Professor Classe Exceptional (PRCE)

Actual position and research subject

Prof Jean Marie FRANCOIS is full professor of Industrial Microbiology and BioNanotechnology at Federal University of Toulouse, School of Engineer. His research activity concerns integrated physiology and functional genomics in microbial systems, with a specific focus on genetic and metabolic regulation and refactoring carbon and energy metabolism towards production of bio-based chemicals for renewable carbon sources. He is co leader of a team of about 10 persons at TBI. At the moment, He is coordinator of 2 ANR (agence national de la recherche) granted project and one Eranet-Colbiotech EU project. In addition, he is managing 4 industrial-driven projects at the Toulouse White Biotechnology center dedicated to the production of biobased products from renewable carbon source using microbial cell factories. These projects involved about 10 people (5 research engineers and 5 technical engineers) and are financed part by BPI/ ADEME and part by Industrials.

Education and Diploma


1993 -2010 – Professor of Microbiology & Biochemistry; teaching Microbiology, Metabolic Biochemistry, Microbial physiology at INSA and UPS-Toulouse

2010 to now – Professor Industrial Microbiology and BioNanotechnology exceptional class – Teaching Microbial Physiology, functional genomics, Industrial Biotechnology, Bio-Nanotechnology INSA, Toulouse and UPS Toulouse

Since 2016  –  Lecturer on Industrial Biotechnology at Ecole Mines Albi, France and Ecole Supérieure de Chimie et Physique Industrielles, Paris, France



1988-1990 – Postdoctoral fellowship
Department Microbiology/ North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA

1990-1991 – Postdoctoral fellowship
Department Genetic/ Faculty of Sciences. Université de Bordeaux II, France



Since 1993  – 36 Postdoc (13 foreign nationality and 23 French nationality)

33 Ph. D students (among which 11 were foreign nationality)

44 Master Students (among which 9 were Erasmus students)



Since 2004   –  Editorial Board of FEMS Yeast Research

Since 2017   –  Scientific Evaluator for European Science Foundation for PhD and research grant projects

Since 2017  – Editor in Chief of BMC Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts, a top journal in the field of white biotechnology and biorefinery

Since 2018  – Specialty Editor of Frontiers Bioengineering and Biotechnology, section Synthetic Biology

Since 2018 – Associate Editor of Frontiers Microbiology

Since 2021 – Associate editor ogf Journal of Fungi, MDPI

Since 2012  – Scientific consultant of several national and international Chemical/biotech companies



Since 2011  –  Member of the International Commission of Yeast since (ICY)

Since 2016 – Member of the European Federation of Biotechnology, section Industrial Biotechnology. In the pass, I have contributed to launch international meeting in microbial physiology (PYFF), and Synthetic Biology (Applied Synthetic Biology in Europe)

Since 2019 –     Member of the French Federation of Biotechnology.



Academic collaborations: TU Dresden/Germany (Prof Th. Walther), INRA-Sup Agro, Montpellier/France (Dr S. Dequin), Norwegian University of life Sciences, Ås/Norway (Dr Overland); LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse/ France (Prof C. Vieu & Dr Et. Dague), BOKU/ Vienne/ Austria (Prof D. Mattanovich), Prof Frank Delvigne (Univ Liège, Belgium), Prof Bin Yang (Univ Washington tree cities, USA),

Industrial Collaborations: Adisseo SAS (France); Lallemand Inc, (France-Canada), Braskem (Campinas, Brasil), Dynveo (France); Lesaffre (France); L’Oreal (France)



2010 –  Co-founder of DENDRIS ( a start-up to exploit one of my patents in the field of Nanobiotechnology and which deals with innovation in the field of in vitro molecular Diagnostic

