Dr. Benoit Chassaing

Principal Investigator

Dr. Benoit Chassaing obtained his PhD in microbiology at the University of Clermont-Ferrand (France), identifying factors involved in the virulence of adherent and invasive Escherichia coli strains (pathovar involved in the etiology of Crohn's disease).


Following his PhD defense in 2011, he joined Georgia State University to work with Dr. Andrew T. Gewirtz on various subjects related to mucosal immunology, trying to decipher how genetic and environmental factors can perturb intestinal microbiota composition in a detrimental way, leading to intestinal inflammation.

Appointed assistant professor in May 2015, his laboratory is affiliated with the Neuroscience Institute and the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, and focus on understanding how environmental factors are involved in shaping detrimental microbiota, with a particular focus on anxiety, intestinal inflammation and colonic carcinogenesis.

Dr. Sabrine Naimi

Post-doctoral fellow

Sabrine obtained her B.Sc degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Tunis El Manar in Tunisia. She moved to Canada in 2012 to earn a master’s degree in Food Microbiology at Laval University, where she studied the modulation of the gut microbiota by probiotic strains to improve metabolic disorders associated with obesity.

Sabrine pursued a Ph.D Degree in 2014 where she focused on the study of microcin J25 (MccJ25), a natural antimicrobial bacteriocin from Gram negative bacteria. Using in vitro models mimicking the gut microbiota, her researches demonstrated that MccJ25 did not alters the composition of the colonic microbiota, whereas it strongly inhibited the growth of the enteric pathogen Salmonella.

In 2018, Sabrine pursued postdoctoral studies at the institute of nutrition and functional food (INAF) at Laval University where she worked on an industrial project aiming to evaluate the prebiotic potential of marine algae extracts under gastrointestinal conditions using in vitro microbiota systems.

Sabrine joined the Dr Chassaing’s laboratory in Paris as a Post-doctoral fellow to study the impact of environmental factors on the composition and function of the gut microbiota.


Besides science, Sabrine loves traveling, cooking typical Tunisian dishes, watching documentaries and movies and listening to jazz and latin music.

Gregory Suess

Ph.D. student

Gregory (Greg) Suess received his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences and Psychology  at Florida State University. He started his first lab experience with Michael Meredith investigating neuromodulators in the medial amygdala in golden hamsters. He then moved on to Karen Berkley’s lab as lab manager, where he helped conduct research on the mechanisms of peripheral pain.


Greg joined the Neuroscience institute in 2014 and is currently a member of the Frantz lab. He is studying the deficiencies in the aging brain and how to combat issues created from senescence in the nervous system. Moreover, Greg is researching how the gut microbiota affects compulsive drug seeking.


Besides science Greg enjoys playing watching sports, reading, and playing video games and chess. He is also the host of the variety podcast called The Greg Suess Podcast.

Hanh Tong

Assistant Engineer

Thi Thuy Hanh Tong (Hanh) graduated from a BSc in Biology of Organisms and Evolution at the University of Aix-Marseille (France). She moved to the US and started her first lab experience as a lab technician in Dr. Didier Merlin’s lab, investigating the role of fecal exosomes on colitis and colitis associated cancer (CAC).


She then moved to Florida and worked as a biological scientist in Dr. Kristianna Fredenburg’s lab, where she participated in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) research on differentially expressed ncRNAs in Black compared to White patients.


In 2018, Hanh moved back to France and became an assistant engineer in Dr. Stephane Nedelec’s lab, where she helped to investigate the links between neuronal diversity and the selectivity of neurodegenerative diseases such as spinal muscular atrophies, lower extremity dominant (SMA-LED).


She has now joined Dr. Benoit Chassaing’s team in 2019, to help understanding the role of the intestinal microbiota in health and diseases, focusing on intestinal inflammation and metabolic disorders.


When Hanh is not learning about science, she enjoys LIFE (travelling, reading, listening to music, making things with her own 2 hands, eating and cooking with/for her loved ones, watching the growth of living beings…).