Research / Scientific departments / Cell Biology and Infection

Cell Biology and Infection

Director of the Department: Jean-Christoph Olivo-Marin
Assistant of Director of the Department: Nancy Guillén-Aghion
Secretary of the Department: Marie-Régine Lambrecht

Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin (2010-)
Director of the Department


The Department of Cell Biology and Infection

Created in 2002 and then directed by Philippe Sansonetti, organized itself around microbiologists and cell biologists, who considered that the understanding of infectious processes requires an in depth analysis of the cellular physiology during infection as well as at homeostasis between the commensal flora and the host. Its major aim is to develop the analysis of the interfaces between microorganisms and cells and tissues. Accordingly, the various teams and projects represent different facets of Microbiology and Cell Biology, either during an infection (cellular microbiology) or during a non-infectious process (biology of the nucleus, differentiation, transports, signaling and migration, carcinogenesis). These activities rely strongly on the development of new techniques, including dynamic imaging and image analysis or genomics and post- genomics. Some of these approaches are already exploited in collaboration with the Platforms of Dynamic Imaging and of Electron Microscopy and with the Unit of Quantitative Image Analysis, belonging to the Department of Cell Biology and Infection, as well as with the Genopole of the Institut Pasteur. The concept original concept is that of a multidisciplinary Department allowing emergence of a strong pole of Cell Biology at the Institut Pasteur.

The scientific priorities of the Department :

1°  To strengthen the integration of Cell Biology, Cellular Microbiology and Genomics to better analyze bacterial, viral, parasitic and prion infections by
     - stimulating interactions between groups working on infections and groups working in basic Cell Biology, taking full advantage of the various platforms of the Institute
     - attracting young Cell Biology groups working on fundamental topics (i.e. membrane trafficking, signaling, organelles…) and/or groups working on various departmental themes, including virology
     - establishing interactions with physicists and chemists.
2°  To develop competence in Tissular Microbiology, making use of the increasingly powerful in vivo imaging technologies, in order to understand infections at the whole animal level. Study of the commensals-epithelia interactions in the shaping of homeostasis is also encouraged.
3°  To establish privileged relationships with immunologists and colleagues using Cell Biology in other Departments.
4°  To improve the Electron Microscopy Platform by stimulating the recruitment of talented and motivated experts.