Welcome to the HELMBACHER Lab

Hello, and welcome to the Helmbacher lab website ! We work at the Institute of Developmental Biology of Marseille (IBDM), affiliated to the CNRS and the Aix-Marseille University, in the beautiful Campus of Luminy.

Morphogenesis and pathologies of Neuromuscular circuits

Our research aims to understand processes underlying morphogenesis of neuromuscular circuits, and to uncover how alterations of these developmental processes lead to devastating neuromuscular pathologies in human. Our work integrates the study of cell fate diversity and mutual dependency of motor neurons and their target muscles. We therefore focus on the identification of signals successively exchanged by neurons and muscles during development. These include the signals acting on neuronal and muscular specification, the signals that pattern neural projections through axonal guidance and through muscle morphogenesis, and the signals that regulate homogeneous growth and match the size of neuromuscular units. We study how all these signals successfully integrate to produce locomotor activity. Recently, our results linking dysfunction of a developmental gene with a muscular dystrophy led us to start investigating the mechanisms at play during skeletal muscle homeostasis, repair, and pathologies.

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Do you want to join our team ?

We are always interested in welcoming enthusiastic young scientists in our group, at any stage of your career (undergrads, PhD, post-doc, researcher), whether or not we have specific positions to offer. More information.

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April 2019

As a phase of renovations of the IBDM building has started (plan campus), we (half of the IBDM teams) just moved to our new temporary labs, in a lovely part of the Luminy campus, near the CINAM (the last rectangular building left to the CINAM buildings on the map below).

February 20, 2019

An assistant Professor position will be open for teaching Biostatistics and Cell Biology at AMU, and for conducting research at IBDM, and the Helmbacher lab is amonst the host teams.

More info

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Helmbacher Lab


Campus de Luminy, case 907,

13288 MARSEILLE, France


Our lab page on the ibdm website

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