Our group focuses on the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infections. This major question encompasses numerous biological phenomena that require accurate and rapid detection of asymptomatic S.aureus carriers (Pfizer research award 2004) as well as efficient strain genotyping. These molecular tools, among others, were employed for epidemiological studies (NRP49) or to decipher bacterial killing mechanisms (Pfizer research award 1999 ) as well as bacterial escape strategies leading to antimicrobial resistance or protection from phagocytes through intracellular survival (Pfizer research award 2006).
The significance of our genomic platform has been recently acknowledged in relation to the development of our microarrays (Tissot award 2006 to Dr Thibaud KOESSLER for the Characterization of Community-Onset Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and that of automated multiple-locus, variable-number tandem repeat-based method (Sanofi-Aventis award 2006 to Dr Patrice FRANCOIS).
In 2007, the Viollier Research Award was attributed to Dr Patrice FRANCOIS for his work - conjointly with Dr Alexander SCHERL - on glycopeptide resistance in S. aureus using a combined proteomic and transcriptomic approach.
In 2008, our group obtained the Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases Sponsor Award (Dr Stephan HARBARTH et al, for the JAMA paper), and the 2008 Riotton Award to Dr David HERNANDEZ for his work on the de novo assembly of bacterial genome sequences obtained by Illumina-Solexa high-throughput sequencers.
In 2009, Marie BEAUME was awarded the second prize of the Swiss Society for Microbiology for her work on the systematic discovery of small non-coding RNA (ncRNA) in S.aureus by high-throughput sequencing.