Benjamin Delprat PhD Neuroscience

Course and current status


2008 : Accreditation Diploma to Supervise Research, University of Montpellier 1.

1998-2002: PhD thesis, Neuroscience, University of Montpellier 1.

1997-1998: High grade diploma in Health and Biology (DEA Neurobiologie des processus de communication et d’intégration), University of Montpellier 2.

1996-1997: Master in Biochemistry, University of Montpellier 2.


Since 2017: Senior Researcher in the INSERM laboratory (unit 1198) entitled: “Mécanismes Moléculaires dans les Démences Neurodégénératives”, headed by Jean-Michel Verdier, Montpellier, France.

Communication between Endoplasmic Reticulum and mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases.

2007-2017 : Senior Research Associates in the INSERM laboratory (unité 583) entitled: “Physiopathologie et thérapie des déficits sensoriels et moteurs”, headed by Christian Hamel, Montpellier, France. 

Cochlear hair cell endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis and deafness. Supervisor Jean-Luc Puel.

 2005-2007: Junior Post-Doctoral Lecturer in the “Department of pharmacology and toxicology”, headed by Bernard Rossier, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Structural and functional characterization of FXYD proteins. Supervisor Kaethi Geering.

2002-2005: Postdoctoral position in the laboratory « Rétrovirus et Transfert Génétique », headed by Christine Petit and « Génétique des Déficits Sensoriels », headed by Jean-Michel Heard, Institut Pasteur, Paris.

Gene transfer in the inner ear. Supervisor Jean-Michel Heard and Christine Petit.

1998-2002: PhD thesis in the INSERM laboratory (unité 254) entitled: Neurobiology of Audition and Synaptic Plasticity, headed by Rémy Pujol, Montpellier, France.

Otospiralin : a novel inner ear protein. Characterization, genetics and gene disruption in mice. Supervisor Christian Hamel


  • 3 postdoc
  • 2 PhD thesis
  • 5 Master 2 and 3 Master 1
  • Several Engineer and technicians


  •  Consultant for the Start-up Sensorion Parmaceuticals, dedicated to the development of targeted and innovative therapies to treat such disorders (2012-2014).
  • Reviewer for Biochemical Genetics, European Journal of Neuroscience, Gene, JARO, Journal of Biochemical Research, Journal of Molecular Medicine, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience Research, Journal of Physiology-Paris, Molecular Biology Reports, Plos Genetics.
  • Associate Editor Member of the American Journal of Current Genetics (2013- ).
  • Scientific expertise for Inserm and italian Fondazione Cariplo (2011- ).
  • Member of the French Neuroscience society and of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO).
  • Member of the French Neuroreille and Wolfram syndrome associations.

Scientific summary

Deafness is the most common sensory disorder. Indeed, 1/700 newborns are deaf. My work was first dedicated to the study of potassium in the cochlea and especially on its production and regulation by the stria vascularis (post-doctoral stage, Dpt. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Lausanne), its role in initiation of auditory hair cells mechano-tranduction (post-doctoral stage, Pasteur Institute, Paris) and its recycling toward the stria vascularis by the spiral ligament fibrocytes (PhD Thesis, Inserm U-254, Montpellier). Since my recruitment as a young researcher in the team “Physiology and Physiopathology of the Inner Ear” (Inserm U-583, INM, Montpellier), I focused on human hereditary deafness affecting ER-Mitochondria communication. First, I demonstrated the essential role of Tmprss3, an ER transmembrane serine protease which deficit induces hereditary deafness DFNB8/10, in cochlear hair cell survival at the onset of hearing. Then, I established that WFS1, another ER transmembrane resident protein deficient in Wolfram syndrome, is essential for ER-mitochondria communication. Now, my project is to decipher the molecular mechanisms leading to neuron degeneration when ER-mitochondria communication is affected and to propose novel therapeutic strategy using zebrafish.

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