Director's word

Director: William Nasser

Deputy director: Marc Lemaire

Our scientific project is built on a common interest in the mechanisms of adaptation and pathogenicity of microorganisms. Different teams contribute to this scientific activity based on their expertise in different types of organisms: bacteria, yeast, fungi and amoeba. The objectives are the understanding of the adaptation processes in microorganisms, ranging from the molecular level to integration into a cellular context of interactions with the environment and with other organisms.

In this context, pathogenesis is considered a special case of adaptation to another living organism (plants, amoebas, insects, humans). The phenomenon of adaptation involves mechanisms allowing an optimum use of the surrounding environment for microbial growth, and resistance to hostile conditions encountered in this environment. The different considered parameters are of biochemical or physical nature (presence of sugars, plant molecules, metals, oxidative stress ...) and, in the case of pathogens, all the conditions related to the interaction with the biological partners.

These studies aim at elucidating the different steps of the adaptive response: the signal perception and transmission, the regulation of gene expression and the cell metabolism adjustment. The technologies used involve genetics and molecular biology and various global approaches (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) and mathematical modeling, in order to achieve integrative knowledge of the phenotypic adaptation mechanisms in microorganisms.