Olivier Espéli has been leading the Cell Cycle and Chromosome Dynamics team at CIRB since 2014. He holds a PhD from the University of Aix Marseille, did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA and then joined the CNRS in Frédéric Boccard's team at the Institute of Integrative Biology of the Cell in Gif sur Yvette. The team's main interests are the organisation of bacterial chromosomes, adaptations of bacteria to difficult growth conditions and interactions between pathogenic bacteria and their hosts.

Olivier Espéli is the author of 37 scientific papers. He has organised numerous international conferences and also organises a microbiology course for the IMALIS master's degree (ENS/PSL). Since 2019, Olivier Espéli represents Collège de France on the PSL research committee.