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Teams involved

​The project is coordinated by Damien Faivre (Biam UMR 7265 CEA-CNRS-AMU), in collaboration with Stefan Klumpp, University of Göttingen (Germany) and Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez, University of Barcelona (Spain).

Published on 11 March 2020

​Three teams are involved in the MaTher Project.

Institute of Biosciences and Biotechnology of Aix Marseille (France)



Damien Faivre became in 2007 a research group leader in the biomaterials department of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Potsdam, Germany), being awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2010. His research interests range from magnetic nanoparticles in biosystems, with a particular emphasis on the physicochemical aspects of the magnetosome and coccoliths biomineralization respectively by magnetotactic bacteria and coccolithophores algae, to the development of molecular biomimetics for the formation and assembly of hybrid magnetic nanomaterials, in particular for the formation of magnetic microswimmers. He is presently Head of the MEM team in Biam.


Paul Eduardo David Soto Rodriguez received his Bachelor's degree in Applied Physics and a Master of Science in Physics from Universidad Santiago de Chile (USACH) in 2004 and 2006 respectively working on computational nanomagnetism. He obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Applied Physics with Specialization: Functional (Nano-) Materials from the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) in 2011 where he worked in the field of experimental spintronics. He obtained his Phd at the Instituto de Sistemas Optoelectrónicos y Microtecnología (ISOM) from the Polytechnical university of Madrid (UPM). His PhD thesis concerned epitaxial growth of III-Nitrides their characterization and application exploration of nanomaterials for renewable energy and bio sensing. During this time, he also did 3 months internship at L-Ness, Como, Italy learning droplet epitaxy and characterizing novel super capacitors. After finishing his PhD he started a PostDoc at the Complutense university of Madrid (UCM) working on biosensors and enzymatic-based nanorobots. Thereafter, he worked half a year at the company located in Madrid called "Orion high technologies" developing biosensors and screen-printed electrodes. In 2018, he started a Postdoc as a "Juan de la Cierva" fellow at the institute for bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) working in both the development of biosensors for the rare metabolic disease called phenylketonuria (PKU) and contributing on the field of Nano/Microswimmers studying new designs and supports for their fabrication. Since February 2020 he started as a PostDoc at BIAM in Cadarache, France to work on the project entitled "Magnetotactic bacteria and magnetosomes-based theranostic systems".

Mila Sirinelli  is a lecturer in the Biology Department of Aix-Marseille University, France, where she teaches Biochemistry and Microbiology. She is part of the MEM team (CEA Cadarache, France) where she has recently started to work on magnetotactic bacteria.  She has studied Biochemistry (INSA de Lyon engineering school, France) and then specialized in Microbiology (Université Paris 7/Institut Pasteur, France). She did her PhD in the CEA Cadarache (Aix-Marseille University) where she investigated respiration and photosynthesis regulation in the bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris (2004-2007). She then went to the University of Oxford, UK, where she worked on chemotaxis in the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides (Department of Biochemistry – 2007-2011) and then on evolution of bacterial antibiotic resistance in different Pseudomonas strains (Department of Zoology, 2012-2013). In 2013, she joined the Aix-Marseille University. From 2013 to 2017, she was part of the Mediterranean Institute of Microbiology (Marseille, France) where she investigated the microbiome of the diatom Asterionella formosa. Since 2017, she has joined the MEM team.

Institute for nonlinear dynamics, University of Göttingen, Germany


Stefan Klumpp is professor for theoretical biophysics at the University of Göttingen. His group uses theoretical methods to study biological systems with respect to their active material properties as well as with respect to their information processing. Over the last 10 years, magnetotactic bacteria have become one of their favorite model systems.


My name is Vitali Telezki and I am a Ph.D. student in the Theoretical Biophysics group of Prof. Stefan Klumpp at the University of Göttingen in Germany. I obtained my bachelor's and master's degree in Physics at the University of Göttingen, investigating blue phases of chiral liquid crystals and the dynamics of the ribosomal exit tunnel. Currently, I am researching structure formation of dipolar swimmers, like magnetotactic bacteria or magnetic Janus particles.


Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia, Spain


Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez is a Research Professor at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) in Barcelona, Spain. He is Deputy Director for the Internationalization of IBEC. Also, he is honorary visiting professor at HIT in Shenzhen, China. Before that, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, at the Institute for Integrative Nano-sciences at IFW Dresden, Germany, at MANA-NIMS in Japan and at TU Twente, The Netherlands. < He received several awards and recognitions such as the MIT TR35 as Top Innovator Under 35 in the Spanish edition in 2014, Guinness World Records in 2010 and 2017, the Princess of Girona Scientific Research Award 2015 and the National Research Award for Young Talent 2016 by the Catalan Research Foundation. He received the ERC-Starting Grant in 2013, and two ERC-Proof-of-concept in 2016 and 2017 and the ERC-Consolidator grant 2019. He has published about 130 papers with h-index of 50 and he has filed 6 patents.

Xavier Arqué received his B.Sc. in Biotechnology (2016) and his M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology (2017) from the University of Barcelona, Spain. Since 2017 he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Smart Nano-Bio-Devices group (Prof. Samuel Sánchez) at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and his research interests are focused on studying the intrinsic and extrinsic properties affecting the active motion of micro- and nanomtors powered by biocatalysis.