François Leulier, biologist, IGFL



A geneticist by training, François Leulier is passionate about interactions between animals and microorganisms. His doctoral thesis, defended at the end of 2003, explored the genetic basis of innate immune response, using Drosophila (a genus of flies, also known as fruit flies) as an animal model. From 2004 to 2010, he used the Drosophila fly to study the immune response triggered by pathogenic intestinal bacteria. In 2011, he highlighted the influence of the fruit fly's intestinal microbiome on its physiology and showed how Drosophila's microbiota optimizes their growth in the case of nutritional deficiency.

In 2012, with the support of the FINOVI Foundation and a fellowship from the European Research Council, he joined the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon (IFGL) to develop an ambitious research program identifying the molecular basis of the beneficial effects of intestinal microbiota on animal growth.

In 2016, François Leulier made a major breakthrough by discovering that the same phenomenon exists in rodents. The fact that these mutually beneficial relationships between intestinal bacteria and their hosts are observable in mammals means that they are likely to be present in livestock, and even in humans.

After being awarded the bronze medal in 2013, the CNRS awarded him the silver medal in 2024.

In 2019, he becomes deputy director of the IGFL, then director in 2021.

Awards and honours

- CNRS silver medal in 2024

- National Junior Award in 2017

- EMBO Young investigator in 2014

- Bronze medal of the CNRS in 2013