Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22994486
Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 2012;66:1-24
I was surprised to be invited to write a prefatory chapter for the Annual Review of Microbiology. Indeed, I did not feel that I belonged to that class of eminent scientists who had written such chapters. Perhaps it is because I am a kind of mutant: In spite of having experienced war, both German and Soviet occupations, repeated bombardments, dictatorships, and a revolution, I managed nonetheless to engage in scientific research, thus realizing a childhood dream. After having obtained my Doctor Rerum Naturalium degree in Budapest, Hungary, I was fortunate to meet Jacques Monod at the Pasteur Institute, and this became a turning point in my scientific career. In his laboratory, I contributed to the definition of the lactose operon promoter, uncovered intracistronic complementation in β-galactosidase, and investigated the role of cAMP in Escherichia coli. In my own laboratory, together with many gifted students and collaborators, I studied the role of adenylate cyclase in bacterial virulence. This allowed the engineering of recombinant adenylate cyclase toxin from Bordetella pertussis for the development of protective and therapeutic vaccines.