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The harmonious development of an embryo requires a delicate balance between cell proliferation and differentiation. A similar regulation controls the renewal of our cells in adult life. At each cell division, not only the whole genome should be duplicated, but also its organization for ongoing differentiation. Marcel wishes to understand how DNA replication origins are involved in this balance. The research of his laboratory has shown that DNA replication origins are developmentally regulated in relation to remodelling of chromosomal domains. Marcel is also identifying new factors involved in the initiation of DNA replication and his team has discovered the role of CDT1 and MCM8. How these factors may be deregulated in cancer is a question addressed by his laboratory.