Massimo Vergassola

Massimo Vergassola


Born in Livorno (Italy) in 1966.
Tel: +33-1-4568 8442

Scientific Activity (Key Words)

Statistical physics; Physical and computational biology; Fluid dynamics; Complex fluids; Pattern formation; Hydrodynamic models for the formation of cosmological large-scale structures; Cellular Automata, Lattice Gas.

Short Employment Record

1990 – 1993 Ph.D. in Physics at University Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice.
1994 – 1995 Research Associate, Princeton University, Princeton.
1996 – 2001 CNRS, Chargé de Recherche, Observatoire Côte d’Azur, Nice.
2001 – 2004 CNRS, Directeur de Recherche, Observatoire Côte d’Azur, Nice.
2002 – 2003 Visiting Scientist, The Rockefeller University, New York.
2003 Member Institute Advanced Studies, School of Mathematics.
2004 – CNRS, Directeur de Recherche, Institut Pasteur, Paris (CNRS Section 2, Theoretical Physics).
2004 – 2009 Visiting Scientist, Kavli Inst. for Theor. Phys., UC Santa Barbara, Total 18 Months.
2005 – 2009 Head of the Research Group In Silico Genetics at Institut Pasteur, Paris.
2009 – Ecole Polytechnique, Professor “Chargé de Cours”, Physics Department.
2009 – Head of the Research Unit Physics of Biological Systems at Institut Pasteur, Paris.
2010 – 2011 Visiting Scientist, The Rockefeller University, New York (First semester).

Long Term Visits

Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences & Rockefeller University, New York; KITP, Santa Barbara; Institute Advanced Studies & Princeton University, Princeton; Los Alamos National Laboratories Los Alamos; Institut Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Paris; I. Newton Institute, Cambridge; Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv; Weizmann Institute, Rehovot.

Selected Publications

 Bacterial strategies for chemotaxis response. A. Celani & M. Vergassola Proc. Nat. Acad. Sciences, 107, 1391-1396, 2010.  

Infotaxis as a strategy for searching without gradients. M. Vergassola, E. Villermaux & B.I. Shraiman Nature, 445, 406-409, 2007.

Identification of new noncoding RNAs in Listeria monocytogenes and prediction of mRNA targets. P. Mandin*, F. Repoila*, M. Vergassola*, T. Geissmann & P. Cossart Nucleic Acids Research, 35: 962-74 2007 (*Equal contributions).

Computational detection of genomic cis-regulatory modules applied to body patterning in the early Drosophila embryo. N. Rajewsky, M. Vergassola, U. Gaul & E.D. Siggia; BMC Bioinformatics, 3:Art. No. 30, 2002.

Particles and fields in fluid turbulence. G. Falkovich, K. Gawedzki & M. Vergassola; Rev. Mod. Physics, 73, 913-975, 2001.

Intermittency in passive scalar advection. U. Frisch, A. Mazzino & M. Vergassola; Phys. Rev. Lett., 80, 5532-5535, 1998.

Burgers equation, devil’s staircases and mass-distribution for large-scale structures. M. Vergassola, B. Dubrulle, U. Frisch & A. Noullez; Astronomy and Astrophysics. 289, 325-356, 1994.

The lattice Boltzmann equation: theory and applications. R. Benzi, S. Succi & M. Vergassola; Physics Reports 222, 145-197, 1992.

Ego Feeding : Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award E. Persico from Accademia dei Lincei, 1986.
Research Award CNRS Bronze Medal, 1998.
Member Editorial Board Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, as from 2001.
Outstanding Referee, American Physical Society, 2008.
Grand Prix EADS (Sciences de l’Information), Académie des Sciences, 2008.
Member Editorial Board Journal of Statistical Mechanics, as from 2010.
Prix Thérèse Lebrasseur, Bio-Medical Prizes Fondation de France, 2010.


“Methods and systems for locating a source of particule, molecule, or fragment of molecule using their reception rate” by M. Vergassola, B.I. Shraiman and E. Villermaux. The Institut Pasteur and the CNRS filed the application for the patent, both for Europe and the Unites States, recently published as European Patent EP1881389 and WO/2008/007225.