Born in Algiers in July 1939, Jacques Demaille was one of the fathers of the French genome program. As a physician and researcher, he left his mark on medical research in Montpellier. After a stay in the United States in the laboratory of Edmond H. Fischer's laboratory in the United States, where he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1992, he directed the Centre de Recherche en Biochimie Macromoléculaire (CRBM) from 1983 to 1997 and founded the Institut de Génétique Humaine (IGH) in 1998, which he directed until 2002. He was also president of the University of Montpellier and director of the CNRS Life Sciences Institute. He will be remembered as a passionate, inspiring and outstanding builder.