Michel A.J. Georges

University of Liege


Primary Section: 26, Genetics
Secondary Section: 61, Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences
Membership Type: International Member (elected 2013)

Biosketch

Michel Georges is Professor in Genetics and Genomics at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Liège in Belgium.  He heads the Unit of Genetics of the GIGA Research Institute in the same university.  Georges was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1959.  He obtained his DVM degree at the University of Liège in 1983, followed by a degree in Molecular Biology at the Free University of Brussels in 1985.  From 1985 to 1988 he worked in the laboratories of Gilbert Vassart at the Free University of Brussels and Roger Hanset at the University of Liège. He obtained is habilitation from the University of Liège in 1991.  From 1989 to 1993 he was senior scientist, then director of research at Genmark Inc. and adjunct professor in the Department of Human Genetics in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Since 1994 he has been heading the Unit of Animal Genomics at the University of Liège. He played an instrumental role in establishing the GIGA Research Institute.  Georges was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 2007, and the Francqui Prize in Biomedical Sciences in 2008.

Research Interests

Georges devoted his scientific carrier to the development and use of genomic tools for the identification of genes and mutations underlying complex traits of agronomic and medical importance. He participated in the very first genome scans for QTL in the rat, and then conducted many such scans in livestock.  He laboratory is known for pushing these studies down to the identification of causative genes and variants (or QTN).  Georges' team has discovered polar overdominance, identified the "double-muscling" gene, identified several regulatory QTN including some that perturb miRNA-mediated gene regulation, and discovered a novel CNV generating mechanism underlying the inheritance of colour-sidedness.  He made important contributions to the "genomic selection (GS) revolution" in livestock.  More recently, Georges' team has been involved in the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease and has contributed to the identification of novel risk loci, genes and variants.

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