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About

Dr. Gerald Späth currently holds a Research Director position at the Institut Pasteur in Paris heading the Unit ‘Parasitologie moléculaire et Signalisation (ParSig). He carried out his PhD at the Institut Pasteur in the laboratory of Dr. Mary Weiss establishing the transcription factor HNF4 as a master regulator of hepatocyte differentiation. After graduating from University Paris 7 in 1997 he conducted a three-years postdoc at Washington University Medical School St. Louis in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Beverley, where he genetically validated the parasite glucoconjugates LPG and PPG as important virulence factors for macrophage and mouse infection. He obtained his first faculty appointment in 2001 at the NYU Medical School, investigating the interaction of Leishmania LPG with the host CD1d glycolipid-antigen presenting pathway. After his return to Institut Pasteur in 2005 as a junior group leader and promotion to Unit Head in 2011, he established a highly visible translational research program combining proteomics, High Throughput sequencing, and functional genetics analyses to gain insight into basic mechanisms that govern Leishmania differentiation and evolution. The main research projects of his Unit apply systems-level approaches to identify Leishmania signaling pathways implicated in environmental parasite adaptation and pathogenicity, and to validate components of these pathways as potential target molecules for the development of novel anti-leishmanial strategies. Dr. Späth was Scientific Director of the FP7 LeishDrug consortium, and currently coordinates the LeishRIIP network, the LeiSHield consortium and a national consortium on anti-leishmanial drug discovery termed ANR-TransLeish. Starting in 2016 he will coordinate an International Mixed Unit with partner labs at IP Korea and IP Shanghai that combines approaches of molecular parasitology, immunology, and phenotypic high throughput screening to target pathways of host-parasite interaction for drug discovery.

Projects

CV

Education 

Year  Degree Field Institution
2006 HDR Parasitology University 5 of Paris, France
1997 PhD Human Genetics  University 7 of Paris, France
1993 BS Biology University Mainz, Germany


Postdoctoral Training

  • 1998/2001 – Molecular Parasitology, Dr. Steven Beverley, Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, USA


Academic Appointments

  • 2015 – Head International Mixed Unit IPP-IPK-IPS
  • 2014/2015 – Visiting Scientist at IP Shanghai, Chine
  • 2013 – Adjunct Head, Department Parasitology & Mycology
  • 2012/2013 – Interim Head, Proteomics Platform, Institut Pasteur
  • 2011 – Research Director, Head Unité Parasitologie molécularie et Signalisation
  • 2005/2010 – Research Director, Head G5 Virulence Parasitaire
  • 2003 – Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rockefeller University, New York
  • 2002/2005 – Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine, and Medical & Molecular Parasitology, New York University


Awards

  • Coordinator ANR TranSig consortium (2014/2018)
  • Coordinator ANR-TransLeish consortium (2012/2015)
  • Scientific Director FP7 LeishDrug consortium (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)


Coordination actions

  • 2014 – LeiSHield consortium, “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 – LeishRIIP, “The Institut Pasteur International Leishmania network”
  • 2012/2016 – ANR TransLeish, “Discovery of druggable protein kinases in the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani using hit compounds identified by phenotypic screening”
  • 2008/2012 – FP7 LeishDrug, “Targeting the Leishmania kinome for anti-leishmanial drug discovery”


Committee Assignments and Institutional Responsibilities

  • 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
  • 2012 – Member, search committee ANR LabEx IBEID Junior (G5) group
  • 2012 – Member, search committee Proteomics Director position
  • 2011/2012 – Member of the INSERM scientific committee CSS5
  • 2012 – Committee Bourse Roux, Institut Pasteur
  • 2012 – Member of the AERES evaluation committee INSERM UPR 9022
  • 2011 – President of the AERES evaluation committee
  • 2010 – Expert ANR review panel
  • 2010 – Committee “Development of scientific careers”, Institut Pasteur
  • 2009 – Scientific committee member of concours CR2, INRA
  • 2009 – Scientific committee member Départment D’Affaires Internationales, Institut Pasteur
  • 2008 – Junior Faculty (G5) Departmental Search Committee
  • 2007 – Committee member “Colloque scientifique sur le thème Interactions hôte-pathogène”, Institut Armand-Frappier
  • 2006 – HDR committee member Dr. Christelle Faveeuw, University of Lille
  • 2006 – Committee member Pasteur-Fiocruz Program
  • 2005/to date – Ad Hoc committee member CNRS – Evaluation d’Unités
  • 2005/2009 – Director of Departmental Parasitology Seminar Series, IP, Paris
  • 2002/2005 – Director of Departmental Parasitology Seminar Series, NYU
  • 2002/2005 – Library Committee, Department Medical & Molecular Parasitology
  • 2002/2005 – Bio-Safety Committee, Department Medical & Molecular Parasitology


