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About

Dr. Gerald Späth currently holds a Research Director position at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where he directs the Unit ‘Parasitologie moléculaire et Signalisation’ (12 members) and the Department ‘Parasites and Insect Vectors’ (ca. 110 members). His team investigates Leishmania/host interaction applying integrative approaches to study (i) parasite adaptive differentiation and evolution during intracellular infection, (ii) modulation of the host cell phenotype by the release of parasite signaling proteins, and (iii) impact of such parasite trans-signaling on the host cell immune-competence. Each of these research axes has a strong translational component dedicated to biomarker, drug target or compound discovery, which are at the core of the various coordination actions conducted by Dr. Späth, including the FP7-LeishDrug, ANR-TransLeish, ANR-TranSig, or the H2020 LeiSHield consortia. He is author of 65 publications and published as last author in various prestigious journals, including Nature Ecology & Evolution, Cell Host & Microbes, and PNAS. His scientific success is well reflected by his competitiveness in fund raising with current external grants totaling over 2,5M€. His research program is highly visible as judged by his coordination actions, his assignment as reviewer for many international funding organizations (including HFSP, MRC, Wellcome Trust, DFG), his committee assignments or invitations as keynote speaker and session chair at international meetings (most recently at WorldLeish6 in 2017 or the Future in Parasitology Symposium at the Weizmann Institute in 2018). Finally, he animates the LeishRIIP platform (www.leishriip.org), LeiSHield project (www.leishield.org), and an International Mixed Unit (IMU) with a partner team at IP Shanghai, thus delivering important structuring capacity for the fragmented Leishmania research efforts inside the Institut Pasteur International Network, which has been recognized by a Chair of Excellence awarded in 2016.

Transversal Projects

Projects

CV

EDUCATION

  • 2006: Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, Paris Descartes University, France
  • 1997: PhD in Human Genetics, University 7 of Paris, France
  • 1993: Master degree in Biology, University Mainz, Germany

 

RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • 2016 – today: Head of Department ‘Parasites and Insect Vectors’
  • 2016 – today: Chair of Excellence ‘Leishmania International Coordination’
  • 2016 – today: Head International Mixed Unit IPP- IPS
  • 2014 – 2015: Visiting Scientist at IP Shanghai, Chine
  • 2013 – 2016: Adjunct Head of Department ‘Parasitology & Mycology’
  • 2012 – 2013:  Interim Head, Proteomics Platform, Institut Pasteur
  • 2011 – today: Research Director, Head Unité Parasitologie molécularie et Signalisation
  • 2005 – 2010: Research Director, Head G5 Virulence Parasitaire
  • 2003 – 2005: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rockefeller University, New York
  • 2002 – 2005: Assistant Professor, Depart. Med. & Mol. Parasitology, New York University

 

SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITIES

68 publications, Hirsch h index: 30 (total citations: 3925)

Scientific coordination:

  • 2018 – 2022: H2020 LeiSHield MATI consortium, “An integrative clinical approach towards Leishmania infection and disease”
  • 2014 – 2016: LeiSHield consortium (www.leishield.org), “A systems epidemiology approach to uncover genotype-genotype interactions between Leishmania and its hosts”
  • 2014 – 2018: ANR-TranSig, “Trans-signalling: A novel mechanism of Leishmania host cell immune evasion through the release of parasite signalling proteins”
  • 2013 – today: LeishRIIP (www.leishriip.org), “The Institut Pasteur International Leishmania network”
  • 2012 – 2016: ANR-TransLeish (www.transleish.org), “Discovery of druggable protein kinases in the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani using hit compounds identified by phenotypic screening”
  • 2008 – 2012: FP7 LeishDrug (www.leishdrug.org), “Targeting the Leishmania kinome for anti-leishmanial drug discovery”

 

AWARDS

  • Prix Georges Zermati
  • 2018 Chair of Excellence, Institut Pasteur (2016 – 2019)
  • Scientific Director H2020 LeiSHield consortium (www.leishield.org) (2018 – 2022)
  • Coordinator ANR TranSig consortium (www.transig.org) (2014 – 2018)
  • Coordinator ANR TransLeish consortium (www.transleish.org) (2012-2015)
  • Scientific Director FP7 LeishDrug consortium (www.leishdrug.org) (2008-2012)
  • Equipe FRM (2006-2009) Equipe INSERM AVENIR (2005-2008)
  • Starr Foundation Investigator Award 2004
  • Fellow of the Human Frontiers Science Program (1998-2000)
  • Fellow of the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (1998)
  • Fellow of the Human Capital and Mobility Program, EC (1993-1995)

