LECTURE // Microbes and Men : an (almost) perfect symbiosis

7.00 pm | 15th of January | Alliance Française auditorium

Microbiota, particularly when intestinal, turns out to bean essential element inmammalian physiology. The scopeand depth ofthe symbiosis which was establishedas a result of the co-evolution of mammalsand microbes affect areas as diverse as digestion and metabolism, maturation of the immunesystem, osteogenesis, delayed maturationof the brain and blood-brainbarrier, or tissue regeneration. The other side of the coin is that somealterations of the microbiota can lead to or participate in pathologies: obesity,asthma and allergy,chronic inflammatorybowel diseasesandcoloncancer. These appear more andmore with an alarming increase of their impact,as post-modernpathologies related to some states of microbial imbalanceinduced by thedepletionof our microbial environment (antibiotics, food sterilization etc.). This is referred to as “hygiene hypothesis”.

15 jan

Pr. Philippe Sansonetti is a microbiologist, Professor at the Pasteur Institute and the Collège de France in Paris. His research has mainly been focused on the understanding of several aspects of the pathogenesis of Shigella, an invasive bacterial pathogen that disrupts, invades and causes the inflammatory destruction of the human colonic mucosa. He has held several scientific positions at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research and at the World Health Organisation, and is the author of over 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Society, as well as a Senior Foreign Member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is considered to be one of the founders of the cellular microbiology.

Collège de France, Paris, is committed to fundamental research and it teaches “knowledge in the making” in every field of literature, science and arts. Presently chaired by Serge Haroche, French Nobel Prize 2012 in Physics, the 500 years old French institution had Henry Bergson, Michel Foucault and Claude Lévi-Strauss among its professors.

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