Felix Rico
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : +33 4 91 82 87 78
  • Location : Marseille, France
Last update 2024-01-05 11:59:25.235

Felix Rico PhD in Biophysics

Course and current status

Current position
Maître de Conférences Hors Classe and primus inter pares (DU)
Aix-Mairseille Univ (AMU), INSERM, DyNaMo, U1325

Jan 2017 Habilitation à diriger les recherches (AMU)
Oct 2001-Jan 2006 PhD in Biophysics by the University of Barcelona (UB), Spain URL Thesis director: Prof. Daniel Navajas.
Sep 2000-Jun 2001 MA in Scientific Communication, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Sep 1994-Jun 1999 BS in Physics, U. Autònoma of Barcelona, Spain

Work experience
Oct 2013-Dec 2023 Maître de Conférences (Assistant professor) at INSERM, AMU, BioAFMLab, U1006 and from 2018 at AMU, CNRS, INSERM, LAI, U1067
Jan 2017-Jan 2018 Interim director of U1006 INSERM & AMU, Marseille, France
Jan 2012-Sep 2013 Postdoc at U1006 INSERM & AMU, Marseille, France
Jan 2009-Dec 2011 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at UMR168, Institut Curie, Paris, France
May 2006-Dec 2008 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at Vincent T. Moy’s lab, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

Current teaching
Physics of living systems, M1 (AMU)
Soft Matter, M2 (AMU)
Physics of cooking, undergraduate (AMU)
Biophysics and soft matter, undegraduate (AMU)
Local organiser of the AFMBioMed summer school (2016, 2018, 2020, 2022...)

Scientific summary

I am interested in the physics behind biological processes. I studied physics in Barcelona and experimental biophysics during my PhD, focusing on the mechanics of cells. As a postdoc in USA, I worked on leukocyte adhesion at the single molecule and whole cell levels to understand how adhesion is modulated by cell mechanics. In France, I focused on the mechanics of proteins and cells at the shortest timescales, linking experiments, simulations and theory.

Over the last years, I have pioneered the adaptation of high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) for mechanical measurements on single molecules and cells (Rico et al. 2013, 2019; Rigato et al. 2017). This allows exploring new regimes at the shortest timescales and direct comparison with molecular dynamics simulations Rico et al. 2019; Sumbul and Rico 2018).

Thanks to an ERC Consolidator grant, I have recently combined HS-AFM with confocal microscopy and implemented acoustic force spectroscopy (AFS) to allow measurements on living cells. The goal is to obtain a complete, multi-scale picture of the physics of cell adhesion over the widest dynamic range. This is currently applied to leukocyte adheison (Eroles et al. 2023). In collaboration with medical doctors, I also try to apply nanotechnology for diagnosis of disease.

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