© Aurelie MACARRI, 2018

Bruno HudryInstitut de biologie valrose (iBV) - CNRS / Inserm / Université de Nice

Understand the importance of the cellular sex and the underlying mechanisms

Mes recherches

After studying at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon, I carried out my PhD thesis at the Institute of Biology of Development of Marseille – Luminy (2007-2011). During my post-doctoral internship at Imperial College in London (UK, 2013-2018), I discovered a new role of sex chromosomes in adult somatic cells. Recruited at the CNRS in 2018, I am pursuing my work on the role of sex chromosomes and, more generally, on the mechanisms behind sex and gender differences. In 2018, I also received an ATIP/AVENIR grant and was recruited at the Institute of Biology Valrose (iBV, Nice) to start my own research group. In 2019, I was awarded the ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for my project entitled “CellSex: The importance of cellular sex in physiology and the underlying mechanisms”.

Mon projet ATIP-Avenir

Importance of the cellular sex and underlying mechanisms

            In most species, evolution has triggered the existence of two types of individuals: male and female. The switch to develop into female or male generally relies on specific genetic elements, the sex chromosomes, which are well established to control the formation of dimorphic reproduction organs. Besides sex organs, whether and how sex chromosomes impact on additional aspects of developmental and cell biology, as well as adult physiology, yet remains to be fully elucidated.


Our recent work in flies has demonstrated that the sex of intestinal stem cells plays a key role in the adult gut, both for the organ size and for the sex-specific pre-disposition to tumours. Building on these findings and my expertise on gene regulation acquired during my PhD, the goal of this proposal is to decipher the precise molecular mechanisms that translate chromosomal sex into cellular sexual dimorphisms in Drosophila melanogaster. Our first aim is to characterise in an organism-wide manner where and when cellular sex is required. The second aim is to investigate the molecular mechanisms that drive cellular sex effects, using genome-wide unbiased molecular profiling to identify sex-specific RNA splicing isoforms, as well as cutting-edge RNA tagging by editing approaches. Based on my long-standing interest in evolution, I plan the development of a long-term project where we will investigate the evolutionary importance of sex-determining proteins plasticity.


This integrative approach will provide fresh insights into the fundamental question of the cellular sex. Results from this research are further expected to be relevant for a broad range of topics, from pest control to many human diseases that display sexually dimorphic incidence.

Burno Hudry est également lauréat ERC Starting Grant 2019