Ibrahim Cissé, Ph.D.
Ibrahim Cissé was born in Niger and completed his PhD in physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA) in 2009. After a postdoctoral stay at the École Normale Supérieure of Paris (France), Cissé returned to the USA in 2013 to become a Research Specialist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. In 2014, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, where he was first an assistant professor of Physics and then promoted to associate professor in the Department of Physics with a joint appointment in biology. Ibrahim Cissé joins the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (USA) where he was appointed Professor of Physics in 2021. Ibrahim Cissé is the recipient of several scientific awards, including just recently the 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.
With his approach of combining physics, biology and chemistry in one department, Cissé aims to deepen the understanding of how genetic information is decoded in our . He is researching the behavior of individual molecules as well as biomolecular phase transitions in living cells that result from so-called weak and transient interactions between molecules. The scientist and his team use methods and their know-how from physics to learn more about the biophysical principles that regulate these processes in the genome. Using specially developed, super-resolution imaging techniques, they observe individual molecules and groups of molecules in living cells. This allows them to analyze what molecular events take place when a cell turns on a gene. The techniques can visualize clusters of molecules that rapidly build up and break down during gene expression.
Ibrahim Cissé has received numerous scientific awards, including the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science 2021.