The laboratory is directed by Patrice Polard and Cécile Albenne

Patrice POLARD, director

Patrice Polard

Patrice Polard is Research Director / CNRS; Head of the “Pneumococcal Competence and Transformation” team;
Director of the LMGM since 2015.

Higher education

  • 1988 – 1989 : DEA in Microbiology from the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III.
  • 1989 – 1993 : PhD thesis at l’Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III.
  • 2005 : Habilitation to Direct Research (HDR), Université de Paris XII

Professional career: Research scientist at the CNRS

1994 : CR2 – CNRS  / 1998 : CR1 – CNRS  / 2006 :  DR2 – CNRS / 2016 : DR1 – CNRS

Research projects

Three distinct research projects conducted since 1994, each focused on a key and general process of DNA dynamics in bacteria on :

  1. the ‘Mechanism of the transposition of the IS911 insertion sequence’ at the LMGM (1994-1996), in direct continuity of the PhD (1989-1993);
  2. the ‘Mechanism of DNA replication restart in Bacillus subtilis’ in the Microbial Genetics (GM) unit at INRA (1996 – 2007) and in the LMGM (2008-2010) ;
  3. the ‘Mechanism of genetic transformation of pneumococcus (since 2005 in GM unit).

This last project has become the sole research project since 2010, which was broadened to be the current team project aimed at conducting the ’Integrated analysis of competence and transformation in the pneumococcus’. All these projects were conducted with a multidisciplinary approach, combining molecular genetics, protein biochemistry, biology and cell imaging dedicated to bacteria. Several of these approaches have been developed for the execution of the projects. Each of these projects has led to new fundamental discoveries, published in several generalist journals (Cell, Mol. Cell, EMBO J., PNAS, Genes and Dev., Plos Genetics, NAR, JBC,…).

Cécile ALBENNE, deputy-director

Cécile Albenne

After an initial training in Biological Engineering at the INSA of Toulouse (1999), Cécile Albenne started a PhD in Enzyme Engineering at the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), under the co-direction of Pierre Monsan and Magali Remaud-Siméon. After being in charge of the TBI’s Combinatorial Engineering of Optimized Enzymes platform for two years (2003-2005), she was appointed Associate Professor in Biochemistry at the University Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier (UT3) in 2005 and then joined the Laboratory of Plant Sciences Research (LRSV) of Toulouse where she developed research projects focused on the structural and functional characterization of plant cell wall proteins in Elisabeth Jamet’s team.

In 2016, Cécile Albenne joined the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Genetics (LMGM) in the team “Regulation and Transport of Proteins across Cell Membranes” led by Raffaele Ieva. She is interested in the mechanisms of biogenesis and maintenance of the envelope of Gram-negative bacteria which are critical for the maintenance of the permeability barrier that protects the cell from external aggressions. A better understanding of the molecular basis underlying these processes may lead to the identification of targets of interest for the development of new antibiotics to fight pathogenic bacteria.
In terms of teaching, Cécile Albenne teaches Biochemistry to students from L2 to M2. She is currently responsible for a module of M1 Biotechnologies entitled “Integrative Structural Biology” and co-leader of the international M2 “Structural and Functional Biochemistry“.

Since 2021, Cécile Albenne is Deputy Director of the LMGM, in partnership with Patrice Polard who has been the Director since 2016. As such, she is a member of the Management Committee of the Center for Integrative Biology of which the LMGM is a part.