Pierre Bongrand was trained in mathematics and theoretical physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and in medicine at Paris and Marseilles medical schools. He holds a specialty doctorate in theoretical physics (1972), a medical doctorate (1974) and a state science doctorate in immunology (1979).
His main research interest was about the biophysics of cell adhesion, which led him to study the kinetics and mechanics of receptor-ligand interaction at the single bond level and, more recently, the initial phase of antigen recognition by T lymphocytes.
Since his retirement in 2016, he is emeritus professor at Marseilles medical school.
He remains particularly interested in i) the subsecond maturation of newly formed ligand-receptor bonds, ii) the initial phase of antigen detection and characterization by T lymphocytes during the first minutes following encounter with a foreign surfaces, and iii) development of a computer-driven method of fluorescence image analysis for diagnosis of some autoimmune diseases.