Biophysics, Microbiology, Host-Pathogen interactions, Cell Biology
Department of Physics
, updated on
13 December 2021
Laboratoire de physique de l’ENS (LPENS)
2ème étage, bureau L277
24, rue Lhomond 75231 Paris cedex 05
01 44 323468

Nicolas Desprat is a physicists appointed associate professor at Paris University. He is currently performing his research in the Department of Physics at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris.

Field of research

Nicolas was trained in condensed matter physics at Sorbonne University. He obtained a PhD in cell rheology at Paris University. During his postdoctoral studies at Institut Curie, he investigated the role of mechanical forces during the early development of drosophila embryos. He then moved from mechanobiology to the field of microbiology where he is trying to understand how the different scales of description (microbial cell biology, ecology and evolution) intertwine to sustain the quasi-perpetual motion of life. In order to understand the dynamical organisation of living systems, Nicolas Desprat designs experiments to solve spatio-temporal activities. In parallel, he started to develop collaborations with contemporary artists to investigate how the arts could interact with living matter.


  • Peron-cane C., Leblanc J., Gautier. A., Desprat* N., Lebreton* A. [2020] Fluorescent secreted bacterial effectors reveal an intravacuolar replication compartment for Listeria monocytogenes. PLoS Pathogens 16(10):e1009001.
  • Duvernoy MC, Mora T, Ardré M, Croquette V, Bensimon D, Quilliet C, Ghigo JM, Balland M, Beloin C, Lecuyer S, Desprat N.  [2018] Asymmetric adhesion of rod-shaped bacteria controls microcolony morphogenesis. Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 16;9(1):1120
  • Julou T*, Mora T*, Guillon L, Schalk I, Croquette V, Bensimon D, Desprat N. (2013) Cell-cell contacts confine public goods diffusion inside Pseudomonas aeruginosa clonal microcolonies. PNAS 110: 12577: 12582.
  • Desprat N, Supatto W, Pouille PA, Beaurepaire E, Farge E (2008) Tissue deformation modulates twist expression to determine anterior midgut differentiation in Drosophila embryos. Developmental Cell 15 :470-7.
  • Desprat N, Richert A, Simeon J, Asnacios A (2005) Creep function of a single living cell. Biophysical Journal 88 :2224-33.