IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®

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IMGT® attachment and affiliation french version





IMGT authority: LIGM (Montpellier) french version

The Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire (LIGM) (Prof. Marie-Paule Lefranc and Prof. Gérard Lefranc), Université Montpellier 2, UPR CNRS 1142, IGH, has been involved for more than 30 years in the genetics, structure, polymorphism and function of the immunoglobulins (IG) and T cell receptors (TR).

The scientific contribution of LIGM is shown by publications in international journals, communications, invitations to congresses and seminars, the isolation of 40 genomic probes. These probes, released by ATCC (American Type Culture Collection), JCRB (Japanese Cancer Research Resources Bank) and ICRF (Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Human Genetic Resource Centre), are used by many laboratories abroad, for fundamental research and clinical applications. Some of these probes are powerful tools in the characterisation of the B and T cells, the analysis of clonality in leukemias and lymphomas, and the therapeutics follow up (residual diseases). 134 genomic sequences have been sent to the EMBL/GenBank databases.

In 1989, LIGM started IMGT/LIGM-DB, the first specialised and integrated database on immunoglobulins (IG) and T cell receptors (TR). Since May 2000 and owing to the considerable expansion and success of IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®, the LIGM scientific activity has been mainly devoted to the IMGT® research and development.

IMGT information system overview french version

IMGT®, founded in Montpellier in 1989 by Marie-Paule Lefranc (Université Montpellier 2 and CNRS) is the international reference in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics. IMGT® is specialized in the sequences, genes and structures of immunoglobulins (IG) or antibodies, T cell receptors (TR), major histocompatibility (MH) proteins of vertebrates, IgSF and MhSF superfamily proteins of vertebrates and invertebrates, fusion proteins for immunological applications (FPIA) and composite proteins for clinical applications (CPCA).

IMGT® consists of databases, interactive tools and Web resources. IMGT® is used by researchers in academic and pharmaceutical laboratories in multiple areas of research:

  • basic research,
  • medical research (analysis of repertoires of antibody and T cell receptor recognition sites in normal (infections, cancers) and abnormal (autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies) immune responses and in proliferative syndromes (leukemias, lymphomas, myelomas)),
  • veterinary research (study of the IG and TR repertoires in domestic and wild species),
  • genomic research (study of the diversity and evolution of genes of the adaptive immune response),
  • research in structural biology (evolution of IgSF and MhSF protein domains),
  • biotechnology related projects of the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) and antibody engineering (single chain variable fragment scFv, Fab, combinatorial libraries, phage display, chimeric, humanized and human antibodies),
  • diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic monitoring of leukemias, lymphomas and myelomas (identification of the malignant clone(s) and assessment of residual diseases),
  • therapeutic approaches (grafts, immunotherapy, vaccinology).

IMGT® is labeled Bioinformatics Platform RIO (2001), IBiSA (since 2007), Grand Plateau Technique for Research and Innovation Languedoc-Roussillon (since 2005), Cancéropôle Grand Sud-Ouest, ReNaBi, GDR CNRS: BiM, ACCITH, Labex MabImprove, Academic Institutional Member of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) (since 2006). IMGT® is certified ISO 9001:2008.


All databases are available at

Sequence databases

Gene database

3D and 2D structure database

Monoclonal antibodies database

Web resources

All IMGT Web resources are available at

IMGT® has been available on the Web since July 1995. IMGT® provides the biologists, researchers and clinicians with an easy to use and friendly interface. IMGT® has an exceptional response with more than 150,000 work sessions a month. Visitors are equally distributed between the European Union, the United States and the remaining world. IMGT/LIGM-DB data are also distributed by the HTTP or FTP and from many Sequence Retrieval System (SRS) sites. IMGT/LIGM-DB can be searched by BLAST or FASTA on different servers (EBI, Institut Pasteur, IGH...).

By its high quality and its easy data distribution, IMGT® has important implications in medical research (repertoires in autoimmune and infectious diseases, AIDS, leukemias, lymphomas, myelomas, allergy), veterinary research, functional genomics, genome diversity, genome evolution studies and comparative genomics of the adaptative immune system, biotechnology related to antibody engineering (combinatorial libraries, phage displays, single chain Fragment scFv, chimeric, humanized and human antibodies), diagnostic (detection and follow up of residual diseases), and therapeutical approaches (grafts, immunotherapy, vaccinology).

IMGT® has become the international reference in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics. At the cutting edge of immunology and bioinformatics, IMGT® is an invaluable integrated database for both fundamental, pharmaceutical, veterinary and clinical research.

IMGT initiator and coordinator: Marie-Paule Lefranc (, Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France, Professor Emeritus Université Montpellier 2
IMGT, LIGM, IGH, UPR CNRS 1142, Montpellier (France)

IMGT server environment french version

Computing environment

The IMGT® information system is localized at the Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire (LIGM), Institut de Génétique Humaine (IGH) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Montpellier, France.
IMGT/HighV-QUEST HPC resources are hosted at the Centre Informatique National de l'Enseignement Supérieur (CINES).

