The Laboratoire d'ImmunoGénétique Moléculaire (LIGM) was created by Prof. Marie-Paule Lefranc and Prof. Gérard Lefranc, at Montpellier in March 1983 (Université de Montpellier and CNRS). The Professors Marie-Paule and Gérard Lefranc have been involved for 50 years in the genetics of rare diseases in congenital families (first in Lebanon at the University of Saint-Joseph at Beirut, then in Tunisia at the Faculté de Pharmacie et de Médecine Dentaire at Monastir that they contributed to create) and in the structure, polymorphism and function of the antigen receptors of the adaptive immune responses, the immunoglobulins (IG) or antibodies 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.