Key Figures

  • BiosCiences team of MCT
  • 3 Researchers
  • 3 Assistant and 1 Full Professors (2 in Chemistry + 1 in Clinical Microbiology + 1 in Biotechnology)
  • 3 Engineers/Technicians
  • 3 Postdoctoral fellows
  • 5 Doctoral students
  • 2 CDD (1 postdoc + 1 technician)


MCT is a Single-Team Research Unit directed by JM Bolla and a deputy director Fabienne Neulat-Ripoll (IRBA). MCT is an interdisciplinary research team, linked to the current CSS7 (Technology for Health) section of Inserm. Our research is focused on the study of membrane properties of Gram-negative bacteria, following the three research axes presented below:

Axis 1
Physiology of biological membranes, defining the capacity to respond to the environment.

We study

  1. The role of membrane permeability with respect to the translocation of antibiotics.
  2. Membrane transporters (efflux-pumps and porins) at the various stages of sensitivity in vivo.
  3. The interactions between the different efflux pumps in the “bacterial interactome”. The goal of this axis to identify membrane markers associated with specific functions and design tools targeting various transporters and membrane signaling systems.

Axis 2
Drug response, understanding the cell’s strategy.

We are studying drug resistance using the tools developed in axis 1. We follow the expression of efflux pumps and porins in strains exhibiting different levels of resistance and in mutants with modified permeability. The goal of this axis is to better understand how bacteria respond to drugs, and what are the drug structures that preferably enter the bacteria and preferably resist to efflux.

Axis 3
Drug design, providing solutions

We are designing small molecules capable of inhibiting efflux pumps to restore the activity of antibiotics by improving their intracellular concentration. The pharmacochemical study of these inhibitors allows to link their characteristics to the way they modulate the activity of efflux transporters to select the compounds whose use would present a limited risk of appearance of more resistant phenotypes. The obtained results guide pharmaco-modulations to improve the efficacy of adjuvants and propose solutions to optimize current anti-infective treatments.

MCT lab has all resources that are suited to its activity profile and research environment, notably microplate readers (2 Infinite M200 + 1 Spark TECAN), 1 ultracentrifuge and 1 AKTA purifier, as well as 2 fully equipped platforms for antimicrobial screening and proteomics. MCT is internationally recognized for its studies on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, antimicrobial discovery and development thanks to multiple collaborations in France and abroad and to the numerous conferences given at major international congresses.


MCT is involved in teaching and training in Clinical Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry (hosting Master 2 Drug Design) and Biotechnology at the School of Pharmacy. In addition to classical training through classes, MCT ensures training through research of several undergraduate (BTS, Engineering School, Bachelor and Master) and PhD students.e science (science festival, presentation in schools and high schools, etc).


Lab contacts

Lab website
  • Tél : Tél : Tél :
  • 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin
    Faculté de Pharmacie
    13005 Marseille

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