Membrane Traffic in Health & Disease INSERM ERL U950 (Institut de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences de Paris)

(Click on an item of the navigation panel on the left to browse the whole site)

Group leader: Thierry Galli

INSERM Research Director (DR1)


Thierry Galli received his BSc in Biochemistry at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 1988, and his PhD at the Collège de France and the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 1992. He then moved to the USA to carry out postdoctoral research in Professor Pietro De Camilli's laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine. There he worked on the molecular mechanism of regulated and constitutive exocytosis. In 1995, he took his first research appointment at the French National Institute of Health (INSERM) and the Curie Institute in the laboratory of Professor Daniel Louvard, and in 2001 he was recruited as Research Director of the French National Institute of Health at the Fer-à-Moulin Institute, Paris. In 2005, he was appointed as a Group Leader at the Jacques Monod Institute, Paris. His research focuses on the role of SNARE proteins in exocytosis mediating epithelial and neuronal cell differentiation, with particular emphasis on the tetanus neurotoxin-sensitive routes, mediated by cellubrevin/VAMP3 and synaptobrevin/VAMP2, and the tetanus neurotoxin-insensitive routes mediated by Sec22b and TI-VAMP/VAMP7. Biographical sketch.

Thierry Galli's papers are at:

Projects of the team

Membrane trafficking allows for the communication between the different membrane compartments of the biosynthetic and endocytic pathways and for the communication between cells and their environment through the secretion of signalling molecules by exocytosis and capture of nutrients by endocytosis. Exocytosis and endocytosis are crucial to maintain cell homeostasis and are also involved in differentiation and morphogenesis of cells.


Neuronal cell differentiation and de-differentiation of epithelial into mesenchymal cells represent two fundamental models of important cellular changes in shape and function. These two processes share common principles because both imply the presence of a domain specialized for cell movement at the leading edge of the cell, the axonal growth cone and the pseudopodium respectively.


Our working hypothesis is that exocytosis is responsible for the release and expression at the plasma membrane of proteins that are important for cell migration, outgrowth of axons and dendrites, formation and maintenance of cell-cell contacts (including synapses), and the repair and plasticity of neuronal and epithelial cells.
We are also interested in the role and regulation of ER-plasma membrane contact sites in neurite growth


The aim of the team is to understand the basic mechanisms and the regulation of membrane trafficking in the context of brain development and plasticity and cancer. Our favorite molecules are the vesicular SNARE proteins Sec22b,  Cellubrevin/VAMP3 and TI-VAMP/VAMP7. We study the function of these proteins at the molecular, cellular and organism level.


We use classical techniques of cellular and molecular biology with special emphasis on live cell imaging and proteomics, as well as biophysical approaches to study membrane dynamics, adhesion and fusion in vitro. Our models include mutant mice, cultured neuronal and epithelial cells, and the reconstitution of proteins into artificial membranes.

Membrane traffic in Health & Disease

Thierry Galli
, INSERM Research Director (DR1)
Phone: +33 1 40 78 92 26
(Illustration by Jean-Pierre Laigneau)


Biophysics of membrane fusion (SNAREs and Mitofusins)

David Tareste
, INSERM Researcher (CR1)
Phone: +33 1 40 78 92 49
(Illustration by Daniel de Fuenmayor)

Selection of recent publications from the team

Daste F, Sauvanet C, Bavdek A, Baye J, Pierre F, Le Borgne R, David C, Rojo M, Fuchs P, Tareste D (2018) The heptad repeat domain 1 of Mitofusin has membrane destabilization function in mitochondrial fusion. EMBO Rep

Collot M, Fam TK, Ashokkumar P, Faklaris O, Galli T, Danglot L, Klymchenko AS (2018) Ultrabright and Fluorogenic Probes for Multicolor Imaging and Tracking of Lipid Droplets in Cells and Tissues. J Am Chem Soc

Gallo A, Vannier C, Galli T (2016) Endoplasmic Reticulum-Plasma Membrane Associations: Structures and Functions. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol

Daste F, Galli T, Tareste D (2015) Structure and Function of Longin SNAREs. J Cell Sci

Kuster A, Nola S, Dingli F, Vacca B, Gauchy C, Beaujouan JC, Nunez M, Moncion T, Loew D, Formstecher E, Galli T, Proux-Gillardeaux V (2015) The Q-soluble N-Ethylmaleimide-sensitive Factor Attachment Protein Receptor (Q-SNARE) SNAP-47 Regulates Trafficking of Selected Vesicle-associated Membrane Proteins (VAMPs). J Biol Chem

Ligeon LA, Moreau K, Barois N, Bongiovanni A, Lacorre DA, Werkmeister E, Proux-Gillardeaux V, Galli T, Lafont F (2014) Role of VAMP3 and VAMP7 in the commitment of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis to LC3-associated pathways involving single- or double-membrane vacuoles. Autophagy

Petkovic M, Jemaiel A, Daste F, Specht CG, Izeddin I, Vorkel D, Verbavatz JM, Darzacq X, Triller A, Pfenninger KH, Tareste D, Jackson CL, Galli T (2014) The SNARE Sec22b has a non-fusogenic function in plasma membrane expansion. Nat Cell Biol

Address and directions

Membrane Traffic in Health and Disease (INSERM U950)
Centre de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences
Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5
102-108 rue de la santé, 75014 Paris, France


Pics of Hela cells and Neurons