JL Maitre copie

Jean-Léon Maître

2018 Laureate

Current position

Group leader (DR CNRS) at the Institut Curie

Host Institution

Institut Curie, CNRS


Mechanics of mammalian development


Animals come in all shapes and sizes. We want to understand how the mammalian embryo is built. For this, we study how the forces that deform and move the cells within the embryo are produced. Usual suspects are adhesion molecules, gluing cells together, and the cytoskeleton, which can push and pull on these adhesion molecules. We use biophysical tools to measure the forces, high-resolution microscopy to observe the embryo deformation and genetics to perturb development. This knowledge and the techniques that we develop could have direct applications in assisted reproductive technologies.

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• 2012 PhD, Institute of Science and Technologies Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria and Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg’s lab

• 2013-2016 EMBO and Marie Curie postdoc fellow, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, Takashi Hiiragi’s lab

• 2016 CNRS CR2, Institut Curie, Paris, France

• 2016 Group leader at Institut Curie, Paris, France


• Bronze medal from the CNRS, 2020

• EMBO Young investigator, 2020

•Claude Paoletti award from the CNRS, 2019

• Starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC), 2017

• Young researcher award from the Societe de Biologie Cellulaire de France, 2017