Dominique Debanne
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 4 91 69 87 45
  • Location : Marseille, France
Last update 2021-09-05 18:13:47.973

Dominique Debanne PhD Neuroscience

Course and current status

Current status

  • Head of UNIS (INSERM-AMU research unit, since 2012)
  • Group leader (since 1998)
  • CNRS Research Director (DR1)



  • 1992: PhD in Neuroscience Université Pierre et Marie Curie
  • 2000: Habilitation Université Pierre et Marie Curie



  • 1988-1992: PhD fellow, Neurobiologie et Neuropharmacologie du Développement, Orsay
  • 1992-1996: Post-doc fellow, Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 1996-2001: CNRS Research Associate (CR2)
  • 1998-2000: Group leader, Unité de Neurocybernétique Cellulaire, UPR9041 CNRS, Marseille
  • 2001-2005: AVENIR team leader, Neurobiologie des Canaux Ioniques, U464-U641, INSERM, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille
  • 2001-2004: CNRS Research Associate (CR1)
  • 2004-2010: CNRS Research Director (DR2)
  • 2010-present: CNRS Research Director (DR1)
  • 2012-present: Head of UNIS, UMR 1072 INSERM - Aix-Marseille Université


Awards and honours

  • 2000-2003: ACI young investigator (French Ministry of Research)
  • 2001-2005: AVENIR INSERM team leader
  • 2010-2013: Scientific Excellence Award (PES, CNRS)
  • 2019-2022: FRM Equipe 2018


Current research grants

  • ANR LoGiK (2017-2022)
  • FRM équipe (2019-2022)
  • ANR Plastinex (2021-2025)


Grant and scientific committees

  • McGill University (Canada), IN Shangaï (China), DFG (Germany), NOHRD (Netherlands), Research Council Norway (Norway), NMRC (Singapore), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), FNS (Switzerland), Welcome Trust (UK), MRC (UK)
  • National Science Foundation (USA)
  • Brain-I-Net (EC), FP6 (EC)
  • ANR (2007; 2015; 2021; France), AERES (2008; France), CoNRS section 25 (2012-2013; France)
  • AMiDEX (2020, Marseille)


Executive committees

  • INSERM Units of Luminy - TPR2
  • FHU Epinext
  • Neuroschool (Aix-Marseille University)
  • NeuroMarseille


Member of Editorial Boards

  • Journal of Physiology (2005-2012)
  • European Journal of Neuroscience (2008-2011)
  • Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (2008-present)
  • Scientific Reports (2015-present)
  • Cells (2020-present)



  • Nature
  • Science
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • Nature Neuroscience
  • Neuron
  • Nature Communications
  • Brain
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - USA
  • PLoS Biology
  • Nature Protocols
  • Cell Reports
  • eLife

Scientific summary

My main scientific achievements are: 1) discovery of the spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) rules in the hippocampus in vitro (Debanne et al., PNAS 1994; Debanne et al., PNAS 1996; Debanne et al., J Neurophysiol., 1997; Debanne et al., J Physiol. 1998; Debanne et al., J Neurosci. 1999), 2) mechanisms of short-term synaptic plasticity at unitary synapses (Debanne et al., J Physiol. 1996), 3) characterization of propagation failures along the axon (Debanne et al., Nature 1997; Kopysova & Debanne, J Neurosci. 1998), 4) Hebbian plasticity of intrinsic excitability (Daoudal et al., PNAS 2002; Campanac & Debanne, J Physiol., 2008; Campanac et al., J Neurosci. 2008; Campanac et al., Neuron 2013), 5) mechanisms and plasticity of neuronal timing (Sourdet et al., J Neurosci. 2003; Boudkkazi et al., Neuron 2007; Cudmore et al., J Neurosci. 2010; Boudkkazi et al., J Physiol. 2011, Gastrein et al., J Physiol 2011; Campanac et al., Neuron 2013) and 6) the role of axonal ion channels in information processing (Rama et al., Nat Commun 2015, Zbili et al., Sci Adv 2020).

My current reseach is focussed on 1) the mechanisms of long-lasting, intrinsic plasticity in cortical and subcortical neurons, 2) the determinents of action potential threshold, 3) the role of axonal ion channels in information processing and 4) spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) rules in physiological conditions.

To address these questions, we employ 1) multiple whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices (from two connected neurons or from the axon / cell body), 2) laser scanning microscopy imaging (Ca2+, Na+, voltage), 3) computer modeling, 4) hybrid neuron-computer techniques (dynamic-clamp, hybrid networks) and 5) molecular tools (single neuron electroporation in slice cultures).

Supported by CNRS, INSERM, ANR, FRM, Ministry of Research & Région PACA.


Main publications as senior author (2013-present):

Fékété A, Ankri N, Brette R & Debanne D (2021) Neural excitability increases with axonal resistance between soma and axon intial segment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 118: e2102217118

Inglebert Y, Aljadeff J, Brunel N & Debanne D (2020) Synaptic plasticity rules with physiological calcium levels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 117: 33639-33648.

Zbili M, Rama S, Yger P, Inglebert Y, Boumedine-Guignon N, Fronzaroli-Molinieres L, Brette R, Russier M & Debanne D (2020) Axonal Na+ channels detect and transmit levels of input synchrony in local brain circuits.  Science Advances 6: eaay4313.

Debanne D, Inglebert Y & Russier M (2019) Plasticity of intrinsic neuronal excitability. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 54: 73-82.

Seagar M, Russier M, Caillard O, Maulet Y, Fronzaroli-Molinieres L, De San Feliciano M, Boumedine-Guignon N, Rodriguez L, Zbili M, Usseglio F, Formisano-Tréziny C, Youssouf F, Sangiardi M, Boillot M, Baulac S, Benitez MJ, Garrido JJ, Debanne D, El Far O (2017) LGI1 tunes intrinsic excitability by setting the density of axonal Kv1 channels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114: 7719-7724.

Rama S, Zbili M, Bialowas A, Fronzaroli-Molinieres L, Carlier E, Marra V & Debanne D (2015) Presynaptic hyperpolarization induces a fast analogue modulation of spike-evoked transmission mediated by axonal sodium channels. Nature Communications 6: 10163.

Campanac E, Gasselin C, Baude A, Rama S, Ankri N & Debanne D (2013) Enhanced intrinsic excitability in basket cells maintains excitatory-inhibitory balance in hippocampal circuits. Neuron 77: 712-722.

Debanne D, Bialowas A & Rama S (2013) What are the mechanisms for analogue and digital signaling in the brain? Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14: 63-69.

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