Scientific Director of Fondation Mérieux since October 2013, Professor Hubert...
Scientific Director of Fondation Mérieux since October 2013, Professor Hubert Endtz is a microbiologist with a broad, international background. He previously was Scientific Director of the Foundation from 2013 to 2018. He has also been Head of R&D and deputy Chairman of the Department of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. He still holds the chair in Tropical Bacteriology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, in Bangladesh (icddr,b), where he directed both the Centre for Food and Waterborne Diseases and the Laboratory Sciences Division from 2007 to 2012.
He continues to be involved with icddr,b as an Associate Scientist. He holds M.D. and PhD degrees from Leiden University Medical School in the Netherlands and his post-graduate training includes work in tropical medicine at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit 3 in Cairo (Egypt) and at the Mycology Department at Institut Pasteur in Paris.
His main research interests include diarrheal and respiratory diseases in low-income countries, the pathogenesis of Guillain-Barre syndrome and antecedent infections; and antimicrobial resistance. He is the author of over 165 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Florence Komurian–Pradel has been the manager of the GABRIEL Network...
Florence Komurian–Pradel has been the manager of the GABRIEL Network of Fondation Mérieux since January 2008.
Her main missions are:
- to set up research projects in the laboratories of the GABRIEL Network
- to train local scientists to applied research
- to transfer technologies
- to lead up the network to make easier exchanges (resource and data sharing, research communication) between network members.
She received her PhD in human biology at the Claude Bernard University in Lyon, France in 1992. She joined the R&D department of bioMérieux and then the CNRS-bioMérieux Joint Unit, where she has lead many research projects, in particular on Hepatitis B, C, Cryptic Hepatitis B, Multiple sclerosis, HIV and Toxoplasma gondii. In 2003, she moved to the Emerging Pathogens Laboratories to manage a research team on the identification and characterization of new viruses involved in respiratory diseases and to conduct epidemiological studies among hospitalized infants with lower respiratory infections.
Valentina Sanchez Picot, DVM
Valentina Picot is a Doctor in Veterinarian Medicine specialized in...
Valentina Picot is a Doctor in Veterinarian Medicine specialized in applied research management & conduct. She joined the Mérieux Foundation in 2006 holding various positions as a Scientific & Research Advisor / Clinical Research Manager conducting numerous international applied research studies with focus on infectious diseases primary in developing and emerging countries.
Amongst the research topics are found: pneumonia aetiology study carried in 10 countries, Chagas surveillance, HIV/HPV diagnostics, Influenza surveillance, fever syndrome, typhoid diagnostic and vaccine trials, Ebola diagnostics, respiratory aetiology surveillance in Syrian and Bangladesh refugee settings, amongst other. She is also implicated in the conception of scientific agendas and in the coordination of public health initiatives on Influenza, Rabies and Cholera.
Her past work included positions within the Regulatory Affairs and R&D departments in the biotechnology industry in the USA. Amongst her duties she carried to implementation clinical trials and regulatory related submissions at the heart of product development and releases.
She also holds a degree in Biology & a MBA from the Florida Intl University-USA, and is certified project manager from the HEC, Switzerland.
Alain Rajoharison worked at bioMérieux from 1994 to 2010 and...
Alain Rajoharison worked at bioMérieux from 1994 to 2010 and joined the Fondation Mérieux in 2011. As a senior R&D technician with twenty years of experience, he has acquired specific expertise in molecular biology and protein biochemistry. At bioMérieux, he has been in charge of sequencing with automated sequencers of Applied Biosystems such as Genetic Analyzer 373, ABI PRISM 377, the capillary-based sequencer Genetic Analyzer 3100 and the high speed sequencer HiSeq 2000 by Illumina. His professional experience has led him to work actively on various research projects at bioMérieux and the Fondation Mérieux.
One of his main missions has been the project of identifying and characterizing new viral pathogens that cannot be identified in respiratory samples by techniques routinely used in the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory. He works with bioMérieux and the Respiratory Virus Laboratory of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Brazil, in the testing and development of a new process that prepares samples to improve nucleic acids screened in high speed sequencers Pyrosequencing 454 by Roche and Ion Torrent PGM by Life Technologies.
Emilie Westeel joined the Mérieux Foundation in July 2016 in...
Emilie Westeel joined the Mérieux Foundation in July 2016 in order to bring new expertise in bioinformatics to the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory. Her work is mainly based on the analysis of data obtained from high-throughput sequencing.
Emilie holds a degree in Bioinformatics and Modeling from INSA Lyon. In 2014, she completed her final internship prior to graduation in the Immunity and Cytotoxic Lymphocytes group of the International Center for Infectiology Research (CIRI) in collaboration with AltraBio. Her project involved setting up a computer program using supervised learning to automate cytometric analysis. She worked on this project for two years before joining Fondation Mérieux.
Since 2016, Emilie has been working with the European consortium, COMPARE, which is developing a global database with next-generation sequencing to rapidly identify pathogens. More specifically, she analyzes results from the sequencing of bacteria (S. typhi and E. coli) from clinical isolates, in order to better characterize the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. Emilie is also working on the analysis of metagenomic data to enable the direct identification and characterization of pathogens in clinical samples responsible for diarrheal diseases.
Jean-Luc Berland is responsible for the tuberculosis project at the...
