Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM, is the French leading institution in biomedical research ranked in the top 10 worldwide research institutions for innovation.

The Centre de Biochimie Structurale (CBS) in Montpellier is a highly-interdisciplinary research center mixing structural biology, biophysics, and bioengineering with state- of-the art-technological platforms, an excellent scientific environment, and various teams internationally recognized in their field. Montpellier has a vibrant research community and many excellence funding from the French government.

Jerome Bonnet (M) (ORCID 0000-0002-8420-9359). Jerome is the leader of the synthetic biology group at the CBS engineering cellular circuits to improve human health, starting with diagnosis. Before joining the CBS, Jerome was a postdoc in Drew Endy’s lab at Stanford where he engineered genetically encoded data storage and amplifying logic gates operating in living cells. His group has a strong expertise in engineering genetic logic gates, synthetic receptors and whole-cell biosensors. He has received an ERC starting grant.

Role in the project :

The INSERM partner will lead WP2 (Trans-envelope signaling) to (i) engineer a signal transduction machinery linking activation of outer-membrane synthetic receptors developed by the CSIC partner to the activation of inner-membrane synthetic receptors driving a transcriptional output. ii) Design, build, and characterize genetic circuits performing signal amplification, digitization and Boolean logic.

INSERM will intensively participate in WP3 (Generation of biosynthetic pathways for RaR).

Infrastructure and facilities :

The CBS offers state-of-art technological platforms and technical support required for this project as well as the necessary laboratory and office space.

Technological platforms include light, super- resolution, and cryo-electron Microscopies, flow-cytometry, protein purification, NMR, computer clusters. Montpellier has several shared platforms easily accessible.

Related projects and publications :

ERC-Stg-2014: “COMPUCELL: autonomous bacterial computers for diagnosis”.


  • Chang HJ, Mayonove P, Zavala A, De Visch A, Minard P, Cohen-Gonsaud M, Bonnet J. A Modular Receptor Platform To Expand the Sensing Repertoire of Bacteria. ACS Synth Biol. 2018 Jan 19;7(1):166-175.
  • Chang HJ, Voyvodic PL, Zúñiga A, Bonnet J. Microbially derived biosensors for diagnosis, monitoring and epidemiology. Microb Biotechnol. 2017 Sep;10(5):1031-1035.
  • Guiziou S, Sauveplane V, Chang HJ, Clerté C, Declerck N, Jules M, Bonnet J. A part toolbox to tune genetic expression in Bacillus subtilis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Sep 6;44(15):7495-508.
  • Courbet A, Endy D, Renard E, Molina F, Bonnet J. Detection of pathological biomarkers in human clinical samples via amplifying genetic switches and logic gates. Science Translational Medicine 2015 May 27;7(289):289ra83.
  • Bonnet J, Yin P, Ortiz ME, Subsoontorn P, Endy D. Amplifying genetic logic gates. Science. 2013 May 3;340(6132):599-603.
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