Research Teams

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Team “Neuronal Circuits & Brain Dynamics”
Team leader(s)
Nikolas KARALIS Team leader Contact by email

We are interested in how neuronal circuits are organized and how the collective action of neurons gives rise to the emergent complex brain dynamics and behavior.
We focus on how neurochemicals and bodily signals influence the brain.
  • We study how the simultaneous release of neuromodulators, such as dopamine and serotonin, influences the activity of neurons and the coordination of brain regions
  • We also study how bodily signals, such as breathing, serve as fundamental elements of the oscillatory circuit architecture
  • We employ our approach to study the brain dynamics during behavior and sleep and their involvement in the transformation of fleeting experiences into long-term memories

To answer these fundamental questions about the nature and function of the brain, we combine a range of cutting-edge neurotechnologies that enable us to observe and control the activity of the brain.


Using these approaches, we aim to identify and explore the fundamental principles of neural circuit organization and apply our understanding for the improvement of the human condition.

For more information
The Diane Barrière Chair « Molecular physiology of synaptic bioenergetics »
Team leader(s)
Neurophysiology Main domain: Neurophysiology Subdomain : Molecular & cellular neuroscience Jaime DE JUAN-SANZ’s team investigates mitochondrial dysfunction as a primary cause in epilepsy. Mitochondria plays a pivotal role for neuronal function, controlling three fundamental mechanisms that are essential for neuronal biology and synaptic transmission: 1) ATP production, 2) Ca2+ homeostasis and 3) apoptotic cell death. Using cutting-edge optical techniques to study bioenergetics in firing synapses in combination with precise metabolic and genetic manipulations, the team will work on developing a detailed molecular understanding of the role of synaptic mitochondrial metabolism in controlling neuronal function in health and disease. For more information
Team “Molecular Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease”
Team leader(s)
Jean-Christophe CORVOL MD, PhD, Prof. of Neurology, Sorbonne University, AP-HP
Physiopathology of neurogical disorders Main domain: Cellular & molecular neuroscience Subdomain: Clinical & translational neurosciences Olga CORTI & Jean-Christophe CORVOL’s team proposes a multidimensional clinical, genetic/genomic and cell biology-based program aimed at deciphering and integrating the molecular heterogeneity and biological complexity of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) towards translation to clinical research. For more information
Team “Cellular mechanisms of sensory processing”
Team leader(s)
Cellular physiology of cortical microcircuits Main domain: Neurophysiology The human brain is composed by millions of neurons that communicate with each other using an even greater number ofsynapses. An open question is how those neurons with all its connections give rise to most of animal and human behavior? In the lab we investigate the cellular and network mechanisms at the origin of sensory perception For more information
TEAM “Structural dynamics of networks”
equipe dynamique structurale des réseaux
Team leader(s)
CNS development and plasticity Main domain : Cellular & molecular neurosciences Nicolas RENIER’s plans to develop and use cutting-edge 3D whole brain imaging and genetic tools aimed at elucidating how neuronal networks in the adult brain can be rewired at a large scale. The team will :
  • Investigate the molecular mechanisms of axon and branch dynamics in the adult brain
  • Gain new information on neuro-vascular interaction during plastic events
  • Develop correlative 3D imaging of live calcium imaging in the behaving animal with whole brain mapping of neuronal markers and connectivity
  • Determine the role of structural plasticity to support transitions in behavior in the mouse.
For more information
Team “Brain Development”
Team leader(s)
Main domain : Cellular & molecular neurosciences Bassem HASSAN’s team investigates the formation of neurons and neural circuits during brain development, focusing on the transcriptional control of stem cells fate during early neurogenesis in Drosophila and mouse, and the emergence of individuality in Drosophila visual circuits and behavior. For more information
Team “Cellular physiology of cortical microcircuits”
Team leader(s)
Alberto BACCI PhD, DR1, CNRS
Main domain : Neurophysiology Alberto Bacci’s team investigates the microcircuits of the cerebral cortex. In particular, the team is interested in the synaptic and plasticity properties of synapses originating from a highly diverse population of neurons forming stereotyped cortical circuits. To this aim, the lab uses a battery of ex vivo and in vivo neurophysiological approaches. For more information
Team “Alzheimer’s disease and prion diseases ”
Team leader(s)
Stephane HAIK MD, PhD, DR2, INSERM Contact by email
Marie-Claude POTIER PharmD, PhD, DR2, CNRS
Main domain: Cellular & molecular neuroscience Subdomain : Clinical & translational neurosciences The team has a strong background in Alzheimer’s disease andprions diseases and brings together researchers specializedon both diseases with the complementary skills and strategiesto foster emerging approaches and study common mechanisms. It notably relies on the central role of the investigators in brain banking (Neuro-CEB) and national centers of reference for prion diseases, and on the transversal knowledge from neuropathology to animal and cellular models both in Alzheimer and in prion’s fields. For more information
Team “Genetics and physiopathology of epilepsy”
Team leader(s)
Eric LEGUERN MD, PhD, PU-PH, Sorbonne Université/APHP
Stéphanie Baulac & Eric Leguern’s team aims to unravel the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying focal epilepsies with malformations of the cortical development, developmental & epileptic Encephalopathies and genetic generalized epilepsies. For more information
Team “Control- Interoception – Attention”
équipe "CIA: contrôle cognitif- intéroception - attention"
Team leader(s)
Philippe FOSSATI MD, PhD, PU-PH, Sorbonne université, AP-HP
Goal directed behavior, social, moral cognition, motivation Main domain: Cognition Subdomain : Clinical & translational neurosciences Philippe FOSSATI & Liane SCHMIDT ’s team aims to understand how cognitive control processes integrate external and internal signals, and how this integration takes place on behavioral and neural levels, in healthy subjects and patients with impaired cognitive control (i.e., in depression and obesity). For more information