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Christophe PLACE




I was born in Vitry/Seine in Paris area in 1968. I studied at the University of Orsay Paris XI then Paris VI where I specialized in Physico-Molecular Chemistry. I completed my doctoral thesis in the inorganic chemistry field at the interface with biology. I worked on the synthesis and study of polyimidazole complexes of iron and copper, models of active metalloprotein sites under the direction of J-C Chottard. After a post-doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology at New York University with W.T. Mcallister and at Pasteur Institute under the direction of H. Buc, I joined the Physics Laboratory (UMR5672) of the Lyon ENS in 2000. I continued research at the interface of Physics and Biology. My course allowed me to work in various environments (chemistry, biology, physical), enrich my scientific culture and develop a scientific activity at the interface of these areas.

Research topics

My scientific interest is in the dynamics of biological objects. The originality consists in not treating them as a whole but in individually analysing their future using video-microscopy techniques of unique molecules or cells. My main research theme is the understanding of transcription mechanisms and their consequences on cell differentiation. For this reason I am interested in understanding the transcription mechanisms whether in an isolated in-vitro system or in the in-vivo cell. In the Physics laboratory and then in the Joliot-Curie laboratory, I developed experiments based on the observation by microscopy of  fluorescence of enzymes and unique DNA in interaction.
More recently, the development of high-resolution microscopies has made it possible to resolve the position of proteins in the nucleus with a localization accuracy of 20 nm despite the protein overload. I then initiated a collaboration to report the activity of HOX transcription factors in the living cell. In parallel with this activity, the use of TIRF (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) microscopy has allowed me to track biological objects such as podosomes or microtubules and to report on their dynamic properties.

Fields of interest

Single Molecule, Fluorescence Microscopy, Biophysics


Super-resolution microscopy PALM and STORM, TIRF, videomicroscopy


Transcription mechanisms, Tracking of podosomes or microtubules, Nuclear proteins positioning



Everspark is a ready-to-use dSTORM super-resolution microscopy buffer offering long-term and stable fluorescence imaging over several weeks.

Several publications

Provost A, Rousset C, Bourdon L, Mezhoud S, Reungoat E, Fourneaux C, Bresson T, Pauly M, Béard N, Possi-Tchouanlong L, Grigorov B, Bouvet P, Diaz JJ, Chamot C, Pécheur EI, Ladavière C, Charreyre MT, Favier A, Place C, Monier K. Innovative particle standards and long-lived imaging for 2D and 3D dSTORM. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 29;9(1):17967. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-53528-0

Takata-Tsuji F, Choulnamountri N, Place C, Pascual O. Measurement of astrocytic glutamate release using genetically-encoded probe combined with TIRF microscopy, chapter book in: Biochemical Approaches for Glutamatergic Neurotransmission, Neuromethods vol 130, Humana press, Springer. 2018. pp.155-168. https://experiments.springernature.com/articles/10.1007/978-1-4939-7228-9_6

Gaume X, Place C, Delage H, Mongelard F, Monier K, Bouvet P. Expression of Nucleolin Affects Microtubule Dynamics. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 16;11(6):e0157534. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157534

Golovkine, G.; Lemelle, L.; Burny, C.; Vaillant, C.; Palierne, J. F.; Place, C.; Huber, P. Host-cell surfaces alter bacterial swimming. Scientific Reports. 2016, 6, 38950. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5155295/

Adjili S, Favier A, Massin J, Bretonnière Y, Lacour W, Lin YC, Chatre E, Place C, Favard C, Muriaux D, Andraud C, Charreyre MT “Synthesis of Multifunctional Lipid-Polymer Conjugates: Application to the Elaboration of Bright Far-Red Fluorescent Lipid Probes”. RSC Adv. 2014, 4 (30), 15569-15578. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2014/ra/c4ra01334d#!divAbstract

Lemelle L, Palierne J. F, Chatre E, Vaillant C, Place C. “Curvature reversal of the circular motion of swimming bacteria probes for slip at solid / liquid interfaces”. Soft Matter. 2013, 9 (41), 9759-9762. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2013/sm/c3sm51426a#!divAbstract

Hu S, Planus E, Georgess D, Place C, Wang X, Albiges-Rizo C, Jurdic P, Géminard JC. Podosome rings generate forces that drive saltatory osteoclast migration. Mol Biol Cell. 2011 Sep;22(17):3120-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3164459/

Pomerantz RT, Ramjit R, Gueroui Z, Place C, Anikin M, Leuba S, Zlatanova J, McAllister WT. A tightly regulated molecular motor based upon T7 RNA polymerase. Nano Lett. 2005 Sep;5(9):1698-703. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/nl0509125

Tissot B, Daniel R, Place C. Interaction of the C1 complex of complement with sulfated polysaccharide and DNA probed by single molecule fluorescence microscopy. Eur J Biochem. 2003 Dec;270(23):4714-20. https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1432-1033.2003.03870.x

Gueroui Z, Place C, Freyssingeas E, Berge B. Observation by fluorescence microscopy of transcription on single combed DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Apr 30;99(9):6005-10.  https://www.pnas.org/content/99/9/6005