Besides their major role in many infectious diseases, bacteria also serve as models to understand fundamental biological mechanisms. The research performed in the Department of Microbiology mainly focuses on the molecular characterization of functions that enable bacteria to interact with their environment and, in some cases, to cause diseases.
The scientists of the Department of Microbiology study, at the cellular and molecular levels, numerous bacteria and Archaea (and their viruses), taking them as model systems to analyze fundamental biological processes. They also focus on the mechanisms that render some of these microorganisms virulent and enable them to evade the host immune system, or to develop resistance to antibiotics. For these studies, the scientists of the Department of Microbiology possess a wide range of expertise and use diverse experimental approaches. These studies not only improve our understanding of the life cycle of these microorganisms, but also constitute a prerequisite for the development of new therapies or new diagnostic tools that can be used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
The Department of Microbiology includes 14 teams: 10 research teams, 2 junior groups (G5) and 2 collections. Three entities also host a National Reference Center and 2 are WHO Collaborating Centers. In addition, several research teams from other departments (Genomes & Genetics, Structural Biology and Chemistry and Infection & Epidemiology) are affiliated to the Department of Microbiology. The department also hosts a joint research entity with the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) – ERL6002.