Guillaume Drin



  • 2010 : CNRS Bronze medal


Guillaume Drin obtained his PhD in Biophysics and Cellular Biology in Montpellier in 2001. He was first interested in elucidating how peptides, amenable for drug vectorization, can cross spontaneously cell membranes. After a detour in a biotech company aiming to develop these peptidic vectors, he came back in the academic field with a post-doc in USA in 2003 to work on the molecular bases of phospholipase-mediated signal transduction.

Since 2005, he has been working on various aspects of molecular membrane biology. He identified that various proteins use a small motif to target intracellular membranes when they become locally highly curved.  He demonstrated the unique ability of a string-like protein endowed with this motif to attach and guide round-shaped transport vesicles across the cytosol. Since 2010, he studied lipid transport, one of the key processes that maintain accurate lipid distribution in eukaryotic cell. He discovered that the evolutionary-conserved ORP/Osh proteins exchange the lipid PI4P with other lipid species. He demonstrated that these exchangers have the unique property to use the energy of intracellular PI4P gradient to transport key lipids along one-way direction between organelles. These lipid exchanges appear essential to maintain the molecular identity and function of the Golgi apparatus and plasma membrane and can be hijacked by human viruses for their own replication. 

His current projects aim to further explore these lipid exchanges, to develop pharmacological strategies to intervene in these processes during viral replication and examine the role of intracellular sterol transport in cancer.