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Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Cissé


Prof. Dr.
Ibrahim Cissé

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE)
& Faculty of Biology

Group: Department of Biological Physics, MPI-IE

Phone: +49 (0)761 5108-422



Focus of research

  • In vivo single molecules, live cell Super-Resolution
  • RNA Pol II clustering and endogenous transcriptional condensates
  • Weak and transient biomolecular interactions


  • Since 2021 Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology & Epigenetics, Director
  • 2021 Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech),Full Professor of Physics
  • Department of Physics (& Biology by courtesy), MIT
    • Since 2020 Associate Professor of Physics with Tenure
    • 2019-2020 Associate Professor of Physics
    • 2014-2019 Assistant Professor of Physics
  • 2013-2014 HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Research Specialist, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • 2010-2012 Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris, Post-doctoral fellow


  • 2021 MacArthur Fellow
  • 2021 Fellow, The American Physical Society (APS-Physics)
  • 2020 The Vileck Prize for Creative Promise in the Biomedical Sciences
  • 2018 Science News (SN10), Scientists To Watch List
  • 2017 Young Fluorescence Investigator Award, Biophysical Society
  • 2017 PEW Biomedical Scholar, The PEW Charitable Trust
  • 2014 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
  • 2011 Long-term Fellow, European Molecular Biology Organization

Selected publications

  • Du, M., Stitzinger, S. H., Spille, J. H., Cho, W. K., Lee, C., Hijaz, M., Quintana A, Cissé, I. I. (2024). Direct observation of a condensate effect on super-enhancer controlled gene bursting. Cell.
  • Narayanan, A., Meriin, A., Andrews, J. O., Spille, J. H., Sherman, M. Y., & Cisse, I. I. (2019). A first order phase transition mechanism underlies protein aggregation in mammalian cells. Elife, 8, e39695.
  • Cho, W. K., Spille, J. H., Hecht, M., Lee, C., Li, C., Grube, V., Cisse, I. I. (2018). Mediator and RNA polymerase II clusters associate in transcription-dependent condensates. Science, 361(6400), 412-415.
  • Sabari, B. R., Dall’Agnese, A., Boija, A., Klein, I. A., Coffey, E. L., Shrinivas, K., Abraham, B.J., Hannett, N.M., Zamudio, A.V., Manteiga, J.C., Li, C.H., Guo, Y.E., Day, D.S., Schuijers, J., Vasile, E., Malik, S., Hnisz, D., Lee, T.I., Cisse II, Roeder RG, Sharp PA, Chakraborty AK, Young, R. A. (2018). Coactivator condensation at super-enhancers links phase separation and gene control. Science, 361(6400), eaar3958.
  • Cisse, I. I., Izeddin, I., Causse, S. Z., Boudarene, L., Senecal, A., Muresan, L., Dugast-Darzacq, C., Hajj, B., Dahan, M., Darzacq, X. (2013). Real-time dynamics of RNA polymerase II clustering in live human cells. Science, 341(6146), 664-667.


[Link to complete publication list]

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