International Associated Laboratory "ROCADE” in biological sciences

The laboratory “ROCADE” was the first "International Associated Laboratory” (LIA) to be created by the CNRS in Hong Kong. It was established in 2008 togenther wit the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The joint lab is the culmination of ten years of collaboration between the two teams which has already allowed to hold several international seminars, to publish numerous articles and to organize students exchanges (master, PhD levels).

Its objective is to better understand the molecular and atomic exchanges that occur during the proliferation of animals neural cells.


For four years, the "ROCADE" (for “ROle of CAlcium in cellular DEtermination and differentiation”) joint lab combines:
- on one hand a CNRS and University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse joint research unit (UMR 5547), led by Marc Moreau and
- on the other hand, the team of Andrew Miller, who is professor in the Biology Department of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Besides the two co-directors, the "ROCADE" is advised by a scientific committee, which submits research programs to a steering committee. The latter is composed of representatives of the three institutions.

The research carried out there is focused on developmental biology and more specifically on the role of calcium in the process of cell differentiation (nerve cells of fish model). By techniques of molecular biology and photon-counting imaging, researchers determine the role of calcium signaling in the expression of genes during early embryogenesis. This original imaging technique, which exists in very few copies worldwide, allows to count the photons emitted by a luminescent probe which is calcium sensing and to visualize them dynamically, that is to say, to measure in time and space, in vivo, the movement of calcium into a cell.

Contact :
Marc Moreau
Centre de Biologie du développement
UMR5547 et GDR2688
Tel : 05 61 55 63 98
Email :

publié le 07/01/2011

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