From CRI to Learning Planet Institute

Passionate about empowering Youth Education, François Taddei co-founded the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CRI) in Paris in 2006, whose mission is to train the next generation of scientists working at the interface of life sciences, learning, and digital technologies. In 2021, the CRI became the Learning Planet Institute.

  • François Taddei is the Founder and President of the Learning Planet Institute (formerly Center for Interdisciplinary Researches – CRI).
  • He is an internationally renowned researcher in evolutionary systems biology who now devotes his time to the learning and teaching sciences.
  • François Taddei advocates for large-scale collaboration to build – with the support, notably, of UNESCO and the United Nations University (UNU) – a learning planet and the development of learning communities working together to find sustainable solutions in the Education and Health sectors, as well as in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

External collaborations

  • In 2020, François Taddei spearheaded the creation of the Institute of Challenges or “academy of challenges” (CRI/Learning Planet Institute – Université Paris Cité) which aims to prototype a model of the learning university to answer the call of current and future global great challenges. He believes that by fostering diversity, trust, exploration, co-creation and multi-scale collective intelligence, universities can catalyse the emergence of new solutions to the personal, collective and global challenges that students identify. They can facilitate cooperation and invite all actors to become aware of the complexity of our challenges, to redefine the problems, to reflect on the applications and implications of their ideas and to find innovative solutions.
  • In parallel to the Learning Planet institute, François Taddei also directs the Institute of Challenges.
  • François Taddei has also benefited from Research Chairs funded by Orange and Axa, and by Foundations such as the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. Since 2014, he has also been co-director of the UNESCO “Learning Sciences” Chair, attached to Université Paris Cité, which aims to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation activities in the field of educational sciences, Research and foresight in Education.

Education - Training

After completing a general science degree with specialisations in Physics and Biology at the École Polytechnique, François Taddei became a senior civil servant in the French Ministry of Agriculture before completing a PhD in genetics, working with Miroslav Radman on the molecular causes and evolutionary consequences of changes in mutation rates.

After his postdoctoral training with John Maynard Smith, where he modeled the evolution of mutation rate, his research team studied the evolution and molecular mechanisms of cooperation, genetic changes, errors in gene expression, pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance and aging in E. coli. He was the first to study aging in this model organism and revealed these processes through the use of microfluidics and systems biology approaches. His work has led to numerous publications in general scientific journals and has earned him several awards.

  • 1999 – Habilitation to direct Research (French diploma allowing to direct PhD students), University of Paris XI. Maintenance of genome integrity and expression, medical and evolutionary implications.
  • 1991-1995 – PhD in genetics, University of Paris XI: environment and control of genetic variability in E. coli. Obtained with highest honors.
  • 1990 – 1991 – Graduate diploma in cellular and molecular genetics, University of Paris VI and XI, Professors P. Slonimski and JL. Rossignol. Obtained with highest honors.
  • 1989 – 1991 – École Nationale du Génie Rural et des Eaux et Forêts (ENGREF).
  • 1986 -1989 – École Polytechnique, specialisation in Physics and Biology.
  • 1984 -1986 – Lycée Louis Le Grand: equivalent of the first two years of university. Preparatory years for the Grandes Écoles, Mathematics/Physics.
  • 1983-1984 – Lycée Frédéric Mistral: Baccalauréat série C (Mathematics/Physics). Obtained with honors.


  • 2020 – Eureka North Shore Award for the promotion of Science Education and outreach.
  • 2019 – Doctor Honoris Causa, UC Louvain.
  • 2018 – Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (award from the French Ministry of Culture).
  • 2017 – Montgolfier Prize for entrepreneurship in Education.
  • 2013 – Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (award from the French Ministry of Education).
  • 2010 – Ashoka Fellow.
  • 2006 – Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Award.
  • 2005 – European Young Investigator Award (EURYI).
  • 2004 – Liliane Bettencourt Prize for Life Sciences.
  • 2003 – INSERM Prize for fundamental Research. 

Scientific activities & teaching

  • Since 2020Institute of Challenges of Université Paris Cité.
  • Since 2014 – UNESCO “Learning Sciences” Chair with Université Paris Cité.
  • 2012- 2019 – French government IDEFI program for innovation in Education.
  • 2011 – Creation of the Frontières du Vivant degree, the first French degree program allowing students to train through Research.
  • 2007 – Founder and Director of the interdisciplinary doctoral school: Frontières du Vivant (FdV) of the Universities of Paris Diderot & Paris Descartes, whose vocation is to allow brilliant students to explore new frontiers at the interface between disciplines. 
  • 2006 – Founder of the Paris-Montagne Science Festival at the École Normale Supérieure and of the Science ac’ outreach program, which has provided laboratory training to over 1,000 high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • 2005 – Founder of the Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires (Faculty of Medicine, Paris Descartes).
  • 2004-2007 – Head of the interdisciplinary Master program Approches Interdisciplinaires des Sciences de la Vie (AIV), École Normale Supérieure, Paris Diderot and Paris Descartes Universities. 
  • Since 2000 – Paris V School of Medicine, INSERM U571 Causes and consequences of genetic and phenotypic variability, head of the Biology of evolutionary systems team. 
  • 1991-1999 – Institut J. Monod, mutagenesis laboratory molecular and evolutionary mechanisms controlling genetic variability. 
  • 1996-1997 – Post-doct in the laboratory of J. Maynard Smith (UK) and PH Gouyon (France) on the evolution of mutation rate.


Research & Education

Co-author of several Research and Education reports for the French government, the OECD, the EU, and UNESCO. 




Scientific publications