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Institut Pasteur (IP)

Location : Paris / F
Leader : N/A
Website :

- Description of the institution:

The Institut Pasteur is a non-profit private foundation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diseases, primarily infectious diseases, through biological research, education and public health activities The Institut Pasteur combines these three fields of activity on its Parisian campus with almost 2500 people, within an independent international network of 30 Pasteur Institutes, which constitutes an original and autonomous body, the only one of its kind in the world.

The Institut Pasteur has the following objectives:

-the study of infectious, parasitic and immune-system diseases, together with the means of preventing and fighting such diseases;

-the pursuit and development of research into micro-organisms, their role in natural, normal or pathological processes, and the reactions that they induce;

-the study and teaching of all aspects of microbiology, together with the training of scientific and technical personnel, with a view to promoting research in fundamental and applied microbiology;

-the study of all theoretical or practical phenomena related to microbiology, immunology or, generally, fundamental or applied biology, and research in these fields.

- Description of the different units involved in the project/ Competences of the team in the project:

Research in the “Biology of Gram-positive Pathogens” Unit is centered on the modification of gene expression in response to environmental signals, particularly stress response and two-component signal transduction, and the role of these systems in the virulence of Staphylococcus aureus . The goal is to decipher the regulatory networks involved in the production of virulence factors and survival of pathogens within the host. The approach is aimed at four main topics: 1) surface proteins and host interactions, 2) stress response mechanisms, 3) regulation of gene expression and adaptation to the host and the environment, and 4) biodiversity and evolution with regard to virulence, gene regulation and epidemiology.

The “Systems Biology group” focuses on two research areas that are both highly relevant technology development and informatics application areas in this project. 1) The development of data analysis techniques for mass spectrometry-based proteomics. 2) Data integration methods. The group is a Core developer of the Cytoscape platform.

- Key persons involved in BaSysBio:

Dr. Tarek Msadek

Leads an independent research group since 1996. He has considerable expertise in Gram-positive molecular genetics, including protein purification, DNA-protein interactions, protein phosphorylation, etc. His contributions include the characterisation of the first two-component system from Gram-positive bacteria (DegS/DegU); the first Clp proteins from Gram-positive bacteria (ClpC, ClpP, ClpE); CtsR, a novel regulator of stress response and the essential two-component system YycG/YycF, highly conserved among low GC % Gram-positive bacteria. His present research is focused on environmental adaptive responses in Gram-positive bacteria, including signal transduction pathways controlling virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus , Streptococcus agalactiae , and Listeria monocytogenes .

Dr. Michel Débarbouillé

Specialist of bacterial gene regulation and is now working on virulence-related signal transduction pathways in S. aureus . His contributions include the identification of the first sigma 54-type alternative sigma factor (SigL) in Gram-positive bacteria. He also characterized several AAA+-type regulators controlling the utilization of alternative nutrient sources (LevR, RocR, BkdR and AcoR) in B . subtilis .

Dr. Benno Schwikowski

Head of the Systems Biology group, Institut Pasteur. Before, he was an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, and led a research group in mass spec informatics and data integration. Dr. Schwikowski co-founded the Cytoscape project, a software platform for the visualisation and data integration on biomolecular interaction networks.

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