Jean-Yves Roignant, Associate Professor

Jean-Yves Roignant carried out his thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Jean-Antoine Lepesant at the Jacques Monod Institute and received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Paris Diderot. He became postdoctoral fellow and research associate in the group of Dr. Jessica Treisman at New York University Langone Medical Center. He then started his independent group in 2012 at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz and joined the Center for Integrative Genomics in August 2019 where he was appointed Associate Professor. He has a long-standing interest in the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression.

Keywords: RNA modifications, epitranscriptomics, gene expression, animal development, behavior

Research summary

Regulation of gene expression by RNA modifications
A fundamental question in biology is to understand how gene expression is finely regulated in time and space during organismal development and function. While the influence of transcription regulation in these processes has been thoroughly studied the role of post-transcriptional gene regulation has emerged more recently as a critical player. Analog to epigenetic marks on the DNA, cellular RNAs are naturally decorated with a variety of chemical modifications that are often highly conserved and can be dynamically regulated upon environmental changes. Recent advances in sequencing methods and mass spectrometry technologies uncovered the prevalence and importance of some of these modifications in biological function and diseases, resulting in the birth of the epitranscriptomics field. Yet, the biological function of the majority of modified RNA nucleotides and their molecular mechanisms on gene expression still remain to be investigated.

Our research goal strives to unveil the epitranscriptome. To tackle this fundamental question we use Drosophila as a powerful model organism to study animal development, behavior, and human genetic diseases and conditions. We combined genetic approaches with state of the art molecular biology, biochemistry, microscopy, high throughput techniques and computational tools. Our research focuses on three main axes:



  • Identification and mapping RNA modifications
  • Elucidation of their biological and molecular functions
  • Deciphering their evolutionary strategies and roles in diseases

For Masters, PhD and Postdoc position inquiries please write directly to

Representative publications

  1. Bawankar P, Lence T, Paolantoni C, Haussmann IU, Kazlauskiene M, Jacob D, Heidelberger JB, Richter FM, Nallasivan MP, Morin V, Kreim N, Beli P, Helm M, Jinek M, Soller# M, Roignant# JY (2021). Hakai is required for stabilization of core components of the m 6 A mRNA methylation machinery. Nature Commun, 18;12(1):3778
  2. Worpenberg L, Paolantoni C, Longhi S, Mulorz MM, Lence T, Wessels HH, Dassi E, Aiello G, Sutandy FXR, Scheibe M, Edupuganti RR, Busch A, Möckel MM, Vermeulen M, Butter F, König J, Notarangelo M, Ohler U, Dieterich C, Quattrone# A, Soldano# A, Roignant# JY (2021). Ythdf is a N6-methyladenosine reader that modulates Fmr1 target mRNA selection and restricts axonal growth in Drosophila. EMBO J, 40:e104975
  3. Akhtar J, Kreim N, Marini F, Mohana GK, Binder H and Roignant JY (2019). Promoter-proximal pausing mediated by the exon junction regulates splicing. Nature Commun, 10:521
  4. Knuckles* P, Lence* T, Haussman I, Jacob D, Kreim N, Carl SH, Masiello I, Hares T, Villasenor R, Hess D, Andrade-Navarro MA, Biggiogera M, Helm M, Soller M, Bühler# M and Roignant# JY (2018). Zc3h13/Flacc is required for adenosine methylation by bridging the mRNA binding factor Rbm15/Spenito to Wtap/Fl(2)d. Genes & Dev, 32:415-429
  5. Lence T, Akhtar J, Bayer M, Schmid K, Spindler L, Ho CH, Kreim N, Andrade-Navarro MA, Poeck B, Helm M, Roignant JY (2016). m6A controls neurogenesis and sex determination in Drosophila via its nuclear reader protein YT521-B. Nature, 540:242-247



Jean-Yves Roignant

Tel: +41 21 692 3965


Administrative assistant

Lise Rolée
Tel: +41 21 692 3900