Yasmine Belkaid , an internationally renowned researcher whose work primarily focuses on the relationship between microbes and the immune system.
Her scientific career began with training in infectious diseases at the Pasteur Institute, and later expanded to encompass a multitude of fields, including parasitology, microbiology, medical entomology, virology, tissue immunity, the microbiome, and human immunology.
Currently, she serves as the Director of the Human Immunology Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. agency responsible for medical and biomedical research, as well as the Microbiome Program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), within the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, United States, which she founded. Within the NIAID, she established the Department of Host Immunity and Microbiome.
The appointment of Professor Yasmine Belkaid as Director General of the Pasteur Institute concludes a rigorous selection process that began in June 2021 and was led by a recruitment committee chaired by Professor Edith Heard, Director General of the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany.
Following this appointment, Yves Saint-Geours, President of the Board of Directors of the Pasteur Institute, states, “With her scientific, medical, and public health expertise, Yasmine Belkaid is capable of driving innovative programs that will strengthen the international reputation of the Pasteur Institute by capitalizing on its legacy, multidisciplinary collaborations, and its ability to train future generations of researchers. This action is particularly necessary in the highly competitive environment and in the face of the global and multisectoral challenges that the Institute is currently facing.”
As Professor Yasmine Belkaid expresses, “As the next Director General, I intend to make the Pasteur Institute one of the leading research institutions in life sciences and strengthen its role in the surveillance, prevention, and identification of emerging pathogens on a global scale.”
Professor Yasmine Belkaid will succeed Professor Stewart Cole, whose term will end on January 1, 2024. She will become the second woman to hold this position and the 17th Director General of the Pasteur Institute since its establishment by Louis Pasteur in 1887.
Biography of Professor Yasmine Belkaid: Yasmine Belkaid, 54 years old, was born in Algiers. She holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from the Algerian University of Science and Technology Houari-Boumediene, as well as a DEA from the University of Paris-Sud. She obtained her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Paris-Sud and the Pasteur Institute in 1996, where she studied innate immune responses to Leishmania infection.
She then moved to the United States to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in intracellular parasite biology at the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at NIAID (NIH). In 2002, she joined the Department of Molecular Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Ohio, United States), before returning to NIAID in 2005 as the head of the Mucosal Immunology Unit at the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases.
Since 2005, she has held various positions at NIAID and NIH. Since 2021, she has been leading the Department of Host Immunity and Microbiome.
Yasmine Belkaid has published over 220 scientific articles on infection, immunity, immunology, the microbiome, and nutrition.
She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Robert Koch Prize (2021), the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences (2019), and the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award (2016