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Dr. Pierre Bost heads a new team combining single-cell exploration of viruses and tissue analysis in space


At the start of 2024, Dr. Pierre Bost arrived at Institut Curie in Paris as the new Junior Principal Investigator in the Dynamics of genetic information: fundamental bases and cancer unit (CNRS UMR3244 / Sorbonne Université) headed by Dr. Antonin Morillon.

 Dr Pierre Bost à la tête d’une nouvelle équipe

With his Transcriptome dynamic and heterogeneity in the context of infectious diseases team (CNRS UMR3244/ Sorbonne Université), he studies how viruses produce a variety of RNAs while adapting to their environment, on the scale of the single cell. He also aims to provide new computational and statistical tools for more efficient analysis and interpretation of data obtained by multiplexed imaging, a technique that enables the simultaneous visualization and analysis of several biological components in a sample. 


You recently joined Institut Curie. Can you tell us a little about your background?  

Dr. Pierre Bost: My thesis was co-directed by Institut Pasteur in France and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, during which I worked on a range of issues including infectious diseases, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. At the time, most of my research was focused on single-cell sequencing, an innovative technology essential to the study of infectious diseases. In particular, I led analyses on COVID-19 in 2020, to explore how the virus replicated in human lungs.  

After my thesis, I moved to the University of Zurich, Switzerland, to work more on imaging than on sequencing. My aim was to explore how recent advances in multiplexed imaging methods could be used to study diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases. 


What are the main lines of research you would like to develop in your team at Institut Curie?  

Dr. Pierre Bost: My background is characterized by a strong commitment to the development of methods, both experimental and computational, which is a less common approach in France but one that I particularly appreciate. This is a philosophy I also intend to apply to my team at Institut Curie.  

My team is therefore focusing on two major areas. Firstly, we are exploring viral infection as a whole, using single-cell sequencing. This cutting-edge technology is not yet widely used for this type of problem. This innovative approach will enable us to understand how viruses reproduce and interact with the body's cells, opening up new perspectives in the fight against infectious diseases.  

The second part of my research is much more focused on theory and computer science. During my post-doctorate, I realized that recent advances in multiplexed imaging methods have revealed a wealth of information about the spatial distribution of different molecules in healthy and damaged tissues. At the same time, dozens of proteins and hundreds of RNAs can be detected! However, the use to which this information can be put remains extremely complex. My team and I will therefore be tackling the interpretation of these data by developing new computational and statistical tools to transform the raw data into biologically relevant information.  


Looking ahead, what are your expectations and prospects for collaboration at Institut Curie to successfully carry out your research projects? 

Dr. Pierre Bost: Institut Curie boasts expertise in single-cell sequencing that is rare in Europe and unique in France, notably with its CurieCoreTech Custom Single Cell Omics platform and the Single Cell Initiative. This technology is at the heart of my work, and my scientific vision and objectives are only fully meaningful in this exceptional context.  

What's more, Institut Curie embodies the very essence of multidisciplinarity, a fundamental characteristic that I want to incorporate into my research team.  

There's a very good fit between what Institut Curie has to offer and what I'm looking to do. I'm sure that here, I'll be able to push back the frontiers of infectious biology research and contribute to new scientific breakthroughs! 


Profile of Dr. Pierre Bost 

Team of Dr. Pierre Bost 

Dynamics of genetic information: fundamental bases and cancer (CNRS UMR3244 / Sorbonne Université) 

New Junior Principal Investigators (JPIs) receive a starting package on arrival at the Research Center. This involves financial support and tailored services to establish a research team, in particular, with the assistance of a scientific editor for ERC projects.  

Therefore, from arrival, they have access to their offices, shared equipment in their unit, administrative support and common resources made available at the Research Center. 

This supportive approach is only possible thanks to the generosity of the public.