Stochastic integration of networks evolved in Lalanne & PF, PRL 2013

Tracking of ECM movements from Benazeraf, PF, et al. Nature, 2010

"Evolutionary space" for two fitnesses function for adaptive network, from PF, Siggia, Phys Biol 2008

Evolutionary pathways for dipteran segmentation predicted by in silico evolution, from Rothschild et al.




A couple of online talks:


Paul's course at Institut Curie on vertebrate segmentation for physicists


Paul's talk at the Simons Foundation 2014 MPS meeting (scroll down)


We are interested in the theoretical aspects of:

Evolution, real and simulated.

How do gene networks evolve ?  Can we tell anything on the underlying control structures of a biological system based on its phenotypes ? Can we "retrodict" evolution based on first principles ? Can we simulate evolution ? 

We have developed tools to evolve models of "gene networks" in silico, performing predefined biological functions. We have applied and predicted structure of networks for systems ranging from genetic oscillators, biochemical adaptation to development and immune system.


In collaboration with:

Vincent Hakim

Eric Siggia

Cellular detection, including immune system

How do immune cells account for specific and sensitive sensing ? How can cells detect small concentrations of ligands into a fluctuating see of spurious interactions ?

We have developed several models of signalling networks, including what we called "adaptive sorting", able to filter out minute concentration of ligands from many incorrect interactions.


In collaboration with:

Grégoire Altan-Bonnet

Massimo Vergassola


Vertebrate Development

How do vertebrae form ? How do cells interpret the waves of genetic expression defining their future fate ? How do cells "flow" during embryonic extension ? 

We have developed models and computational approaches for the study of vertebrate axis elongation, in close collaboration with experimentalists.


In collaboration with:

Olivier Pourquié

Alexander Aulehla

Sharon Amacher



Paul François

Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, Room 221
McGill University
3600 rue University
Montréal, QC, Canada H3A 2T8


Tel: +1 514 398 1635 Fax : +1 514 398 8434

Email: paulf at physics dot mcgill dot ca


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