I am a CNRS Senior Scientist working at the Centre de Biologie Structurale in Montpellier, in the Biophysics and Bioengineering department. I co-lead the "Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems" team. I am a soft matter physicist with an expertise in colloidal systems and microfluidics. Beyond soft matter, I developed an activity at the physics-biology interface within the Charles Coulomb Laboratory in 2005. Over the next 10 years, my work on blood microcirculation motivated me in 2015 to immerse myself in an environment of biologists at CBS and create my own team working on the physics of blood microcirculation, what I called "HemoPhysics". This theme of research and my geographic mobility has been fruitful and with my colleagues Francesco Pedaci and Ashley Nord, we founded a new team in 2020 dedicated to the study of the link between structure, mechanics and dynamics in different classes of biological systems.
The general theme of my research can be summed up in one key word: Interface. The common denominator of my research revolves around understanding the relationship between microstructure, mechanics and the overall behavior of interfaces between two fluid media. I have endeavored to ask questions that straddle disciplines (physics and physiology, aerosol science and virology, mechanics and morphogenesis, or materials science and colloid science, for example), with a multi-disciplinary vision, while exploring the technological development possibilities of my observations.
My approaches have focused on the realization of biomimetic tools (viscous and gelled vesicles, granular rafts, fabrication of novel colloidal armors...), and microfluidic tools (novel flows, design of fast differential systems on a cellular scale. ...) to study the physical characteristics of the problem of interest (flow of healthy and sickle-cell red blood cells, stability of colloidal armors to dissolution and surfactants, study of Biot instability on hydrogels...).
Broadly speaking, I can divide my scientific output into two main categories: soft matter/physics and biophysics. I have succeeded in setting up a number of original, internationally-recognized, high-level research avenues in these two fields, notably on colloids and grains at the interfaces of bubbles and single drops, the dynamics of vesicles and red blood cells, and more recently the link between linguistics and viral transmission.
The specificity of my research is to combine, as far as possible, experimental results with a quantitative or semi-quantitative theoretical interpretation framework. For example, I developed the first simple quantitative model to correctly describe the complete behavior of red blood cells under low shear flow. I dare to take an experimental approach to the dynamics of healthy or diseased red blood cells (sickle-cell anemia or malaria) in discussion with physiologists and biologists, because the experiments are tricky and the time needed for interdisciplinary discussion to bring out the relevant questions is long.
True interdisciplinarity takes a lot of time. My concern is to develop physics-based themes with real relevance and stakes for medicine and physiology and in reverse, to find processes that reveal new physical phenomena.