List of selected publications

Main publications over the last 10 years

  • Alkim, C., Farias, D.,Fredonnet, J., Serrano-Bataille, H., Herviou, P., Marc Picot, M., Slama, N., Dejean, S., Morin, N., Enjalbert, B. and François, J.M. (2022) Toxic effect and inability of L-homoserine to be a nitrogen source for growth of Escherichia coli resolved by a combination of in vivo evolution engineering and omics analyses. Front Microbiol DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.1051425 IF2019: 5.54
  • Bouyx, C., Schiavone, M., Dague, E., Teste, M-A., Swierckowki, N., Julien, A. and Francois, J. (2021). The dual role of amyloid β-sheet interaction sequences in the cell surface properties of FLO11-encoded flocculins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Elife, Sep 1;10:e68592. DOI 10.7554/eLife.68592. IF2021: 8.5
  • François J., Alkim, C & Morin, N. (2020). Engineering microbial pathways for production of bio-based chemicals from lignocellulosic sugars: Current status and perspectives. BMC Biotechnology for Biofuels. doi: [10.1186/s13068-020-01744-6]. Q1, IF2019: 5.09
  • Frazao, C.R; Trichez, D., Spina, L., Lozano-Huguet, L., Serrano-Bataillé, H., Dagkesamankaya, A., Topham, C., Walther, T & Francois, J. M. (2019). Construction of a synthetic pathway for the production of 1,3-propanediol from glucose. Sci. Rep 9: 11576. Doi: [10.1038/s41598-019-48091-7] Q1; IF2020 :3.99
  • François J.M., Lachaux, C. & Morin Nicolas (2019). Synthetic biology applied to carbon conserving pathways: a mini-review. Front. Bioeng Biotech.7: 446; Doi : [10.3389/fbioe.2019.00446]. Q1; IF2020: 5.48
  • Schiavone, M., Sieczkowski, N., Castex, M., Dague, E. & François J.M (2019) AFM dendritips functionalized with molecular probes specific to cell wall polysaccharides as a tool to investigate cell surface structure and organization. The Cell Surface, 5: 100027. DOI: 10.1016/j.tcsw.2019.100027 IF2021: 3.3
  • Walther, T., Calvayrac F., Malbert, Y., Alkim, C., Dressaire, C., Cordier, H., and Francois, J.M (2018) Construction of a synthetic pathway for the production of 2,4-dihydroxybutyric acid from homoserine. Metab. Eng 45, 237-245. Doi:[10.1016/j.ymben.2017.12.005]. Q1; IF2020: 7.26
  • Walther Th., Topham, C.M., Irague, R., Auriol, C., Baylac, A., Cordier, H., Dressaire, C., Lozano-Huguet, L., Tarrat, N., Martineau, N., Stodel, M., Malbert, Y., Maestracci, M., Huet, R., André, I., Remaud-Siméon, M & François J. (2017) Construction of a synthetic metabolic pathway for biosynthesis of the non-natural methionine precursor 2,4-dihydroxybutyric acid. Nature Comm., 8, 15828. Doi: [10.1038/ncomms15828] Q1; IF2021 : 14.12
  • Schiavone, M., Elsztein, C., Formosa-Dague, C., Teste, M-A., Martin-Yken, H., Morais, M.A.jr, Dague, E. & François, J.M. (2016). An Atomic Force Microscopy study of the response of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ethanol stress. Appl.Env Microbiol., 82: 4789-4801. Doi: [10.1007/s00294-013-0411-0]. Q1; IF2020: 4.79
  • Cam, Y., Alkim, C., Trichez, D., Vax, A., Bartolo, F., Besse, Ph., François J & Walther, T (2015) Engineering of a synthetic metabolic pathway for the assimilation of (D)-xylose into added-value chemical. ACS Synthetic Biology, 5, 607-618. Doi: [10.1021.acssynbio.5b00103]. Q1; IF2020: 4.41
  • Pillet, F., Lemonier, S., Schiavone, M., Formosa, C., Martin-Yken, H., François, J. M & Dague, E (2014). Uncovering by Atomic Force Microscopy of an original circular structure at the yeast cell surface in response to heat shock. BMC Biology, 12:6. Doi: [10.1186/1741-7007-12-6]. Q1; IF2019: 6.76
  • Walther T., Peyriga L., Alkim C., Liu Y., Agrawal U., Bechter, B., Guo, S., Lardenois, A., Loret, M.O., Martin-Yken, H., Letisse, F., Primig, M. and François J. M. (2014). Cell cycle associated metabolic regulation during meiotic development in yeast. BMC Biology, 12: 60. Doi: [10.1186/s12915-014-0060-x]; Q1, IF2020: 6.76
  • Walther, T., Mtimet, N., Alkim, C., Vax, A., Loret, M-A., Ullah, AZ., Gancedo, G., Smits, G.J & François J (2013) Metabolic phenotypes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with altered trehalose-6-phosphate dynamics. Biochem.J. 454: 227-237 Doi: [10.1042/BJ20130587], Q1; IF2020: 4,087



