Pierre Ronceray (CINAM)

Modeling and Measuring Soft Living Matter


2021 - present | CENTURI group leader

2019 - 2020 | Postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Physics of Biological Function - Princeton University

2016 - 2019 | Postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Theoretical Science - Princeton University

2013 - 2016 | PhD in Theoretical Physics, Université Paris -Sud


Luminy campus, Marseille (France)

About his research

Understanding the organization and dynamics of living matter, from the protein level to the tissue level, is a tremendous challenge from a physicist’s point of view. My goal is to identify simple physical laws governing this complex, heterogeneous, non-linear, out-of-equilibrium state of matter. I propose a dual theoretical approach to this problem. On the one hand, I address the direct problem: through analytic calculations, computational modeling and collaborations with experimentalists, I explore the assembly, mechanics and thermodynamics of cellular structures. On the other hand, I design methods for the inverse problem: inferring the dynamical properties of these systems – such as force, diffusion and stress fields – from microscopy data. Indeed, while these quantities are central objects in physical theories of soft biological matter, they are not directly observable: to advance our understanding of biological matter, novel data analysis methods adapted to modern experimental techniques are required.