Isabelle Hautefort


As a senior research scientist of the Korcsmáros Group, I coordinate the application of mouse and human intestinal organoid models to studying how microbes, microbial products and metabolites affect epithelial cell functions in health and disease. Currently, I am also investigating how the gut epithelium is influenced by cells from the enteric nervous system, and how this crosstalk is altered in digestive diseases such as IBD.

Background: As an Agronomy Engineering, I first discovered the fascinating world of microbes in food processes like cheese and wine making (Proud to be French for that). I quickly developed a broader interest for the dynamic interactions that microbes have between themselves and with their environment, particularly in the digestive tract through an MSc and a PhD in Gut Microbial Ecology and Pathogen Exclusion, France.

Looking at the digestive tract as a complex ecosystem with multiple interactions became then a vocation. From 1998, I studied how the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium adapts to the host intracellular environment, in the group of Jay Hinton (at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford and the Institute of Food Research in Norwich).

In 2009, I joined the Group of Simon Carding at the Quadram Institute and investigated the role intra-epithelial lymphocytes have on various gut barrier functions, including the production of antimicrobials by Paneth cells upon microbial challenge. Having already collaborated with Tamas Korcsmaros since 2014, I integrated his group in 2017 to validate systems biology-generated hypotheses and pursue my research on intestinal host-microbe and host cell-cell interactions in health and disease.

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