Editorial Positions and Reviewer Expertise

  • Ad Hoc Associate Editor: PLoS Pathogens, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Ad Hoc 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
  • Ad Hoc Project Reviewer: 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)


Teaching Experience

  • 2014/to date – Lecturer at the “Biology of Parasitism Course”, Woods Hole, MA, USA
  • 2014 – Lecturer at Chinese CDC, Dpt of Parasitology, Infectious Diseases Course, Shanghai, China
  • 2013/to date – Lecturer at the “Cours de Microbiologie Générale”, Institut Pasteur Paris, France
  • 2011 – Lecturer at the advanced WHO-IRTC/UNIL course on immunology, vaccinology and biotechnology applied to leishmaniasis, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2010 – Lecturer at the Institut Pasteur, Montevideo, Proteomics course
  • 2009/to date – Lecturer at the Institut Pasteur, Lille, course « Cellular Microbiology»
  • 2009/to date – Lecturer at the University of Paris 6, course « Microbiology Fondamentale»
  • 2006/to date – Lecturer at the University of Paris 6, course « Parasitologie/Mycologie Fondamentale et Médicale : Biologie Moléculaire et cellulaire des agents infectieux et de la cellule hôte »
  • 2003/2005 – Faculty Director of the Molecular Parasitology Course, NYU Medical School, New Yory, NY, USA
  • 2002/ 2005 – Faculty Director of the Graduate Student Journal Club, NYU Medical School, New Yory, NY, USA
  • 2002/ 2005 – Group-Instructor at the “Medical Parasitology Course”, NYU Medical School, New Yory, NY, USA
  • 2002/ 2003 – Lecturer at the course on “Biology and Pathogenesis of Parasitic Diseases”, NYU Medical School, New Yory, NY, USA
  • 2001/ 2002 – Lecturer at the “Molecular Parasitology Course”, NYU Medical School, New Yory, NY, USA


Mentoring Activity

  • 2015/to date – Director of Thesis of Laura Piel (Paris 6, 2015)
  • 2015/to date – Director of Thesis of Daniel Martel (Paris 6, 2015)
  • 2012/to date – Director of Thesis of Sima Drini (Paris 6, 2012)
  • 2012/2015 – Tutor of Daria Sheveleva (Ph.D. student, Paris 6)
  • 2012/ 2014 – Mentor of Dr. Mariko Dacher, PostDoc (FP7)
  • 2011/to date – Mentor of Dr. Najma Rachidi, Research Assistant (ANR)
  • 2010/ 2015 – Director of Thesis of Mathieu Cayla (Paris 6, 2010)
  • 2009 – President of thesis committee of Fouad Benhnini, (Paris 6, 2009)
  • 2008/ 2012 – Director of Thesis of Mariko Dacher (Paris 7, 2008)
  • 2008/ 2011 – Tutor of Myriam Fenina (Ph.D. student, Paris 6)
  • 2007/ 2011 – Director of Thesis of Wai-Lok Yau (Paris 7, 2007)
  • 2007/ 2010 – Mentor of Dr. Dirk Schmidt-Arras, Ph.D., Pos-Doctoral Fellow
  • 2005/ 2012 – Mentor of Dr. Claire Forestier, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • 2003/2010 – Mentor of Dr. Miguel Morales, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • 2004/2005 – Mentor Iracema Arevalo, M.D.Ph.D., Clinical Fellow
  • 2002 – Member of the graduate thesis committees of 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), Jan Mani (U. Anvers, 2011)
  • 2003/2005 – Mentor of Joseph Amprey, graduate student