 

SUPERVISING AND TRAINING

  • PostDocs: Suzanne Lamotte (since 2018), Sima Drini (2016 – 2017), Penny Smirlis (2015 – 2017), Mathieu Cayla (2014 – 2015), Mariko Dacher (2012 -2014), Najma Rachidi (2011 – 2015), Wai-Lok Yau (2011 – 2012), Dirk Schmidt-Arras (2007 – 2010), Claire Forestier (2005 – 2008), Miguel Morales (2003 – 2011)
  • PhD students: Director of thesis: Laura Piel (since 2015), Daniel Martel (since 2015), Suzanne Lamotte (2014 – 2018), Sima Drini (2012 – 2016), Mathieu Cayla (2010 – 2014), Mariko Dacher (2008 -2012), Wai-Lok Yau (2009 – 2012); Member of graduate thesis committees: Jamie Hahn (NYU, 2002), Heather Green (NYU, 2004), Jesse Wright (NYU, 2003), Ramya Natarajan (NYU, 2005), John Schmieg (NYU, 2004), Mélanie Breton (U. Lausanne, 2007), Marjorie Mauduit (Paris 6, 2008), Audrey Gego (Paris 6, 2009), Fouad Benhnini (U. Paris 6, 2009), Elodie Gazanion (U. Montpellier, 2010), Jan Mani (U. Anvers, 2011), Nadine N’Dilimabaka (U. Paris 7, 2011), Manu Vanaershot (U. Anvers, 2011), Julien Lancelot (U. Lille, 2013), Lauriane Sollelis (U. Montpellier, 2016), Marion Morel (U. Lille, 2016), Samuel Duncan (U. Glasgow, 2016)
  • M2 students: Thibault Rosazza (since 2018), Marie Ajavon (2018), Candide Dossa (2018), Daniel Martel (2014), Adrien Blisnick (2014), Laura Piel (2013), Suzanne Lamotte (2013), Franck Dumetz (2012), Amel Abdelkarim (2010)
  • Trainees: Mariana Boté-Cortes, Fiocruz Brazil (RIIP* visiting fellow, 3 months in 2017); Kyungwa Baek, IP Korea (RIIP fellow, 3 months, 2017); Kossiwa Kokou, IPShanghai (RIIP fellow, 3 months 2016); Evi Gouzelou, Hellenic Pasteur Institute (RIIP trainee, 4 months, 2015); Penny Smirlis, Hellenic Pasteur Institute (EU COST fellow, 1 month, 2015); Joo Hwan No, IP Korea (RIIP fellow, 1 month, 2014); Aymen Bali, (RIIP visiting fellow, 4 months, 2014); Penny Smirlis, Hellenic Pasteur Institute (RIIP trainee, 4 months, 2013); Grace Tewkesbury, Duke University (summer intern Pasteur Foundation, 2 months, 2013); Naouel Eddaikra, IP Alger (RIIP trainee, 1 month, 2013); Monica Gardner, IP Montevideo (RIIP trainee, 2 months, 2012); Sofia Horjales, IP Montevideo (RIIP trainee, 1 month, 2012); Stewart Pine, Harvard University (summer intern, 2 months, 2012); Samin Houshyar, MIT (summer intern, 2 months, 2011); Analia Lima, IP Montevideo (RIIP trainee, 3 months, 2011); Juan-Roman Luque-Ortega, CSIC Madrid (EMBO fellow, 2010); Sylvane Murta, Fiocruz Brazil, (RIIP fellow, 4 months, 2010); Nathalie Joli (summer intern, 1 month, 2010); Najiha Bilal Farooqi (International Fellow, Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan, 2 months, 2010); Fatma Guerfali, IP Tunis (RIIP trainee, 3 months in 2009); Tahereh Taheri, IP Iran (RIIP trainee, 3 moths, 2008). *RIIP, Reseau International des Instituts Pasteur (Institut Pasteur International Network or IPIN)

 

TEACHING ACTIVITIES (only last 5 years)

