Our Team

Each person in our lab makes a significant contribution to our research. We employ a proactive approach to science by constantly asking the question, “What if…?” Meet our current team to learn more about their individual “What if…” focus areas.

Current Team

Principal Investigator

Maria Carla Saleh, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Viruses and RNAi Unit, Department of Virology, Institut Pasteur Paris

What if we redefined innate immunity by better understanding the immune system of infected insects? What if we could selectively control infected insects from transmitting diseases to humans?”

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Staff Scientist

Vanesa Mongelli

Vanesa Mongelli

What if the innate immune system could impact viral evolution? What if we could remove the insect immunity pathways one by one? What if viral population diversity could be modified by removing some immune pathways?”

Post Docs

Cassandra Koh

Cassandra Koh

PostDoctoral Fellow

What if we could replicate how an insect virus becomes part of the inherited virome of a mosquito? What if insect-specific viruses can be used to prevent the transmission of emerging human viral pathogens?”

Alessandro Torri

Alessandro Torri

PostDoctoral Fellow

What if the invertebrate immune system is not just a defense mechanism but a communication system that allows trans-kingdom crosstalk? What if RNA interference is a key player of this process?”

Bryan Arias

PostDoctoral Fellow

What if the circular viral DNAs produced during RNA virus infection provide immune protection from subsequent infection? What if we can engineer these circular viral DNAs from insect-specific viruses to protect mosquitoes against pathogenic virus infection(s)?

Sabrina Johanna Fletcher

Sabrina Johanna Fletcher

PostDoctoral Fellow

What if we can understand how virus infected cells transmit immune signals to non-infected cells to protect them? What if we could find the cell surface dsRNA receptor and use it to control arboviruses dissemination?”

Yasutsugu Suzuki

Yasutsugu Suzuki

PostDoctoral Fellow

What if we could find why some mosquitoes transmit viral diseases and some do not? What if very ancient viral insertions in the mosquito genome would play a role in mosquito antiviral immunity? What if we could predict risks for expansion of novel transmission routes of vector-borne diseases?”

Jared Nigg

PostDoctoral Fellow

What if we could understand why oral infections with some viruses are cleared in insects, while injection with the same viruses causes lethal infections? What if maintenance of epithelial homeostasis plays an antiviral role in insects? What if molecular and physiological events occurring during oral infection prime immune memory and define the outcome of infection?”

Engineers and Technicians

Hervé Blanc

Hervé Blanc


What if my deep sequencing libraries could be created faster, better and more efficiently in order to give the scientists the data they need to make even more discoveries, conclusions and ‘Aha!’ moments?”

Valerie Dorey

Valerie Dorey

Technician and Lab Manager

What if we could further streamline our experimental protocols to make the lab operate even more efficiently? What if each lab member could do more with their individual research because I was able to provide additional experimental support?”


Administrative Staff

Lionel Frangeul

Lionel Frangeul


What if the informatics structure was so strong that our deep sequencing analysis could provide each scientist with solid biological and mathematical data to clarify results and propose new biological models?”

Brigitte Bidault

Administrative Assistant

What if all administrative distractions like equipment needs, travel arrangements, welcoming of PhD Students and Post-docs, scheduling, planning and budgeting, were taken care of so that the lab members could focus all their energy just on the research and their experiments?”

Honorary Member

Lab Alumni

Visiting Sabbaticals

Susan Carpenter (United States)

Iowa State University


Fernando Merwais (Argentina)

Research Scientist at National University of General San Martin

Bertsy Goic (Chili)

now “DrawInScience”

Virginia de Oliveira (Brazil)

now Assistant Professor, Universidad Federal do Tocantins, Brazil

Juan Mondotte (Argentina)

Lorena Tomé-Poderti (Uruguay)

Nicolas Vodovar (France)

now Research Associate, Lariboisière Hospital – INSERM UMR-S 942, Paris, France

Ph.D Students

Benjamin Obadia (France)

now PostDoc, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

Margot Karlikow (France)

now PostDoc at University of Toronto

Pascal Miesen (Germany)

now PostDoc at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Marine Petit (France)

now PostDoc at University of California, Davis, USA

Enzo Poirier (France)

now PostDoc at Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

M.Sc and Summer Students

Estelle Soueidi (France)

Charlotte Romanet (France)

Chloé Baron (France)

Christian Bolton (USA)

Irene Chacon (Uruguay)

Adrien Paul-Dubois-Taine (France)

Nidia Schemmel Jofre (Chili)

Petro Leka (Albania)

Remi Woussen (France)

Last updated: January 2021