Who are we ?

The Labex Who Am I? is an interdisciplinary project, bringing together teams of biologists, physicists, psychoanalysts, historians, and philosophers of science around the central question of identity. Together, we explore the determinants of identity at various scales (chemical, molecular, cellular, and social) through collaborative approaches.

The Labex

Launched in 2012, renewed in 2020, Who Am I? is an ambitious project which aims to address the fundamental question of the bases of identity. To this end, it mobilizes around one hundred research teams, representing a total of 1,200 people, grouped into 7 partner units. It is co-coordinated by Claire ROUGEULLE (biologist, Epigenetics and Cell Fate unit), Benoît LADOUX (physicist, Jacques Monod Institute) and François VILLA (psychoanalyst, Center for Psychoanalysis, Medicine and Society Research).

The project is built around three lines of research:
– Transmission of identity across generations
– Integrity in response to stress and challenge
– Plasticity and changes in identity

The identity

Recent discoveries and technological developments have helped shed light on new mechanisms involved, in particular, in the organization of the genome and epigenetic regulation, cell plasticity and stem cell dynamics, or in the impact of our environment. In the light of these new elements, it becomes necessary to reassess how the genome and the environment interact and help define who we are at the molecular, cellular and organism scales. This debate must also be placed in the context of society, at the level of the individual and the perception of identity and its altered states.

Laboratory of excellence

The Labex program, or Laboratory of Excellence, is one of the instruments of the Investments for the Future program of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The Labex call is intended to support research by all teams on a given scientific theme.

Supported by Université Paris Cité, Who Am I? is one of the 71 winners of wave 2 of the Laboratories of Excellence call for projects. It has a total budget of 16 million euros.

Find out more about Labex and Investments for the Future by clicking here.

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Pint of Science festival 2022

Pint of Science festival 2022

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