  • 2018: Lecturer at the course ‘Pharmacology and drug discovery’ – Roma La Sapienza University 2018: Lecturer at the international course “Teaching Asia Pacific Pasteur Institute Network (TAPPIN)”, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, China
  • 2017 – to date: Lecturer at the course “Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases”, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • 2017: Invited speaker, “Systems level analysis of Leishmania environmental adaptation”, the GABBA PhD program, IBMC – Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, Porto, Portugal
  • 2014 – 2015:   Lecturer at the “Biology of Parasitism Course”, Woods Hole, MA, USA
  • 2014 – to date: Lecturer at the course “Genome Analysis”, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • 2014: Lecturer at Chinese CDC, Dpt of Parasitology, Infectious Diseases Course, Shanghai, China
  • 2013 – 2016: Lecturer at the “Cours de Microbiologie Générale”, Institut Pasteur Paris, France

 

ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPERTISE (only last 5 years)

  • 2017 – Member, steering committee Institut Pasteur Biomics Pole
  • 2017 – Co-direction committee Pasteur-Institut Carnot
  • 2016 – Member, steering committee Institut Pasteur Center of Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Integrative Biology (C3BI)
  • 2016 –  Head of Department ‘Parasites and Insect Vectors’
  • 2016 – Chair of Excellence ‘International Coordination’ Institut Pasteur
  • 2015 – Chair Departmental retreat organizing committee
  • 2015 – Chair LeiSHield symposium and molecular typing course committee
  • 2014 – Chair organization committee Labex IBEID symposium
  • 2013 – Member of the AERES evaluation committee CNRS UMR 8076
  • 2013 – Chair, search committee Department of Parasitology and Mycology
  • 2013 – Chair, search committee ANR-LabEx IBEID Chair

Associate Editor: PLoS Pathogens, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Manuscript Reviewer:  Cell Host&Microbes, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Nature Communications, PLoS Pathogens, PLoS NTD, PLoS ONE, Molecular Microbiology, Cellular Microbiology, Microbes and Infection, International Immunology, Immunological Letters, Proteomics, Parasitology, Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, FASEB Journal, Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, Cytotherapy, Infection & Immunity, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Frontiers in Microbiology

Project Reviewer: UK Medical Research Council (MRC), Agence National de Recherche (ANR), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Organization, USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Wellcome TRUST, German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)

 

INVITED SPEAKER (2013 – 2018)

  • 2018 – Invited speaker “Drug Discovery Strategy for Kinetoplastid Diseases – Future Directions”, Novartis Institute of Tropical Diseases, Emeryville, California, “New phenotypic assays, animal models and drug targets”
  • 2018 – Plenary speaker at “Frontiers in Parasitology” meeting, The Weizmann Institute, Israel, “Systems analysis of Leishmania donovani stage differentiation and adaptation to stress”
  • 2018 – Invited speaker at the “London Molecular Parasitology Club”, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “The good, the bad, and the ugly: Leishmania genome instability as a driver of evolutionary adaptation in the field and in culture”
  • 2017 – Invited speaker and session chair (molecular biology), WorldLeish 6, Toledo, Spain, “New insight into Leishmania donovani stage-specific expression and phosphorylation using a systems-level approach”
  • 2016 – Keynote lecture, PTR/ACIP event, Institut Pasteur International Network Meeting, Paris, France “The impact of Institut Pasteur incentive funding on the development of international Leishmania research programs”
  • 2016 – Keynote lecture, MATI meeting, Tehran, Iran, “Networking the Leishmania community
  • 2016 – BSP Autumn Symposium on Microbial Protein targets: towards understanding and intervention, Durham, UK, “Targeting host/parasite interaction for anti-leishmanial drug discovery”
  • 2016 – Global Challenges in Neglected Tropical Diseases, Leon, Spain, Inaugural Key Note Lecture “Targeting host/parasite interaction for anti-leishmanial drug discovery”
  • 2015 – 2015 Queenstown Molecular Biology Meetings in Shanghai, “Leishmania drug target discovery: Challenges and opportunities in the post-genomic era”
  • 2015 – 4th Conference On Protein Kinases Of Parasites, Haïfa “Probing druggability and biological functions of Leishmania protein kinases combining facilitated null mutant and plasmid shuffle analyses”
  • 2014 – Conférence du Conseil Scientifique, “Mechanisms of Leishmania intra-macrophagic survival”
  • 2014 – Réunion Régionale MATI – Casablanca, “From LeishRIIP to LeiSHield: Networking the IP international Leishmania community”
  • 2014 – INsPiRE Workshop: Cell cycle and natural products, Athens, Greece, “Drug development efforts at Institut Pasteur”
  • 2013 – DNDi/Institut Pasteur conference – 10 year anniversary event, Paris, “Tools and challenges for the next decade of leishmaniasis research”
  • 2013 – Symposium “Agents against Infectious Diseases – an Interdisciplinary approach”, Wurzburg, Germany, “Anti-leishmanial drug development efforts at Institut Pasteur: From basic parasite biology to drug target identification and validation”

