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Philippe J. Sansonetti Infectious Diseases Researcher

Philippe Sansonetti 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 inntermost layer of the gastrointestinal tract, invades, causes inflammatory destruction and subverts the immune system. He also is 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 may cause severe pathologies such as inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer.


Senior Foreign Member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Sciences

Foreign Member of the Royal Society

Louis-Jeantet Prize of Medicine, 1994.

Robert Koch Prize, 1997.

Relevant Publications

P. Schnupf et al, "Growth and host interaction of mouse Segmented Filamentous Bacterium in vitro," Nature, vol. 520, no. 7545, pp. 99-103, April 2015.

T. Pedron et al, "A Crypt Specific Core Microbiota resides in the mouse colon," mBio, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 116-112, May 2012.

B. Marteyn et al, "Modulation of Shigella virulence in response to available oxygen in vivo," Nature, vol. 465, no. 7296, pp. 355-358, May 2010.

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


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

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

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



Senior Fellow Humans & the Microbiome


Institut Pasteur, Collège de FranceMicrobiology and Infectious Diseases/Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis Unit and INSERM 786


MD University of Paris VI

MSc (Biochemistry/Microbiology) University of Paris VII Diderot



Ideas Related to Philippe J. Sansonetti

Symposium Debrief | Humans & the Microbiome

Symposium Brief – The Microbiome in Human Health London

Roundtable Objectives  By bringing together researchers across different areas of expertise, including microbiology and anthropology, CIFAR’s Humans & The Microbiome...