I did my undergraduate in biochemistry and genetics at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse (France). I then started a PhD in bioinformatics under the supervision of Des Higgins at the European Laboratory for Molecular Biology (EMBL) in Heidelberg (EMBL) and Cambridge (EMBL-EBI). It is during that time that I became increasingly interested in the development of sequence alignment algorithms.
Following my PhD, I did a one year post doc at the NIMRC in Mill Hill (London) and joined the CNRS (France) in 2000. In 2007 I became senior principal investigator in the Bioinformatics and Genomic program of the centre for genomic regulation (CRG) in Barcelona (Spain) where I manage a small team of 10 researchers.
My most notable scientific achievement to this day is the T-Coffee multiple sequence alignment algorithm that has received over 4.000 citations. At the time the original paper came out, it described a very innovative approach that contributed to initiating a new generation of aligners based on the use of consistency. I am also very interested in scientific dissemination and my main achievement on this front has been the book "Bioinformatics for Dummies" that I co-authored with Jean-Michel Claverie in 2002 and that has sold over 40.000 copies worldwide.
My scientific interests are very wide and include any domain where sequence comparison methods can contribute: sequence analysis algorithm, phylogeny reconstruction methods, rational use of structural information for sequence and evolutionary analysis, genomics and transcriptomics analysis, RNA analysis algorithms, methodological development for longitudinal data analysis and high-throughput computation. I am also increasingly interested in concrete applications of the methods my group is developing with the two main focuses being currently Leishmania genomics analysis (in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute in Paris) and Long Non Coding RNA analysis (in collaboration with the ENCODE consortium).
I am a huge fan of informal inter-disciplinary adventures and even though I am growing wiser by the years, I still find it hard to resist crazy collaboration invitations by fellow scientists. In this domain, my most adventurous expedition has probably been the adaptation of bioinformatics methods for the analysis of social longitudinal data, in collaboration with Lausanne University Social Science department. I am not ruling out even wilder endeavours in the future - on the contrary...