Marie-Cécilia Duvernoy

Marie-Cécilia Duvernoy's picture
Graduate Student
Scientific interests

I am currently finishing up my PhD about the early steps of microbial colonization under the supervision of Nicolas Desprat (ENS, Paris) and Sigolène Lecuyer (LIPhy, Grenoble).
I am looking for a post-doctoral position starting in 2016.

During my PhD, I studied how a bacterial microcolony can maintain contact with a surface while spreading on it. We observed that bacteria anchor in an asymmetric fashion that is biased toward a stronger anchorage at the old pole of cells. Such behaviour depends on the expression of various surface proteins (adhesines, polysaccharides). We developed an innovative force measurement technique based on the tracking of deformations of soft substrate. It allowed us to probe adhesions in situ at the scale of a microcolony. We evidenced that adhesive bonds are dynamically created and ruptured as the colony extends. Ruptures can be attributed to pushing forces due to individual cell elongations. Yet, the asymmetry persists and influences the shape of the microcolony, setting the balance between cell-cell interaction and cell-environment interactions.
Our model organisms were E. coli and P. aeruginosa for which we observed common features.


From Sept. 2012 PhD student in experimental biophysics

July 2012 Master's degree in Fundamental Physics, specialized in liquid physics, soft matter and biophysics, issued from Denis Diderot University, Paris VII and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, with honours

July 2009 Licence du Magistère” equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Fundamental Physics issued from the Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris VI and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan

 Research experiences

From Sept. 2012 PhD student in experimental biophysics

May to Aug. 2011 Assistant researcher at the ABCD lab (ENS, Paris) working on public goods trafficking in P. aeruginosa microcolonies

April to July 2010 Assistant researcher at the Brain Science Institute (Swinburn University, Melbourne, Australia) working on an electrical model for neurone populations for ECG modelisation

June 2009 Assistant researcher at the Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et Cosmologie (Subatomic Physics and Cosmology Laboratory, Grenoble) working on the top quark in the ATLAS group of the LHC

 Teaching experiences

From Sept. 2012 Teaching assistant in solid mechanics at Grenoble Alps University

Oct. to Dec. 2011 Examiner in physics at Paris VII university