Helmholtz Association honours Pascale Cossart

French microbiologist appointed Helmholtz International Fellow


Helmholtz International Fellow Prof Pascale Cossart

Michèle Pelletier

How do pathogenic bacteria intrude the human body? How do they interact with cells of the immune system and in what way do they adapt to their host? The French microbiologist Prof Pascale Cossart studies the answers to these questions. She is a leading scientist in her research field, which also plays an important role for the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI).

Today, Cossart was awarded the Helmholtz International Fellow Award exactly for this reason on the occasion of the “Jürgen Wehland Symposium - North Regio Day on Infection”. With this prize, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres honours outstanding scientists working abroad on research fields relevant to the Helmholtz Association. The award comprises funding of 20,000 euros.

“Prof Pascale Cossart is a world-famous microbiologist. We are pleased to have her as a Helmholtz International Fellow,” says Prof. Dirk Heinz, Scientific Director at the HZI, who presented the award. “Collaborating with her is an asset for our research on pathogenic bacteria.” The HZI had therefore recommended Cossart for the prize.

Cossart is a professor „classe exceptionnelle“ at the Institut Pasteur, France. Her seminal discoveries have substantially contributed to a scientific understanding of bacterial infections on the molecular and cellular basis. Her preferred model organism is Listeria monocytogenes-a bacterium that causes numerous food-borne diseases in humans.