Curriculum Vitae of Massimo Vergassola

University of California San Diego
Department of Physics
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093

Phone: 858-534-3653
Fax: 525-534-7419


Laurea in Physics at University La Sapienza, Rome. 1985 - 1990. Supervisors: R. Benzi, L. Pietronero, S. Succi.

Ph.D. in Physics at University Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Nice. 1990 - 1993. Supervisor: U. Frisch.

Habilitation at University Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 1997.

Employment Record:

1991 – 1993 Ph.D. fellowship from French Ministry for Research.

1994 – 1995 Research Associate, Princeton University, Princeton.

1996 – 2001 CNRS, Chargé de Recherche, Observatoire Côte d'Azur, Nice.

2001 – 2003 CNRS, Directeur de Recherche, Observatoire Côte d'Azur, Nice.

2004 – 2011 CNRS, Directeur de Recherche (DR2), Institut Pasteur, Paris.

2004 – 2008 Visiting Scientist, Kavli Inst. Theor. Phys., Univ. California Santa Barbara, total 18 months.

2005 – 2009 Head of the UP In Silico Genetics at Institut Pasteur, Paris (Dept. Genetics & Genomics).

2009 – 2013 Head of the Unit Physics of Biological Systems at Institut Pasteur, Paris.

2009 – 2013 Professor Ecole Polytechnique, Physics Department.

2011 – 2013 CNRS, Directeur de Recherche (DR1), Institut Pasteur, Paris.

2010 – 2012 Visiting Scientist, The Rockefeller University, New York; First semesters each year.

2013 – Professor at the University of California San Diego, Physics Department.

Scientific Activity (Key Words)

  • Physical and Computational Biology
  • Statistical Physics
  • Complex Fluids
  • Pattern Formation
  • Models for the Formation of Cosmological Large-Scale Structures
  • Cellular Automata, Lattice Gas


97: 82 refereed (2 reviews in Physics Reports and Reviews of Modern Physics); 14 Proceedings; 1 popularisation article; 1 submitted. Laurea, Ph.D. and Habilitation theses.


73 invited talks in international conferences (recently: plenary speaker at Statphys 25, Seoul, July 2013; invited speaker at Physics of Emergent Behavior, Brighton, June 2013; Simons Foundation Conference on Theory and Biology, April 2014).

10 international conferences organized on various aspects of statistical and biological physics. The 3- months program Population Genetics and Genomics was co-organized in the Fall 2008 at the KITP. Recently, Cargèse summer schools on Emergent Order in Biology and Population Genetics as well as the workshop on Statistical Physics and Biological Information Processing at H. Poincaré Institute (Paris) were organized.

Training and Teaching

10 Ph.D. and 17 Post-Doctoral fellows supervised.

Courses on statistical physics and quantum mechanics taught (2009-2013) at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and a course on Quantitative Molecular Biology at UCSD (2014).

Long-Term Visits

Visiting scientist at Courant Institute and Rockefeller University, New York; KITP, Santa Barbara; Institute Advanced Studies and Princeton Univ., Princeton; Los Alamos National Laboratories, Los Alamos; IHES Paris; I. Newton Institute, Cambridge; Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv; Weizmann Institute, Rehovot.

Recent Professional Activity (2013-14)

Member editorial board Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena (2001-) & Journal of Statistical Mechanics (2010-).

Member CoNRS national committees (in charge of CNRS recruitments and promotions) for theoretical physics and quantitative biology (2012-13).

Coordinator CNRS European GDR “Evolution, Regulation and Signaling” 2011-13.

Program Committee International Conference Bioinformatics 2013-14.

Member Physics UCSD 2014 committee for graduate students admission.


Student Award Accademia dei Lincei, Rome, 1986.

CNRS Research Award Bronze Medal, 1998.

Outstanding Referee of the American Physical Society, 2008.

Grand Prix EADS (Sciences de l’Information), Académie des Sciences, 2008.

Biomedical Prize Thérèse Lebrasseur, Fondation de France, 2010.

Unit Physics of Biological Systems selected Equipe Fondation Recherche Médicale, 2012.


Patent(WO/2008/007225) “Methods and Systems for locating a source of particle, molecule, or fragment of molecule” by M. Vergassola, B. Shraiman et E. Villermaux (2008).