Microbiology Department

Microbiology Department


Director :  Muriel Gondry


Deputy  Directors: Olga Soutourina


& Peter Mergaert

The biology of microorganisms: their envelopes, metabolism and interactions with hosts and environment


They are the dominant life form on earth in terms of abundance and biodiversity. They orchestrate life by their critical role in the biogeochemical cycles of the planet and they have a vast impact on our living conditions and on the environment. Some microbes represent a threat for the health of men, animals or plants, but others are essential for our well-being or are used in industrial processes, agronomy or food industry. The exploration of the characteristics, functions and activities of microorganisms is an exciting area of biology of the 21st century; it is vital for the enhancement of our health and for the management of a sustainable environment.

The research themes of the groups

The Department of Microbiology is composed of 11 research groups interested in the various aspects of the biology of microorganisms, including microbial ecology, evolution, physiology, metabolism, cell biology, genetics, symbiosis. The focus of the research is related to three main themes: microbial metabolism, microbial envelopes and the interactions of microbes with their hosts and the environment.

The groups of the department study a large panel of organisms (bacteria, archaea, and their viruses) originating from different microbial biotopes such as soils, aquatic habitats, extreme environments, and human, animal and plant microbiomes. The groups have a shared interest in answering fundamental questions related to the biology of microorganisms at the molecular, cellular and population levels. They use microorganisms as models to characterize fundamental biological mechanisms but they are also interested in the biology of the microorganisms themselves, including their lifestyles and interactions with the environment.

Several teams invest in the development of applications based on their fundamental research. This translational research concerns three major fields of economic and societal importance: health, environment and bioenergy. In addition, several of our groups develop approaches for modifying microorganisms of major industrial or agronomic importance such as Corynebacteria, Streptomycetes and Rhizobia, to improve their performances as cell factories.

Education in Microbiology

Members of the Department are strongly involved in teaching of microbiology and molecular biology at all university levels, from the udergraduate to the master and PhD degrees. Moreover, the department hosts undergraduate and master student internships and PhD candidates for their thesis work. The department thus strongly contributes to the develoment of microbiology as a discipline in the Paris-Saclay University.

Master Biologie-Santé d’UPSaclay:


Licence Science de la Vie:


GS Life Sciences and Health:



Muriel Gondry 33 (0)1 69 08 76 47   


Olga Soutourina 33 (0)1 69 82 62 06


Peter Mergaert 33 (0)1 69 82 34 81


Research groups

Group Leader


Group Leader


Group Leaders



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