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Member(s) of Institut Pasteur (IP)


Gerald Spaeth

Experienced Researcher – Scientific coordinator and WP leader (WP6)

Dr. Gerald Spaeth currently holds a Research Director position at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where he directs the Unit Parasitologie moléculaire et Signalisation (12 members) and the Department Parasites and Insect Vectors (ca. 110 members). His team investigates Leishmania/host interaction applying integrative approaches to study (i) parasite adaptive differentiation and evolution during intracellular infection, (ii) modulation of the host cell phenotype by the release of parasite signaling proteins, and (iii) impact of such parasite trans-signaling on the host cell immune-competence. Each of these research axes has a strong translational component dedicated to biomarker, drug target or compound discovery, which are at the core of the various coordination actions conducted by Dr. Spaeth, including the FP7-LeishDrug, ANR-TransLeish, ANR-TranSig, or the H2020 LeiSHield consortia. He is author of 65 publications and published as last author in various prestigious journals, including Nature Ecology & Evolution, Cell Host & Microbes, and PNAS. His scientific success is well reflected by his competitiveness in fund raising with current external grants totaling over 2,5M€. His research program is highly visible as judged by his coordination actions, his assignment as reviewer for many international funding organizations (including HFSP, MRC, Wellcome Trust, DFG), his committee assignments or invitations as keynote speaker and session chair at international meetings (most recently at WorldLeish6 in 2017 or the Future in Parasitology Symposium at the Weizmann Institute in 2018). Finally, he animates the LeishRIIP platform (, LeiSHield project (, and an International Mixed Unit (IMU) with a partner team at IP Shanghai, thus delivering important structuring capacity for the fragmented Leishmania research efforts inside the Institut Pasteur International Network, which has been recognized by a Chair of Excellence awarded in 2016.


Giovanni Bussotti

Experienced Researcher – WP leader (WP2)

I am a bioinformatitician and since November 2015 I hold a research engineering position at C3BI-HUB. I am currently embedded in Dr. Gerald Spaeth unit and coordinating the bioinformatic aspects of the LeiShield consortium. Before joining Pasteur I completed a 3 years postdoc in the groups of Anton Enright and Eileen Furlong at EMBL working on sequencing data analysis. As part of my training I completed a PhD in the comparative genomics group at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain. The focus of my thesis was detecting and comparing long non-coding RNAs. Before my PhD I gathered both bioinformatics and wet lab experience. I joined the University of Zurich, Switzerland, to work on a research project about the study of evolutionary adapted yeast strains and SNPs identification. In Rome, Italy, I worked in two research groups. I have a master of genomic biotechnology and a bachelor of biotechnology from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy.


Yoan Emritloll

Administrative staff

Yoan Emritloll is a Projet Manager at IP’s Grants Office. He holds a double engineering degree in Agro-industry and Health & Environment. Before joining Institut Pasteur, he has worked for 5 years as a Policy Officer in the waste management sector at the French Federation of waste management, liaising extensively with both the European Commission and the French Ministry of Environment. 

At the Grants Office, he is specialised in National and European projects and helps researchers both in the pre-award phase (proposal elaboration, budget, etc.) and post-award phase (negociation, signing of contractual documents, etc.). He has a solid knowledge in project set-up and management having been in charge of several large-scale RIA in FP7. In H2020, he has already participated in the set-up of several successful projects.


Natalia Martin Palenzuela

Administrative staff

With a double training in biomedical research (PhD & Post docs at NIH and Pasteur) and in management (MBA), I worked at the French Research Funding Agency (ANR) before I took my current position as Head of the Grants Office at Institut Pasteur in 2016. I am responsible for a fifteen-person team who offer professional support to the researchers of Institut Pasteur throughout the whole life-cycle of each funded project. We proactively support the researchers in securing competitive funds for research as well as in managing the projects coordinated by Pasteur. At the ANR I was responsible for a team dedicated to set up and manage transnational calls for proposals in collaboration with other funding agencies in the world. I represented the French interests on the boards of many European initiatives (ERA-NETs, JPIs, etc) and I was the coordinator of a European collaborative project in Nanomedicine: the ERA-NET EuroNanoMed2.


Pascale Pescher

Experienced Researcher - WP1 leader

Pascale Pescher has an engineer position in the "Parasitologie moléculaire et signalisation" unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Over the past years she worked on (i) systems-level analysis of Leishmania stage-specific expression for which she applied genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, phosphoproteomic and metabolomics analyses to compare tissue-purified amastigotes with freshly culture-derived virulent promastigotes (Pescher et al. in preparation) and (ii) Leishmania evolutionary adaptation in vitro applying HT sequencing, molecular parasitology and in vivo experiments (Pescher et al 2011, Prieto et al. 2017). She was co-coordinator for the technical aspects of the LeiSHield network and is currently co-coordinating the LeiSHield-MATI (H2020-MSCA-RISE project).


Maëlle Pichard

Administrative staff - Project Manager

Maëlle Pichard received her master's degree in European Affairs from Nantes University. She is currently working as a European project manager in the Grants Office at Institut Pasteur providing support for researchers as they conceptualize, develop, and write their proposals to international funding agencies, as well as assisting researchers in obtaining and managing research grants funded by international funding sources.


Soizic Sergeant

Administrative staff

Graduated from the Institute of Political Sciences (Strasbourg, France) and from the College of Europe (Warsaw, Poland), Soizic Sergeant worked at the French Embassy in Russia and at the CNRS - National Center for Scientific Research (Paris, France) before joining the Grants Office of Institut Pasteur in Paris in June 2016, where she is in charge of european and international grants.


Katharina Kopf

Administrative staff

With a background in international commerce and event management, and several years of experience in the research and business education sectors in Austria, the UK and France, Katharina has joined the Grants Office at Institut Pasteur in September 2020. She is responsible for the administrative coordination of the project, follow-up on deliverables, help with reporting, liaising with the consortium, and communication & dissemination activities.


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°778298.

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