The i-Bio program supports the installation of Nicolas Biais at the IBPS

Nicolas Biais was recruited on January 1, 2021 on a position of Professor of Cellular Biomechanics at Sorbonne University. To support his installation at the IBPS in the Jean Perrin Laboratory, he will benefit from an i-Bio financial package. Nicolas has a resolutely interdisciplinary profile, having completed a dual training in Physics and Biology throughout his academic education, and holding a PhD at the interface between these two disciplines. He moved to New-York in 2004 to complete his post-doctoral training at Columbia University, then held a position as an Associate Research Scientist. In 2013 he set up his team at Brooklyn College of CUNY. In addition to his research activities, Nicolas has a solid teaching experience at the interface between Physics and Biology where he has successfully put into practice most teaching formats at all levels from Bachelor to Master.

Nicolas Biais is interested in the roles played by the generation of forces by bacteria, in particular by Neisseria gonorrhoeae the infectious agent of gonorrhea, one of the most common venereal diseases. This bacterium has the ability of assembling on its surface long filaments, the Type IV pili, which undergo cycles of elongation and retraction and can be found in many other bacteria. Thanks to these properties of those ubiquitous bacterial appendages, bacteria can generate mechanical forces on their surroundings and use them to move, exchange DNA, colonize surfaces and form biofilms in interaction with other bacteria of the same species, to compete with other bacterial species, and to interact with the human host cells that they infect. In depth studies of the forces generated by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria carry the promise of both fundamental understanding of the role of physical interactions among bacteria and development of innovative therapeutic strategies.