Prof. Jean-François Collet

Professor at Université catholique de Louvain

I was born in Brussels. During my high school years, I discovered life sciences and decided to become a researcher. It was during my postdoctoral studies that I was attracted by the exciting questions raised by microbiology and seduced by the elegant approaches offered by this field of research. I enjoy exploring intriguing biological questions while training young scientists in the passion of research.

Jean-François Collet is Professor at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain).

During his doctoral work at the de Duve Institute in the lab of Emile Van Schaftingen, he discovered a large family of phosphotransferases that form a phosphoenzyme on an aspartate residue.

Then he moved to the lab of James Bardwell at the University of Michigan to work on the proteins that catalyze the formation of protein disulfide bonds in the bacterial periplasm.

In 2004, he established his lab at the de Duve Institute of the UCLouvain in Brussels.

He is author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including several in tier one journals (Science, Nature and Cell), most of which focus on protein folding and bacterial envelope biogenesis and maintenance.

  • El Rayes J, Szewczyk J, Deghelt M, Csoma N, Matagne A, Iorga B, Cho SH & Collet JF (2021). Disorder is a critical component of lipoprotein sorting in Gram-negative bacteria. Nature Chemical Biology, 17(10):1093-1100


  • Rodriguez Alonso R., Letoquart J., Nguyen V.S., Louis G., CalabreseA.N., Iorga B., Radford S.E., Cho S.H., Remaut H. & Collet J.F. (2020) Structural insight into the formation of lipoprotein-β-barrel complexes. Nature Chemical Biology, 16(9):1019-1025


  • Asmar, A.T., Ferreira, J.L., Cohen, E.J., Cho, S.H., Beeby, M., Hughes, K.T., Collet, J.F. (2017) Communication across the bacterial cell envelope depends on the size of the periplasm. PLOS Biology 15(12): e2004303


  • Gennaris A, Ezraty B, Henry C, Agrebi R, Vergnes A, Oheix E, Bos J, Leverrier P, Espinosa L, Szewczyk J, Vertommen D, Iranzo O, Collet J-F*, Barras F*. Repairing oxidized proteins in the bacterial envelope using respiratory chain electrons. Nature. 2015;528:409-12.


  • Cho, S. H., Szewczyk, J., Pesavento, C., Zietek, M., Banzhaf, M., Roszczenko, P., Asmar,A., Laloux, G., Hov, A. K., Leverrier, P., Van der Henst, C., Vertommen, D., Typas, A., and Collet, J. F. (2014) Detecting envelope stress by monitoring beta-barrel assembly. Cell 159, 1652-1664