Patents leading to exploitation

Trévisiol, E, Leclaire, J, Pratviel, G., Caminade, A-M, Majoral, J.P, François, J, Meunier, B. Phosphorylated dendrimers and their application for functionalisation of solid supports, dendrislides’ and production of reusable biochips. French patent n° 205049, 23 Avril 2002, extension Patent WO03/091304 A2, 6-NOV-2003. With this patent, I co-found DENDRIS, a start-up developing biochips-based technology for molecular in vitro diagnosis (

Walther, T., Cordiez, H., Topham Ch., Andre I, Remaud-Simeon, M., Huet, R. & François, J. A novel method of production of 2,4-dihydroxybutyric. Submitted October 27th 2011 PCT/FR2011/000578, published May 5th 2012 as WO2012/056318A1, granted January 19, 2016 as US 9,238,829 B2. This patent disclose the biological production of hydroxyl analogue of methionine from glucose. The Adisseo company to which this patent belongs is now at the demo-plan and I am involved in this industrialisation process within the ECOMET-bio project.



Main Invitation to internationally recognised conferences

  • 2022 : XXIII SINAFERM Congress, Rio De Janeiro (Brasil) 28 -31 Septembre 2022. Plenary opening Lecture: Rethinking microbial metabolism to meet the challenges of white biotechnology to produce bio-based products from renewable carbon sources in a cost-effective manner
  • 2019: 14Th Asian Congress of Biotechnology, 1 – 4 July 2019, Tapei (Taiwan). Keynote speaker: Engineering carbon-conserving synthetic pathways for assimilation and conversion of C5/C6 carbon sources into added value chemicals
  • 2018: Bioenergy and Biorefinery Conference Southeast Asia 2018, 16 to 18 May 2018, Singapour. Keynote speaker. Title: Construction and expression of a synthetic pathway in amicrobial cell for the production of a smart chemical precursor of methionine and other commodity chemicals
  • 2018: The 2nd International Symposium on Zymomonas mobilis (Metabolic engineering and Synthetic Biology), 19 to 21 October 2018, Wuhan, Hubei China. Keynote speaker Title: Engineering carbon-conserving synthetic pathway for assimilation and conservation of C5/C6 carbon sources into added-value chemicals.
  • 2017: European Summit of Industrial Biotechnology (ESIB), 16 -17 November 2017, Graz (Austria). Title: Engineering carbon-conserving synthetic pathways for assimilation and conversion of C5/C6 carbon sources into added value chemicals
  • 2016: Lisboa (Portugal) PYFF6 meeting, 16- 19 June 2016. Title: Trehalose 6-P synthase (Tps1) a key player in energy homeostasis and viability in Yeast
  • 2015: Paris (France) Fungal Cell wall meeting 2015, 24 to 28 October 2015. Title: An integrated biophysical, biochemical and molecular approach to unravel cell wall structure and mechanical properties