David Perrais studied physics and engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique where he graduated in 1994. He then did his PhD in Neuroscience (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris) under the supervision of Dr Nicole Ropert to study with electrophysiology the biophysical parameters of GABAa receptor activation during synaptic transmission. He then did two post-docs, at the Vollum Institute (Portland, Oregon, USA) in the team of Pr Wolf Almers, to study exocytosis and endocytosis with live cell TIRF microscopy, and at the University of Bordeaux, in the team of Christophe Mulle to study kainate receptor biophysics and trafficking in cells. He then obtained a CNRS researcher position in 2005. In 2011, he joined the team of Daniel Choquet at the newly created IINS to develop a project on receptor trafficking in neurons with a focus on endocytosis. Since 2020, he leads the team "Membrane Trafficking at Synapses" at IINS.

David Perrais combines expertise in neurophysiology of synaptic transmission and glutamate receptor biophysics together with cellular imaging of membrane trafficking, exocytosis and endocytosis. His interests range from the development of tools and protocols to image exo- and endocytosis events, fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of these processes, to the cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission and plasticity.