Research / Scientific departments / Immunology

The Immunology Department

The Department of Immunology, which includes 13 research units and 2 technical platforms composed of 170 scientists, has a shared interest in exploring the fundamental processes of immunity  with the hope to provide new insight into disease pathogenesis, inspire novel vaccines and design unique therapeutic strategies. Moreover, we share a commitment to  training the next generation of scientists dedicated to research excellence in the field of immunology.

Upcoming seminars


June 7th – 12 :00 pm
The Washington university in St Louis, Etats-Unis
 (invited by Gérard Eberl).
Title: Host-microbe interactions that incite damage and stimulate repair
June 14th – 12 :00 pm
Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Allemagne
(Invited by Matthew Albert).
Title: Neutrophil Extracellular Traps
June 28th – 12 : 00 pm
Michael DUSTIN
New York University Cancer Institute, Etats-Unis (Invited by Philippe Bousso).
Title: Getting to the center of the immunological synapse
June 28th – 12 : 00 pm
SEMINAIRE CONJOINT du Département de Biologie Cellulaire et Infection et du Département d’Immunologie
St Jude Children ‘s research Hospital, Memphis, Etats-Unis
(invited by Nouara Lhocine).
Title: Amino acid communication and sensing between T cells and and APCs

July 12th -- 12 : 00 pm
*Jennifer GOMMERMAN*
Université de Toronto, Canada (Invited by Gérard Eberl).
Title: *Meningeal Follicle-like Structures in a rodent model of MS:  Dissecting the involvement of the Lymphotoxin pathway*

News in the Department

James Di Santo awarded the "2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award" from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University.

This award was presented to James Di Santo on May 30th during the 2013 Commencement ceremonies for the Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Carnegie Hall, NYC. The award was made in recognition of "distinguished, lifelong contributions to biomedical research and education". Dr Di Santo is the 14th (and youngest) recipient of this award given to an alumnus of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Dr. Di Santo received his PhD in 1989 and his MD in 1991 from Cornell University as part of their joint MD-PhD program. He currently directs the Innate Immunity Unit (Institut Pasteur / INSERM U668) with a focus on the developmental biology of innate lymphocytes in mice and man.

Matthew Albert was awarded the "Jean Hamburger" Grand Prize of Medicine and Medical Research of the City of Paris.

This prize is awarded for a discovery or an important advance made by a young researcher. Head of a Institut Pasteur / INSERM joint research unit, Matthew Albert and his team work on the fundamental aspects of the cross-presentation of antigen as well as the clinical translation of their findings to better understand the pathogenesis of hepatitis C and bladder cancer. Specific discoveries include the identification of chemokine antagonism in chronically infected hepatitis C patients that might explain the failure of these patients to clear the infection. The team also developed and validated a panel of biomarkers to improve the management of patient care. In regard to bladder cancer, the team defined  mechanisms by which BCG may induce tumor immunity by priming specific cytotoxic T cells. This translational approach could not be achieved without close collaboration with clinical teams including Prof. Pol Mallet at Cochin Hospital and Prof. Pfister at Rouen University Hospital. Five clinical trials are currently underway and a multinational Phase III immune regulation and anti-tumor immunity trial is currently under development.

Lymphocyte Development and Oncogenesis lab news:

October 10, 2011: The LDO lab is open!

November 28, 2011: The FRM “Amorçage de Jeunes Equipes” program supports our research.

December 7, 2011: Marie Bedora-Faure joins the LDO lab as a research technician.

February 6, 2012: Chloé Lescale joins the LDO lab as a post-doctoral fellow.

November 2012: The Ville de Paris “EMERGENCES” program supports our research.

November 13, 2012: Tyama El Chaar joins the LDO lab as a post-doctoral fellow.

February 2013: the European Research Council starting grants program funds our lab.

Georges, Jacques et Elias Canetti 2012 Prize to Claude Leclerc

Claude Leclerc received the Jacques et Elias Canetti 2012 Prize on December 4th.
Her laboratory activity  is focused on the understanding of the mechanisms that control the activation and regulation of T cell responses and on the development of new strategies of vaccination against tumors and infections.

The Department of Immunology coordinates an Initial Training Network (ITN)

The Department of Immunology coordinates an Initial Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union Marie Curie Actions called HOMIN: « Host Microbe Interactions in Health and Disease : Interface with the Immune System ». This program aims to provide scientific education through the study of host-microbe interactions with particular focus on immune responses and vaccine development. Five institutions based in three European countries participate in the HOMIN program and will collaborate with an array of European academic and private associated partners. Four PhD student positions in the Department of Immunology will be available within this program, see job offers.

For more information on the network please visit: here

Our Immunology Department Days: October 15th to 17th In St Malo

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Gérard Eberl winner of the Institut Pasteur Vallery-Radot 2012 Price

Gérard Eberl team has recently demonstrated how symbiotic bacteria
communicate with the gut immune system to participate in its development.

Publication : Chikungunya virus–induced autophagy delays caspase-dependent cell death

J Exp Med-2012
May 2012


Graft rejection at the cellular level filmed in 3D

Observing this "cellular choreography" has most notably proven the existence of a mechanism that contributes to the immune reaction underlying rejection. This discovery, published in Nature Medicine, paves the way towards the optimization of immunosuppressive therapies and promotes successful grafting techniques.
In an effort to clarify these mechanisms immunologists from the Institut Pasteur and Inserm - Philippe Bousso (1) and Susanna Celli (2), of the Dynamics of Immune Responses unit, and Matthew Albert (3), of the Dendritic Cell Immunobiology unit – have used high power microscopy technology to non-invasively film the cellular process in animals. It was on a murine ear skin graft model that they were, for the first time, able to watch in vivo, in real-time, and within the thickness of the tissues, the “ballet” of immune cells taking their places during the graft rejection.
(See the film)

Publication: Chemokine antagonism during HCV infection

Evidence for an antagonist form of the chemokine CXCL10 in patients chronically infected with HCV. J. Clin. Invest (Albert lab)

Publication: Tertiary lymphoid tissues and intestinal immunodeficiency

Microbiota-induced tertiary lymphoid tissues aggravate inflammatory disease in the absence of ROR{gamma}t and LTi cells. J. Exp. Med (Eberl lab)

Publication: The origin of innate lymphoid cells

Lineage Relationship Analysis of ROR{gamma}t+ Innate Lymphoid Cells. Science. (Eberl lab)

Publication: NK and T cell dynamics  during tumor regression

Intravital Imaging Reveals Distinct Dynamics for Natural Killer and CD8(+) T Cells during Tumor Regression. Immunity (Bousso lab)

Publication: Intravital imaging reveals the early functional diversification during T cell activation in lymph nodes.

Visualizing the functional diversification of CD8+ T cell responses in lymph nodes. Immunity (Bousso lab)

Publication: Counting human naive antigen-specific T cells

Enumeration of human antigen-specific naive CD8+ T cells reveals conserved precursor frequencies. Blood (Albert lab)