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iSSB, a brief history

Dec 2002

  • Foundation by Genopole of the Epigenomics Project, a network of national reach dedicated to systems biology, and since 2005 to synthetic biology. Headed by Gilles Bernot and François Kepes until 2007, then by Kepes alone, with Bernot and Vic Norris as adjunct directors.
  • First school of the current annual aSSB series.

Feb 2007

  • Arnold Migus (Director General of CNRS) and Catherine Bréchignac (President of CNRS) visit Genopole and request from Pierre Tambourin (Director General of Genopole) and François Kepes (Director of the Epigenomics Project) to lay the foundation for an institute devoted to systems and synthetic biology on the grounding provided by the Epigenomics Project.
  • First French iGEM team at MIT (Finalist, Gold medal and first Prize of foundational research).

Jan 2008

  • Official creation of the institute of Systems & Synthetic Biology (iSSB) as a CNRS 'proper' unit (UPS3201) headed by Kepes.

Oct 2009

  • Foundation of abSYNTH, a technological platform of synthetic biology associated to iSSB.
  • Start-up of mSSB, the European master of Systems & Synthetic Biology (University of Évry-Val-d'Essonne (UEVE), AgroParisTech).

 Jan 2010

  • iSSB becomes associated to UEVE (EA4527).

 Sep 2010

  • Kepes resigns from iSSB direction, Jean-Loup Faulon takes over.

 2012 - present

  • Annual iGEM-Evry teams hosted and supported by iSSB, awarded various Prizes.

Jan 2013

  • iSSB becomes a CNRS/UEVE 'mixed' research unit (FRE3561).
  • Joan Hérisson becomes iSSB adjunct director.

 Sep 2015

  • Faulon resigns from iSSB direction, Kepes takes over. Hérisson still adjunct director.
  • mSSB and iSSB become affiliated to U. Paris-Saclay.

 Jan 2017

  • iSSB is part of the UMR 8030- Metabolic Genomics (Evry).

iSSB  Principal Investigators

  • Start-present            François KEPES
  • 2007-2014                Nicolas POLLET
  • 2008-present            Alfonso JARAMILLO
  • 2009-present            Jean-Loup FAULON
  • 2010-present            Piet HERDEWIJN & Philippe MARLIERE
  • 2017-present            Mohamed ELATI
Location - contact


5 rue Henri Desbruères
Genopole Campus 1, Bât. 6

contact (at)

Phone: +33(0)1 69 47 44 30
Fax: +33(0)1 69 47 44 37


To visit us, please follow Genopole access indications.  Once on Genopole campus 1, iSSB is located on the first floor of Building 6, which is the first building to your left as you cross the pedestrian gate, or to your right as you cross the car gate.


Longitude: E 2° 27' 4''
Latitude: N 48° 37' 7''



   Congratulations to the iGEM-Evry 2018 team that was nominated for the "best composite part" price, and that won a Gold Medal at the final world iGEM jamboree. To follow their work, please visit their wiki.


 The annual spring School on advances in Systems and Synthetic Biology (aSSB) becomes an autumn School, on November 18-22, 2019.

 iSSB is pleased to announce the creation of the spin-off Synovance, founded by two former iSSB researchers.

 The spin-off of iSSB Inovactis, founded by two former mSSB students, won the national competition I-Lab 2017 organized each year by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research to encourage the most innovative technologies.

  Based on publications in synthetic biology, an independent study (Nov 2015) found that iSSB ranks 3rd lab in Europe and 9th in the world, despite a comparatively small size.