CENTURI Internal newsletter

#1 - October 2018

CENTURI: 4 new groups to arrive by January 2019

The call for new research teams at CENTURI has been extremely successful and will lead to the creation of four new research groups.

  • Matthias MERKEL, theoretical biophysicist, currently at Syracuse University, who will integrate the Center for Theoretical Physics (CPT). He works on the self-organization and collective dynamics in biological systems and on the mechanics and polarity dynamics in two- and three-dimensional biological tissues.


  • Hervé ROUAULT, theoretical neuroscientist, currently at the Janelia Research Campus - HHMI, who will integrate the Center for Theoretical Physics (CPT). He works on neural networks for the computation and processing of spatial information.


  • Jean-François RUPPRECHT, statistical physicist and biophysicist, currently at the MechanoBiology Institute in Singapore, who will integrate the Center for Theoretical Physics (CPT). He works on the role of mechanical fluctuations in force generation processes that occur at the cell and tissue scales.


  • Paul VILLOUTREIX, mathematician and developmental biologist, currently at the Weizmann Institute of Science, who will integrate the Laboratoire d’Informatique et des systèmes (LIS). He works on the automatic treatment of large imaging datasets to answer questions related to the study of embryogenesis.


The new Principal Investigators will arrive on the Luminy campus early in 2019 and significantly reinforce CENTURI’s assets in the field of theoretical physics and modeling. The recruitment of new PIs, mainly working on theoretical approaches, will also encourage multidisciplinary collaborations and the recruitment of early-career scientists.

CENTURI PhD and postdoc calls

After the success of the call to hire new principal investigators, the recruitment of high-level PhD students and post-doctoral will be CENTURI’s priority for the year 2018-2019. The results of the last call for new PhD students and postdocs have been mixed: after a thorough evaluation process, only one new PhD student and two post-doctoral fellows will join the CENTURI teams.


Based on this experience, CENTURI will in its future calls:

  • Broaden and define more precisely selection criteria (of both projects and students). Collaboration between experimental scientists and theoreticians will remain a priority, but a more progressive collaborative approach will be possible including experimental biology and biophysics.
  • Open to PhD students and post-doctoral fellows the possibility to propose projects.
  • Allow PhD students and post-doctoral fellows to apply to several projects, on a voluntary basis.


Two PhD calls will be organized for the university year 2018-2019. The next one will open in January 2019, stay tuned!


PhD projects that had been pre-selected for the 2017-2018 call can be resubmitted. Project applications submitted before December 31 will be evaluated by the CENTURI research committee early January and be advertised on the Centuri website right after. Selected projects will be advertised on CENTURI’s website until the end of the call, February 20.


PhD call key dates

  • Project submission (research teams): November 15 – December 31
  • Preselection of projects: January 2-9
  • Publication of projects and opening of the call for candidates: January 10- February 20
  • Pre-selection for interviews: February 25 – March 10
  • Interviews: April 20-30
  • Results of the call (committee): May 2-10
  • Final answer (from candidates): May 20
  • Beginning of PhD: September 2019


The next PhD call will open January 10, 2019, stay tuned! CENTURI will fund a maximum of 12 new PhD positions in 2019.


The next postdoc call will fund a maximum amount of 10 postdoctoral positions, for a maximum of 24 months. This call will be open to high-level postdocs willing to work in an interdisciplinary life science environment, with backgrounds in cell or developmental biology, immunology, neuroscience, theoretical physics, biophysics, computer science, bioinformatics, applied mathematics or engineering.

Research teams can submit either new projects or projects which had been pre-selected for the 2017-2018 call. Post-doctoral fellows will also be able to apply with their own project (providing that they are supported by the expected host teams). We invite you to submit projects for this call, at the following address: postdocproject@centuri-livingsystems.org. Pre-selected projects will be advertised online on CENTURI’s website.

CENTURI Research Committee will evaluate the applications and select the candidates chosen for an interview. Interviewed candidates will be evaluated by an ad hoc committee, composed of three CENTURI representatives and two independent experts.


Postdoc call key dates

  • Project submission (from Centuri research teams and post-docs willing to propose their own project): October 04 - November 15
  • Preselection of projects (Centuri research committee): October 16 - November 15
  • Publication of projects and opening of the call for candidates: October 16 – November 30
  • Preselection of candidates (Centuri research committee) for interviews: December 06
  • Interviews (ad hoc committee): January 10-11, 2019
  • Results of the call: January 11, 2019
  • Final answer (from candidates) January 21


Selection criteria will be specified by October 04. Stay tuned!

Simon Legendre joins CENTURI as project manager

Freshly arrived in Luminy, Simon Legendre joined CENTURI as Project Director in August. Previously working at the Institut Pasteur as Adviser to the President, Simon now coordinates CENTURI's management team.


To contact Simon: simon.legendre@univ-amu.fr

PLM 13 - When physics meets biology in Marseille

The 11th and 12th September, the Institute for the Physics of Living Systems (UCL-IPLS) and the Turing Centre for Living Systems (CENTURI) co-organised the 13th edition of the symposium Physics of Living Matter (PLM). More than 130 participants from all over the world gathered in Marseille for two days to share their latest research findings.


Read more.

Poster accueil

CENTURI technology development & transfer call

CENTURI Tech Transfer Platform has launched the Call for Technology Development & Transfer 2018. This call was designed to promote the development of cutting-edge experimental set-ups of general interest to the Centuri community.

This call aims to identify promising projects with innovative, easy-to-use systems and help developing them by funding equipment and providing technical support

The pre-selected projects will be reviewed during the CENTURI Tech Day the 9th November 2018.

Next CENTURI Seminars

  • External Seminar - October 15: Benno Schwikowski (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France)

Novel, interpretable, machine learning approaches for discovery in genome-scale datasets

Dynamic control of hippocampal spatial coding resolution by local visual vues

  • External Seminar - November 5: Rob Phillips (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA)

Musings on Biology’s Greatest Model and the Second Secret of Life: a talk on Allostery

  • External Seminar - November 19: Eric Goles (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago, Chile)

Threshold networks: dynamics and applications

  • Internal Seminar -December 3: Anais Baudot (Internal seminar – Marseille Medical genetics)

Mining networks to study rare and common diseases

  • External Seminar - December 10: Jean-Marc Allain (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France)

Title to be announced


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