alain charbit
  • E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : 1-0172606511
  • Location : Paris, France
Last update 2014-10-15 17:51:40.148

alain charbit PhD, Microbiology.

Course and current status

I received my education in Bacterial Genetics in France.  I joined the laboratory of Maurice Hofnung at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1982. I obtained a "thèse de doctorat de 3e cycle de l'Université Paris VII" in Microbiology in 1984 and a "thèse de doctorat de l'Université Paris VII" in 1990. I was recruited as a "Chargé de Recherche" by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in 1991.   I am currently a senior scientist of the CNRS ("Directeur de Recherche de 1ère classe").    
My earlier research interests (1982-1998), at the Pasteur Institute, were mainly oriented toward fundamental aspects of maltose uptake and bacteriophage binding mediated by the LamB protein, a multifunctional pore-forming outer membrane protein of Escherichia coli. In 1998, I decided to focus on the study of pathogenic bacteria and in particular to address the molecular mechanisms involved in the infectious cycle of intracellular bacteria.  I have published over 100 scientific papers, invited reviews and book chapters, and I am a group leader in an INSERM laboratory of the Faculty Paris-Descartes Paris V.

Scientific summary

Our general objective is to understand the molecular bases of the intracellular parasitism and dissemination of intracellular human pathogenic bacteria. We initially used Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogenic bacterium responsible for meningo-encephalitis and fatal infections in humans, as a model organism. In 2005, we undertook the study of a second intracellular pathogen, Francisella tularensis, the agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia. Both  L. monocytogenes and F. tularensis have evolved strategies to rapidly escape from the phagocytic vacuole of infected cells, to multiply actively in the host cytosol. While L.monocytogenes is capable of direct cell-to-cell dissemination, F. tularensis needs to lyse the infected host (by apoptosis and pyroptosis) to gain access to adjacent cells.

We concentrate our current efforts on F. tularensis. Our aim is to understand the bacterial intracellular survival strategies and specifically:  the role of the bacterial nutritional constrainst in the adaptation to the intracellular life style and virulence. 

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