Emerging teams

  • Claire-Lise Forestier, Group Leader “Cellular Biology, Immunology and Pathophysiology of Visceral Leishmaniasis” INSERM U1095, URMITE, University of Aix Marseille (since 2013)
  • Miguel A. Morales, tenure-track assistant professor, University of Notre Dame, USA (since 2011)


Invited Speaker
(not including Departmental Seminars, 2010/2014)

  • 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”
  • 2012 – Alliance for Molecular Research in Infectious Disease, Institut Pasteur of Montevideo, “Exploiting Leishmania stress signaling for anti-parasitic drug development”
  • 2012 – Symposium “Cellular and Molecular Parasitology”, Institut Pasteur Lille, France, “Post-translational regulation of the Leishmania stress response”
  • 2012 – British Society of Parasitology Spring meeting 2012, Glasgow, UK, “Genetic analysis of Leishmania signal transduction”
  • 2012 – German Society of Parasitology, Heidelberg, 2012, “A touch of Zen: Post-translational regulation of the Leishmania stress response”
  • 2011 – Institut Pasteur International Network European Regional meeting, Rome, Italy, “Targeting protein kinases for drug development in cancer and parasitic disease”
  • 2011 – Advanced WHO-IRTC/UNIL course on immunology, vaccinology and biotechnology applied to leishmaniasis, Lausanne, Switzerland, “development of novel anti-leishmanial drugs”
  • 2010 – Annual Meeting of the Institut Pasteur International Network, Hong Kong, China, “Networking the Leishmania research community for the development of novel anti-leishmanial intervention strategies”
  • 2010 – XXVI Annual meeting of the Brazilian Society of Protozoology, Foz do Iguaçu, Brasil, “Stress-induced activation of the L. major MAP kinase LmaMPK7 increases parasite resistance to the leishmanicidal drug miltefosine”
  • 2010 – 2D-DIGE Symposium, Marseille, France, “Applying quantitative proteomics on questions of molecular parasitology”
  • 2010 – 3rd Conference on Protein Kinases of Parasitic Protozoa, Lausanne, CH, “Leishmania major MAP kinases: Genetic, biochemical, and structural approaches towards drug target validation”
  • 2010 – British Society of Parasitology Spring meeting 2010, Cardiff, UK, “Targeting the Leishmania kinome for anti-parasitic drug development”
  • 2010 Swiss trypanosomatid meeting 2010, Leysin, CH, “A signaling approach towards Leishmania virulence”


Major Research Interests

  • Leishmania-specific signaling in parasite differentiation, virulence, and host immune evasion
  • Targeting parasite-specific signaling mechanisms for anti-parasitic drug development
  • Systems-level analysis of Leishmania environmental adaptation


Funding

  • “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 – 09/2018
         – Amount: 67,500 euros/year
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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 – 31/12/2016
         – Amount: 90,000 euros/year (880,000 euros/year for consortium)
  • “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
  • “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

Funding completed over the last 5 years

  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Targeting the Leishmania kinome for the development of novel anti-parasitic strategies”
         – Recipient: FP7 LEISHDRUG consortium, coordinator: Gerald Spaeth
         – Agency: EU FP7 Program, 01/10/2008 – 31/03/2012
         – Amount: 60,000 euros/year (980,000 euros/year for consortium)
  • “Exploiting the Leishmania surface glycocalyx to assess the role of CD1d-restricted iNKT cells in anti-microbial immunity”
         – Recipient: Claire Forestier, Ph.D., PI: Claire Forestier, Gerald Spaeth (co-PI)
         – Agency: HFSP, Type: Career Development Award, 01/04/2008 – 31/05/2012
         – Amount: 60,000 $/year
  • “Functional characterization of the Leishmania major MAP kinase homolog LmaMPK10 during the infectious cycle”
         – Recipient: Dirk Schmidt-Arras, Ph.D., PI: Gerald Spaeth
         – Agency: INSERM, Type: CDD, Poste Vert, 01/06/2007 – 31/07/2009
         – Amount: 50,000 euros/year
  • “Exploiting Leishmania glycolipid virulence determinants to stimulate early protective immunity through CD1d-mediated NK T cell activation”
         – Recipient: Gerald Spaeth, PI
         – Agency: FRM, Type: Research grant, 01/04/2007 – 31/03/2010
         – Amount: 90,000 euros/year

Publications

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