 

MAIN RECENT RESEARCH FUNDING (2013 – 2018)

  1. “Modelling and functional analysis of clonal Evolution in Leishmania – possible role of non-coding RNAs and RNA modification” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, coordinator Agency: Campus France, MEAE, Type: Bi-national program France/Israel, 04/2018 – 03/2020 Amount: 20,000 euros
  2. “H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017: LeiSHield-MATI consortium” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, coordinator Agency: EU, Type: Network grant, 04/2018 – 03/2022 Amount: 1,700,000 euros
  3. “PATHO-METHYLOME: The role of lysine methylation in host-pathogen interactions” Recipient: Jonathan Weitzman (UParis 7), Gerald Spaeth co-PI Agency: ANR Blanc, Type: Collaborative grant, 10/2015 – 09/2019 Amount: 67,500 euros/year
  4. “Molecular analysis of Leishmania virulence, differentiation, and evolution” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI. Agency: INSERM, Type: Unit budget, 01/2015 – 12/2019 Amount: 26,000 euros/year
  5. “Integrative Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases” Recipient: Pascale Cossart, Philippe Sansonetti Agency: ANR Laboratoire d’Excellence, Type: Collaborative grant, 01/01/2012 – 31/12/2020 Amount: 10,000 euros/year
  6. “The role of Mitogen-activated kinases in Leishmania differentiation and virulence”; Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI. Agency: Pasteur Institute, Type: budget Unit, 01/01/2014 – 31/12/2019 Amount: 60,000 euros/year

Completed

  1. “A multilevel systems approach to elucidate the host-Leishmania interactome and to identify host targets for anti-leishmanial drug discovery” Recipient: Joo Hwan No (IPK), Gerald Spaeth co-PI Agency: Pasteur Institute, Type: Collaborative grant, 07/2015 – 06/2017 Amount: 15,000 euros/year
  2. “Investigating the reciprocal relationship between macrophage inflammasome activity and intracellular Leishmania infection” Recipient: Eric Prina, PI, Gerald Spaeth, co-PI Agency: Pasteur Institute, Type: Collaborative grant, 10/2014 – 09/2016 Amount: 15,000 euros/year
  3. “Trans-signalling: A novel mechanism of Leishmania host cell immune evasion through the release of parasite signalling proteins” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI and Najma Rachidi, co-PI Agency: ANR Blanc International, Type: Collaborative grant, 03/2014 – 02/2018 Amount: 67,500 euros/year
  4. “LeiSHield: A new collaborative action to determine prevalence, anticipate emergence and assess urbanization of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis in LeishRIIP partner countries” Recipient: Gerald Sapeth, PI Agency: Division International Institut Pasteur, Type: Collaborative grant, 01/2014 – 12/2016 Amount: 100,000 euros/year
  5. “Anti-Parasitic Drug Discovery in Epigenetics” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI Agency: EU-FP7 program, Type: Collaborative grant, 01/09/2013 – 31/08/2016 Amount: 100,000 euros/year
  6. “Discovery of druggable protein kinases in the protozoan parasites Leishmania donovani using hit compounds identified by phenotypic screening” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI and coordinator Agency: ANR-RPIB, Type: Collaborative grant, 01/01/2012 – 31/05/2016 Amount: 90,000 euros/year (880,000 euros/year for consortium)
  7. “Molecular and immunological analysis of Leishmania virulence”; Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI. Agency: CNRS, Type: budget URA2581, 01/2009 – 12/2014 Amount: 11,000 euros/year
  8. “Systems-wide analysis of Leishmania virulence” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, co-PI Agency: Pasteur Institute, Type: Collaborative grant, 10/2011 – 04/2014 Amount: 50,000 euros/year
  9. “Generation and validation of innovative tools for 2D- and 3D-real time imaging of trypanosomatid parasites in their mammalian hosts” Recipient: Thierry Lang Agency: Pasteur Institute, Type: Collaborative grant, 10/2011 – 04/2014 Amount: 10,000 euros/year
  10. “Systems-wide analysis of Leishmania infantum chagasi antimony resistance” Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, co-PI Agency: Pasteur Institute, Type: Collaborative grant, 01/01/2012 – 31/12/2013 Amount: 15,000 euros/year

Publications

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