Jean-Emile Morel was born in western France in 1940. In 1958, after passing his baccalaureate, he embarked on the demanding preparation for the prestigious “Grandes Ecoles” and was accepted at the Ecole Centrale de Paris. This course led on to postgraduate training in radiochemistry and thermodynamics and a PhD in physical chemistry. At this point, he began working as a researcher in biophysics and made the key decision to apply his knowledge of the physical and chemical sciences to the field of biology. After obtaining a second PhD, this time in biophysics, he became a researcher at the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique at Saclay, where he began to focus on the complex problem of muscle contraction. He remained at Saclay from 1980 to 2004, becoming Professor of Bioengineering, Biophysics and Cell Physiology at the Ecole Centrale de Paris and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris), and Joint Director of the DEA course and of the Molecular Biophysics Doctoral School of Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris). In 1993, he founded the Laboratory of Biology at the Ecole Centrale de Paris. Throughout this period, he applied his critical thinking and knowledge of physics to the question of how muscles contract, calling into question the established dogmas, trying to resolve the persistent inconsistencies of the accepted models and developing his own alternative models. Since his retirement in 2004, Professor Morel has devoted much of his time to reviewing the existing data and trying to resolve the conundrums of this field.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Jean Emile Morel began his research career (1964-1970) carrying out experimental and theoretical studies of the physical chemistry and thermodynamics of liquid-liquid interfaces. From 1970 to 2004, he carried out experimental and theoretical studies on muscle and the mechanisms of muscle contraction. He retired in 2004 and has since devoted much of his time to analyzing more than a century of research in this domain for the preparation of this book.