Pierre le Merre

Pierre le Merre

Research Specialist
Visiting address: Solnavägen 9 - kvarter B4, 17165 Solna
Postal address: C4 Neurovetenskap, C4 Forskning Carlen, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am interested to understand what cognition means in biological terms and
    how abstract cognitive variables are implemented by cortical networks such as
    the prefrontal cortex.
    I am currently a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Marie Carlén. I am interested
    to understand what cognition means in biological terms and how abstract
    cognitive variables are implemented by cortical networks such as the
    prefrontal cortex. Brain circuits are continuously performing neuronal
    computations allowing organisms to act upon hidden rules of the external
    world. The ability to generalize an outcome from a couple of observations, to
    extract the rule from a situation or to maintain in focus a specific external
    input are examples of abstract cognitive operations performed by many
    species. By studying the neuronal activity of model organisms during well
    controlled behavioral paradigms, we hope to reveal the neuronal correlates
    underlying the abstract cognitive variables. To achieve this goal we need to
    have a good knowledge of "the basics" i.e. how neuronal networks are
    anatomically arranged and how do they respond to simple sensory and motor
    *2020* – StratNeuro Postdoc Grant
    *2019-2021* – NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2019)
    *2019*, NVIDIA GPU Grant program.
    *2018-2019*, Karolinska Institutet fonder
    *2015*, Fellowship, International Mobility Fellowship Lyon-St Etienne
    *2017 (January to June), Post-doctoral researcher* at the École
    Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in the lab of Carl Petersen (EPFL,
    Lausanne, Switzerland).
    *2012- 2016, PhD degree in Neurosciences* : Thesis title: /Cortical dynamics
    and sensory processing in the awake mouse - impact of the behavioral
    context/. Thesis co-directed between the University of Lyon by Paul Salin
    (CRNL, Lyon, France) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne by
    Carl Petersen (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland) and Sylvain Crochet (EPFL,
    Lausanne, Switzerland).
    *2009-2012, Master’s degree of Biosciences (MSc)* at the École Normale
    Supérieure of Lyon.
    *2009-2010, Agrégation des Sciences de la Vie, de la Terre et de l’Univers
    *(french national teacher grade in Biology and Geology).
    *2007-2008, Bachelor’s degree in Fundamental Biology (BSc)* at the Ecole
    Normale Supérieure of Lyon.


  • In the lab we study the mouse prefrontal cortex (PFC). At large, the PFC
    still lacks a conclusive definition, and the structure and function of this
    brain area across species remain unresolved. The PFC is implicated in
    perceptual, emotional, social, motivational, and numerous other brain
    processes and considered to enable flexible behavior. In following, disturbed
    PFC functioning has been connected to most, if not all, mental disorders,
    including drug addiction. Present-day preclinical researchers increasingly
    utilize mice (Mus musculus) as model animals. However, in parallel clinical
    transfer of pre-clinically identified therapeutics targeting mental disorder
    (and other brain disorders) is still at large failing. Lack of understanding
    of the structure and function of the brain hampers the understanding of which
    findings are transferable between species. Needless to say, deciphering of
    the structure and function of the PFC is of great importance.
    To go after functional properties of the mouse PFC we use a combination of
    state-of-the-art techniques: viral tracing, high-density extracellular
    recordings (Neuropixels, silicon probes), optogenetics and high resolution
    behavioral tracking. With this methodology, we hope to unravel essential
    functional features of the mouse mPFC furthering our understanding of this
    mysterious brain region.


  • *Teaching Assistant*, University of Lyon and École Normale Supérieure (64h
    per year).
    Since 2021, I am a co-organizer of the *Brain Circuit Course* in KI together
    with Marie Carlén and Dinos Meletis.


All other publications

News from KI

Events from KI