Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) UMR8204 à l’Institut Pasteur de Lille


Structure involved

Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille - CIIL


Principal Investigator: Dr. Frank Lafont

Frank_Lafont After medical training Frank Lafont has studied neurobiology at the École Normale Supérieure (Paris, France) during his PhD obtained at the Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie. Then, he learned Cell Biology at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg, Germany) working on the membrane trafficking of viral proteins. He started his cellular microbiology research project based on bacteria interaction with the host cell focusing on raft membranes at the University of Geneva, Univ. Medical Center (Switzerland) and learned Atomic Force Microscopy at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) to study the physics of these membrane domains.


Since 2005, he is group leader at the Pasteur Institute in Lille where he developed a multidisciplinary approach to study how pathogens hijacked autophagy during infection, and how they interact with the host cell with an emphasis more at the membrane interfaces. In particular, the Cellular Microbiology and Physics of Infection group unveiled how membrane damages are regulated by LC3-dependent mechanisms and how pathogenic bacteria subvert the autophagy pathway to their own benefit. To address these biological questions, the group has pioneered and developed several methodological methods such as membrane stiffness tomography and correlative methods based on Atomic Force Microscopy.


Frank Lafont has also a degree from the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris-Europe with major in management and is heading the BioImaging Center Lille high technology Facility. He is coordinating and member of many national and international programs and is strongly involved in teaching Biology and in Physics at the Univ. Lille notably. He is deeply implicated in technological networks and science popularization. Frank Lafont has been member of many authorities, e.g. CNRS executive office (Biological Sciences Institute), and learning societies.






Group website:


Scientific projects:

ESR4: Towards automation for nano-mechanics characterization of biological samples in diseases. ESR4 is a joint PhD project (CNRS/IBEC).

ESR5: Nano-mechanics response measurements of cells and tissues in cancer.