Pascale Cossart is a pioneering cellular microbiologist who has made significant contributions to our understanding of how bacteria both infect — and survive within — host cells. She uses the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes as a model, with her research paving the way towards future therapeutics.
Pascale’s research provides a detailed picture of the factors which make Listeria such an effective infectious agent. She identified different proteins that Listeria uses to enter into cells, move and disseminate in tissues. Through the creation of a transgenic mouse model, she paved the way to in vivo studies. Pascale has also unveiled new regulatory mechanisms in bacteria. She is now deciphering how bacteria induce epigenetic changes during infection.
Pascale has been the recipient of many awards, acknowledging not only her research but also her role as a mentor and promoter of interdisciplinary collaboration. These include the Robert Koch Prize for biomedical science in 2007, the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2008, the Balzan Prize in 2013, and the 2014 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award.