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Meet Jacques Colinge

1.    Tell me in 5 words who is Jacques Colinge?
Computer scientist and mathematician interested in biology.

2.    What made you join CeMM?
My attraction for places in the making and the exceptional profile of Giulio Superti-Furga. I love building things from scratch. The potential to contribute to establishing something unique at CeMM in 2005 when I had my first contact was more than obvious!

3.    What is it about science that interests you the most?
What excites me most in science is to find higher order structures in complex datasets, be it with applied mathematics methods such as computational statistics or network science, or computer science techniques such as data integration.

4.    What is the best career advice you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
Two advices from Giulio ex aequo (and other people from time to time): (1) get fully committed in whatever you do and take full advantage of the opportunities you have at the moment; (2) collaborate with other researchers such that they owe you more than you do.

5.    Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
I was offered a full professor position at the faculty of medicine, Montpellier University, and a PI position at the Montpellier Institute for Cancer Research (IRCM). That is, I established a new group there and adjusted a bit my scientific objectives. Basically, I kept the network and systems biology ideas, but it is more related to transcriptomics, including single-cell and spatial, than proteomics. It is also more related to patient material and translational applications.

6.    What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
No book per se, but lecture notes about psychology to exchange with my youngest son who studies this topic at the university.

7.    What is the last song you heard?
“French Bastards” from The Inspector Cluzo. (I could not miss this one!)

8.    Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Stay in touch (to the former colleagues) and apply point 4 above to the younger CeMMies, CeMM is an unique place to start your career.

Jacques Colinge is a Swiss-French national who grew up and studied computer science and then mathematics in Geneva. He has a strong interest in the application of these fields to molecular biology questions favoring systems approaches. Currently, he holds a Full Professor position at Montpellier University Faculty of Medicine and runs a lab at Montpellier Institute of Cancer research. His lab main topics are mathematical methods to infer biological networks from perturbation data or protein dynamics data, and the inference and analysis of tissue-specific cellular networks (ligand-receptor interactions) from various data types (bulk, spatial, single-cell, transcriptomics, proteomics). Although we have purely methodological projects, a significant proportion of our work in done in collaborations with biologists and clinicians in the field of oncology.