Jean-Luc Berland is responsible for the tuberculosis project at the Applied Research department of the Laboratoire des Pathogènes Emergents of Fondation Merieux. His interests lie in the epidemiology of TB, including its resistant forms, and in its transmission in high-risk settings, as well as in blood-based biomarkers for the immune monitoring of active tuberculosis. He is especially involved in the setting up and the transfer of scientific technologies to other GABRIEL network laboratories. For the purpose of capacity building and implementation of projects in low-income countries, he applies molecular–based techniques for the diagnosis and study of the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, such as line probe assays, genotyping, and massively parallel sequencing, and their impact on epidemics when rolled out in laboratory algorithms.
Graduated in Biochemistry from University of Lyon, France, Jean-Luc BERLAND joined bioMérieux in 1995 in the R&D immunoassays department. He participated in the development of in vitro diagnostic immunoassay reagents for the detection of hepatitis C, rubella, CMV, and ovarian cancer. In 2000 he transferred to the bioMérieux- French National Scientific Research Center unit (CNRS) in Lyon where he characterized the sera lipid particles containing the hepatitis C virus for the development of a culture for hepatitis C. As part of the team conducting pre-clinical trials for a vaccine approach, he participated in the preparation of HCV-recombinant antigens for the monitoring of the immune response. Since 2008, he has been a research fellow at Fondation Merieux.
Jonathan HOFFMANN is a research associate studying acute and chronic...
Jonathan HOFFMANN is a research associate studying acute and chronic respiratory infections at the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory (Fondation Mérieux) in Lyon. He is currently developing translational studies on pneumonia and tuberculosis, combining in-vitro infections of innate immune cells with OMICS approaches, to identify and/or validate candidate biomarkers that can improve the diagnosis and/or prognosis of respiratory infections. This research activity is carried out in collaboration with members of the GABRIEL network.
In October 2015, Jonathan obtained a PhD degree in Virology/Immunology from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon) – University of Lyon (UCBL) following 4 years of research on the impact of viral and bacterial co-infections on the innate immune response. He joined the Fondation Mérieux in 2009 as project manager in Madagascar to oversee the scientific activities of the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of the Charles Mérieux Infectiology Centre (CICM) in Antananarivo. During this mission, he helped recruit and train Malagasy scientific staff, and initiated and followed up several research projects on the fight against infectious diseases.
Marie Moroso is a postdoctoral fellow who has worked with...
Marie Moroso is a postdoctoral fellow who has worked with Fondation Merieux since 2016, with research interests on the pathogenesis of emerging viral infections. She conducted her PhD in collaboration with the Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées (IRBA) on the development of novel antiviral therapies and the mechanisms of innate immunity of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) infections. She has more than 6 years of experience working in biosafety level 4 (BSL4) containment laboratories, conducting cell-based virological experiments and developing animal models of infection. She has a particular interest in the interplay of autophagy with specific host responses to infection. Most recently, Marie has been coordinating field-based etiological studies of acute respiratory infections in Bangladesh.
Mélina Messaoudi joined the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory (LPE) in May...
Mélina Messaoudi joined the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory (LPE) in May 2008 to work on the development of a DNA chip using Affymetrix technology for the detection, the typing, the subtyping, and the characterization of the influenza virus. She then worked on the development of a multiplex real-time PCR to type and to quantify the 40 most prevalent Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes/serogroups, and transferred the method for use in developing countries. She worked for four years on a multi-centric study on etiology of pneumonia in children under 5 years of age. She provides technical support on pneumonia projects carried out in various GABRIEL laboratories, and currently is developing a molecular typing test for the 40 most prevalent Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes/serogroups using the xMAP technology from Luminex®.
In addition to her scientific activities, she was appointed Quality Insurance Manager for LPE in early 2017. The LPE team is following a quality initiative that should lead to ISO 17025 accreditation in 2019.
She obtained a Master’s degree in Biochemical and Biotechnological Engineering from the Claude Bernard University of Lyon in January 2008.
Milen Milenkov obtained a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology...
Milen Milenkov obtained a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology in 2008. He initially worked for Sanofi Pasteur as part of a research team providing R&D support for the production of Bordetella pertussis and Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines. He later worked on chronic myeloid leukemia at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). He joined the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory of Fondation Mérieux in 2012, where he develops molecular tests for the identification of bacterial pathogens and provides support for surveillance projects on Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis in developing countries. In 2017, he became involved in the surveillance of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli in Madagascar as part of the WHO Tricycle Initiative. He is presently working on his PhD thesis that deals with the identification and characterization of the genetic factors responsible for the resistance to beta-lactams in E. coli isolates from Madagascar.
Stéphane Pouzol holds a Master degree in Genetics and Cell...
Stéphane Pouzol holds a Master degree in Genetics and Cell Biology (University Claude Bernard Lyon 1) and uses his skills in basic and applied research to improve public health in low-income countries. He has worked for 7 years at bioMérieux and has been involved in programs on immunology (drug efficacy), vaccines (formulation efficacy), cell signaling (apoptosis), and molecular biology (diagnostic tests). He joined the Emerging Pathogens Laboratory in 2005 to evaluate, develop, and implement molecular tests (real-time (RT)-PCR, DNA Chip, Luminex) for the identification of new, emerging, and re-emerging respiratory pathogens. Later, he worked for 2 years as Core Virologist in the virology and infectious disease laboratory at Rockefeller University (NY, USA). In 2011, he returned to Fondation Mérieux to develop and implement a new diagnostic test for measuring typhoid burden, first in Bangladesh and later in Africa (Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Malawi).