and is appointed as members of several distinguished Institute- and Journal editorial boards.

124 publications by August 2021, H-index 59. Google scholar metrics: see link

Selected publications

  • Szabo, Q., Donjon, A., Jerkovic, I., Papadopoulos, G.L., Cheutin, T., Bonev, B., Nora, E., Bruneau, B.G., Bantignies, F., and Cavalli, G. (2020). Regulation of single-cell genome organization into TADs and chromatin nanodomains. Nature Genetics
  • Cavalli, G.* and Heard, E.* (2019) Advances in epigenetics link genetics to the environment and disease. Nature, 571, 489-499 doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1411-0
  • Bonev, B., Mendelson Cohen, N., Szabo, Q., Fritsch, L., Papadopoulos, G., Lubling, Y., Xu, X., Lv, X., Hugnot, J.-P., Tanay, A., andCavalli, G. (2017). Multi-scale 3D genome rewiring during mouse neural development. Cell 171, 557-572.e24.
  • Schuettengruber, B., Bourbon, H., Di Croce, L., and Cavalli, G. (2017). Genome Regulation by Polycomb and Trithorax: 70 years and counting. Cell 171, 34-57.
  • Ciabrelli, F., Comoglio, F. Fellous, S., Bonev, B., Ninova, M., Szabo, Q., Xuéreb, A., Klopp, C., Aravin, A. Paro, R., Bantignies, F., and Cavalli, G (2017). Stable Polycomb-dependent transgenerational inheritance of chromatin states in Drosophila. Nature Genetics 49, 876-886, doi:10.1038/ng.3848
  • Loubiere, V., Delest, A., Thoma, A., Bonev, B., Schuettengruber, B., Sati, S., Martinez, AM., and Cavalli, G. (2016) Coordinate redeployment of PRC1 proteins suppresses tumor formation during Drosophila development. Nature Genetics 48, 1436-1442, doi:10.1038/ng.3671
  • Sexton, T., and Cavalli, G. (2015). The role of chromosome domains in shaping the functional genome. Cell, 160, 1049-1059
  • Sexton, T., Yaffe, E., Kenigsberg, E., Bantignies, F., Leblanc, B., Hoichman, M., Parrinello, H., Tanay, A., and Cavalli, G. (2012). Three-dimensional folding and functional organization principles of the Drosophila genome. Cell 148, 458-472
  • Bantignies, F., Roure, V., Comet, I., Leblanc, B., Schuettengruber, B., Bonnet, J., Tixier, V., Mas, A., and Cavalli, G. (2011). Polycomb-dependent regulatory contacts between distant Hox loci in Drosophila. Cell 144, 214-26.
  • Martinez, AM., Schuettengruber, B., Sakr, S., Janic, A., Gonzalez, C., and Cavalli, G. (2009). Polyhomeotic has a tumor suppressor activity mediated by repression of Notch signaling. Nature Genetics 41:1076-82.
  • Grimaud, C., Bantignies, F., Pal-Bhadra, M., Ghana, P., Bhadra, U., and Cavalli, G. (2006). RNAi Components Are Required for Nuclear Clustering of Polycomb Group Response Elements. Cell 124, 957-971
  • Déjardin, J., Rappailles, A., Cuvier, O., Grimaud, C., Decoville, M., Locker, D., and Cavalli, G. (2005). Recruitment of Drosophila Polycomb Group proteins to chromatin by DSP1. Nature, 434, 533-538; doi:10.1038/nature03386.


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