Software environment

  • The operating system is Linux.
  • The Web servers are HTTP and Tomcat from The Apache Software Foundation.
  • The databases are hosted on Sybase system (Sybase Inc.) and MySQL™.
  • The programs are written in Java, Perl and Bourne shell.

Network environment

The Internet access is provided by the french academic network RENATER.

IMGT history french version

The project of an integrated system in Immunogenetics has been started in 1989 by Marie-Paule Lefranc, Professor Université Montpellier 2, CNRS, Montpellier, France.

A prototype of the ImMunoGeneTics information system was developed in France for Immunoglobulin and T cell receptor sequences (LIGM-DB) by the Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire (LIGM, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, Montpellier), in collaboration with the Centre National Universitaire Sud de Calcul (CNUSC, Montpellier, Sophie Creuzet and Denys Chaume) and the Laboratoire d'Informatique, de Robotique et de Micro-électronique de Montpellier (LIRMM, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, Montpellier, Isabelle Mougenot and Patrice Déhais).

In 1992 the database became truly european with the collaboration of EMBL (Rainer Fuchs), IFG (Werner Müller), ICRF (Julia Bodmer) and the obtention of a EU European Union BIOMED1 funding (BIOCT930038).
IMGT/LIGM-DB is available on the Web server of CINES at Montpellier since July 1995. The first demonstration on-line was performed at the 9th International Congress of Immunology at San Francisco, USA (23-29 July 1995). IMGT/MHC-HLA, for human MH1 and MH2 (or HLA) sequences maintained by ANRI, London, is on the EBI server since December 1998.

IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®, enhanced its development through the European Community 5th PCRDT funding QLG2-2000-01287 (collaboration between LIGM, EMBL-EBI, Cancer Research UK, EUROGENTEC and BPRC), and then ImmunoGrid of the EU 6th PCRDT (IST-2004-028069). Since 2008, IMGT® is part of ELIXIR.

IMGT significant dates


  • Creation of IMGT® at the Human Gene Mapping 10 Workshop (HGM10), New Haven (USA) (11-17 June 1989)


  • European Union BIOMED1 funding (BIOCT930038)


  • IMGT/LIGM-DB on the Web, for the first time, at the 9th International Congress of Immunology (9,000 participants), San Francisco (USA) (23-29 July 1995)


  • European Union BIOTECH2 funding (BIO4CT960037)


  • First IMGT Collier de Perles on the Web (April 1997)
  • IMGT/V-QUEST on the Web (07 July 1997)


  • IMGT/MHC-HLA on the Web (December 1998)


  • IMGT® has the honour, for its 10th anniversary, of the cover of the Nucleic Acids Research database issue (January 1999)
  • All the human IG and TR genes are known and all the IMGT gene names are approved by the HUGO Nomenclature Committee (HGNC)


  • IMGT® identified as operational RIO platform (Bioinformatics) at the French national level (CNRS, INSERM, CEA, INRA)
  • IMGT/GeneSearch, IMGT/GeneView andIMGT/LocusView on the Web (17 April 2001)
  • IMGT/JunctionAnalysis on the Web (17 june 2001)
  • IMGT/3Dstructure-DB on the Web (01 October 2001)


  • IMGT/StructuralQuery on the Web (15 January 2002)
  • IMGT/Phylogene on the Web (10 February 2002)
  • IMGT/PRIMER-DB on the Web (22 February 2002)
  • IMGT/MHC-NHP, IMGT/MHC-DLA and -FLA on the Web (April 2002)
  • NetWatch of Science "Blueprints of Immunity"  , Science, vol. 296, p. 1207 (17 May 2002)
  • IMGT/AlleleAlign on the Web (3 June 2002)


  • Editorial "The International ImMunoGeneTics database IMGT", by Warr, G.W., Clem, W. and Söderhäll, K. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 27,1 (2003)   (27 January 2003)
  • IMGT/GENE-DB on the Web (31 January 2003)
  • ADER Prize for IMGT/PRIMER-DB implementation


  • IMGT/GeneInfo on the Web (14 January 2003)
  • IMGT 15 years ! at the 12th International Congress of Immunology, Montreal (Canada) (18-23 July 2004)
  • IMGT-Choreography funded as BioSTIC project


  • IMGT® on the Ensembl Genome Browser


  • BIOSYS, ImmunoGrid


  • IMGT® received the label IBiSA


  • Formal IMGT-ONTOLOGY, IMGT-Kaleidoscope


  • IMGT® is certified ISO 9001:2008 (15 October 2010)


  • IMGT® is certified NF X 50-900 (8 October 2014)