Research / Scientific departments / Microbiology

Department of Microbiology

          Patrick Trieu Cuot,
Chairman of the Department
          Jean-Marc Ghigo,
Co-Chairman of the Department

Microorganisms are the most abundant and diversified life forms on Earth. Since bacteria are responsible for many infectious diseases, they have always been important models for studies at the Institut Pasteur. Furthermore, following the pioneering work during the last century by scientists like François Jacob and Jacques Monod, bacteria have been (and still are) superb models for scientists wishing to explore the most fundamental aspects of living cells at the molecular level. For a long time, microbiology evolved without considering the history of microorganisms however, the discovery of Archaea has now opened a new vista on early microbial evolution and finally reconciles Darwin and Pasteur. During the last ten years, interest in microbiology has rebounded, thanks to spectacular developments in genomics, cellular imagery and molecular ecology. Scientists in the Microbiology Department are working on various microorganisms (Bacteria and Archaea) and their viruses, as model systems for fundamental studies, to understand the principles of pathogenicity and find new treatment for bacterial infections, but also to get a better understanding of their unique lifestyle, and their modes of interaction with the environment