Philippe J. Sansonetti



  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome


  • Institut Pasteur Collège de France
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis Unit and INSERM 786


  • France


MD, University of Paris VI
MSc (Biochemistry/Microbiology), University of Paris VII Diderot


Philippe Sansonetti is an infectious diseases researcher. He is interested in how bacteria can influence the molecular mechanisms of gut homeostasis and pathology.

He studies Shigella, the bacteria that cause dysentery, as a model. His goal is to decipher how Shigella ruptures the innermost layer of the gastrointestinal tract, invades, causes inflammatory destruction, and subverts the immune system. Sansonetti is also analyzing how unharmful bacteria affect the physiology of intestinal crypts, a critical area where stem cells achieve renewal of the epithelial tissue that lines the surfaces of blood vessels and organs. Rupture of these homeostatic mechanisms can cause severe pathologies such as inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer.


Senior Foreign Member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Foreign Member of the Royal Society

Louis-Jeantet Prize of Medicine

Robert Koch Prize

Relevant Publications

Schnupf, P. et al. "Growth and host interaction of mouse Segmented Filamentous Bacterium in vitro." Nature 520, no. 7545 (April 2015): 99–103.

Guilbaud, A., and P. Sansonetti. Le retour des épidémies. Paris: La vie des idées, PUF, 2015.

Pedron, T. et al. "A Crypt Specific Core Microbiota resides in the mouse colon." mBio 3, no. 3 (May 2012).

Marteyn, B. et al. "Modulation of Shigella virulence in response to available oxygen in vivo." Nature 465, no. 7296 (May 2010): 355–58.

Sansonetti, P. Des microbes et des hommes: guerre et paix aux surfaces muqueuses. Paris: Collège de France, Fayard, ‎2009.

Sperandio, B. et al. "Virulent Shigella flexneri subverts the host innate immune response through manipulation of antimicrobial peptide gene expression." J. Exp. Med. 205, no. 5 (May 2008): 1121–1132.

Orth. G., and P. Sansonetti. La maîtrise des maladies infectieuses: un défi de santé publique, une ambition médico-scientifique. Les Ulis, France: EDP Sciences,‎ 2006.