The mission of the Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva (iGE3) is to promote internationally competitive biomedical research and high quality teaching by using primarily genetic and genomic scientific analysis.
The iGE3 is interdisciplinary since its members cover a wide spectrum of expertise from medical sciences to modal organisms and biodiversity and the ethical, social, legal and financial aspects of the genomics research.
The iGE3 is interdepartmental and thus brings together scientists and technical expertise from diverse departments of the University of Geneva. The iGE3 is cooperative and complementary to other genetic and genomics structures of the lemanic region and beyond.
The specific goals of iGE3 regarding the biomedical research activities are:
- research on human genetics and genomics,
- research on the genomics and health,
- fundamental research in the genetics and development of model organisms and the biodiversity,
- genomics research on evolution and human history,
- ethical, social, legal, financial and educational issues around the genome.
The specific goals of iGE3 regarding teaching are:
- genetics/genomics in UNIGE,
- master’s degree in genetic/genomic sciences,
- participation in the PhD programs of the University of Geneva,
- continuation of the PhD program created by the former NCCR Frontiers in Genetics and expansion of its specificities towards genomic sciences.
The necessity for the creation of an interdepartmental structure dedicated to the ever-growing disciplines of genetics and genomics was first discussed in the middle of the last decade among scientists in the Medical and Science faculties of the University of Geneva.
A first report was presented by S.E. Antonarakis, J.-D. Vassalli, and D. Duboule to the rectorat of Prof. André Hurst in 2006.
Subsequently it was also felt necessary that the creation of such an institute could be served as the ideal structure to institutionalize the SNF funded Center of Excellence Frontiers in Genetics directed by Prof. D. Duboule.
The interdepartmental institute was discussed extensively in the Faculties of Medicine and Science during the rectorship of Prof. Weber and the first rectorship of Prof. J.-D. Vassalli.
The name of the institute was proposed by S.E. Antonarakis as iGE3 and was enthusiastically endorsed by both faculties. The statutes of the iGE3 were voted by an overwhelming majority by both faculties, and their elected councils.
A strong administrative, financial and scientific support was provided by the vice-rector Prof. P. Spierer. In addition, the committee for the Convention d’Objectifs (Profs D. Duboule, D. Picard, C.-A. Siegrist, and S.E. Antonarakis) was instrumental in shaping up and organizing several aspects of iGE3 including the technical platforms and the statutes.
Furthermore the deans of the Medical and Science faculties Profs J.-L. Carpentier and J.-M. Triscone were always supporters of this development; in addition the rector, Prof. J.-D. Vassalli, provided a continuous support and encouragement for the creation of this institute. The two faculties voted unanimously the four members of the founding executive board (Profs D. Duboule, D. Picard, W. Reith, E.T. Dermitzakis) and the rector has appointed Prof. S.E. Antonarakis as the founding first director of the institute.
A membership of more than 45 additional faculty members was enthusiastically received, and the first general assembly took place on November 24, 2011.
The inauguration ceremony was held on February 8, 2012.