Eric Karsenti

© Eric Karsenti

Tara Oceans

Scientific director of the Tara Oceans expedition and Co-director of the Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition.

Eric Karsenti studied biophysics at the University of Paris, and obtained his PhD at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) in 1979.

Group Leader at EMBL (de) 1985-2013. Visiting Group Leader at EMBL since 2014.

He is an extremely experienced sailor, having taught ocean navigation in Brittany. He has made major contributions to the understanding of molecular mechanisms governing the cell cycle. He has also worked with physicists in developing a new approach in cell biology which  revealed how cell shape and division emerge from complex and dynamic molecular interactions. He created the Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics  at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. This is an interdisciplinary department comprised of a dozen groups, all working on the morphogenesis of cells and embryos, with specialties ranging from cell biology and genetics to the development of sophisticated new imaging methods and statistical physics. Director of Research at the CNRS and head of a research unit at EMBL, Dr. Karsenti is a member of EMBO, and the French Academy of Sciences. He was scientific director of the Tara Oceans expedition and co-director of the Tara Oceans Polar Circle.