Dr. Sansonetti is a professor and head of the Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire at the Pasteur Institute of Paris and chair of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Collège de France. He was an HHMI international research scholar from 2000 to 2010.
How Pathogenic Bacteria Subvert Host Immune Responses and How Commensal Bacteria Regulate Gut Homeostasis: War and Peace at the Mucosal Surface
Philippe Sansonetti is interested in the molecular mechanisms of gut homeostasis and pathology in the presence of bacteria. As a model of pathogenesis, he studies Shigella, Gram-negative bacteria that cause dysentery. His goal is to decipher the molecular and cellular bases of Shigella's rupture, invasion, inflammatory destruction, and immune subversion of the intestinal mucosa. He studies intestinal colonization by commensal bacteria such as Lactobacillus as a model of homeostasis. He also is analyzing how commensal bacteria affect the physiology of intestinal crypts, a critical area of the epithelium where stem cells achieve renewal of the epithelial lining. Rupture of these homeostatic mechanisms may cause severe pathologies such as inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer.
Professor Sansonetti received his MD degree in 1979 from the University of Paris. From 1979 to 1981, he conducted research in the Department of Enteric Infections at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the United States. He is a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur and a Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Mérite. Among several awards, he received the Prix d'Excellence Jacques Monod en Biologie Moléculaire, the Prix Louis Jeantet de Médecine, and the Robert Koch Prize. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, a corresponding member of the French Academy of Medicine, and a foreign member of the Max-Planck-Society and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He was recently elected a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is professor and head of the Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire and Unité INSERM 786, at the Pasteur Institute of Paris. He is chair of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Collège de France, where he teaches his discipline in addition to pursuing his research at Institute Pasteur. He was an HHMI international research scholar from 2000 to 2010.