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.

Currently associate professor, his laboratory is part of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and focus on understanding how environmental factors are involved in shaping detrimental microbiota, with a particular focus on intestinal inflammation and metabolic deregulations.

Sabrine Naimi, PhD

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.

Noëmie Daniel, PhD

Post-doctoral fellow

Noëmie completed her Engineer degree in Food and Health in 2015 at the UniLaSalle Beauvais engineering school (France). From 2013 to 2015, she was also enrolled in the Nutrition Program at Laval University in Québec (Canada), where she studied the impact of probiotics and omega-3 on obesity-associated disorders in relation to the gut microbiota.


She obtained her M.Sc. degree in Dr. Marette’s laboratory, before pursuing there in the PhD program in order to study the role of the intestinal microbiota in interventional nutritional murine studies. Her research notably demonstrated the beneficial impact of omega-3 and fermented dairy products on metabolic disorders and gut homeostasis. She also studied the importance of control diets composition in preclinical studies, focusing on the role of fiber and protein sources on modulating the intestinal microbiota.


In 2020, she obtained a Ph.D. degree in Nutrition and moved back to France to join Dr. Chassaing laboratory as a Post-doctoral fellow in order to track and study mucus invaders in chronic inflammatory diseases


Besides science, Noëmie loves reading, swimming/playing sports, travelling and watching movies, as well as enjoying her friends and family !


Melissa Kordahi, PhD

Post-doctoral fellow

Melissa obtained her BS in Biology at the American University of Beirut and then her PharmD at the Lebanese American University in 2014 in Lebanon. 


She moved to the USA in 2015 to pursue a PhD degree in Molecular Medicine and Mechanisms of Disease at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she worked on the microbial etiology of colorectal cancer. Her findings showed that gut microorganism Bacteroides fragilis is enriched in the colon mucosa of patients with pre-cancerous lesions and correlated to more inflammation and larger lesions in the human host. She also found that Bacteroides fragilis isolated from the mucosa of patients with colorectal adenomas was enriched in an LPS biosynthesis gene and displayed an inflammatory/pathogenic phenotype in vitro when compared to B. fragilis isolates from healthy adenomas-free patients. 


Melissa joined the Chassaing laboratory in Paris as a Postdoctoral fellow to continue to study invaders of the colon mucosa and how they can drive colorectal cancer.


Outside the lab, Melissa is the author of a science blog called the Last Human Organ. She also loves performing arts, particularly theatre, as well as exploring the great outdoors. 

Erica Bonazzi

PhD student

Erica completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology in 2017 at the University of Bologna (Italy), where she studied the shelf life of an innovative food product made of fermented dried fruits.

She then earned a master’s Degree in Food Technology at the University of Parma in 2019, focusing on Human Nutrition. During her Master she joined the “Erasmus + Programme” and she spent the second year in Ghent (Belgium), where she studied the effect of the use of rare sugars in human diet, using in vitro models of digestion, in order to prevent diabetes type-2 and other metabolic disorders. During her research she developed a model of digestion including Caco-2 cells mimicking the human interaction between intestinal cells and the food compounds, in order to take into account the cellular cross-talk mechanism involved in health.

Erica joined the Dr Chassaing’s laboratory in Paris in 2020 as a Ph.D. fellow to study the interactions between defensins and the intestinal microbiota.

Besides science, Erica loves running, traveling and reading, as well as going out with her friends and eating Pizza !!


Clara Delaroque

PhD student

Clara graduated from the magistère européen de génétique at the Université de Paris in 2020. 


During her master’s degree, she joined the laboratory of Dr Julie Morrissey in Leicester (UK), where she focused on S.aureus copper resistance. She then joined the laboratory of Dr Florence Marlow in New York (USA) for a project based on mitochondria selection during oogenesis in zebrafish. For her final master’s research project, she focused on how enteric detection of bacterial flagellin shapes the developing immune system in early life in the laboratory of Dr Gérard Eberl in the Pasteur institute.


Clara joined Dr. Benoit Chassaing’s laboratory as a PhD student in order to investigate the transgenerational consequences of intestinal microbiota alteration. 


In addition to science, Clara loves traveling and spending time with friends (and beer!) and family. She also enjoys cooking and fencing - so WATCH OUT !

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…).


Charlene Dauriat

Assistant Engineer

Charlène obtained her DUT diploma in 2012 in Biological Engineering from Caen University (France). In 2014, she graduated with a BSc in Biology from Rennes University (France).


After spending a year in Australia, she moved back to France and joined Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC, Paris), where she earned a master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology specialized in Microbiology. During her master’s research project, she worked for few months in Dr Jason Mercer’s lab at the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology in London, where she studied the characterization of Vaccinia Virus extracellular virions formation. She next joined the laboratory of Dr Arrieumerlou at Cochin Institute, where she investigated the role of the protein ALPK1 in the mechanism of heptose-1,7-bisphosphate sensing during Shigella flexneri infection.


In 2018, Charlène started to work in food quality control at Mérieux NutriSciences, before rejoining Dr Arrieumerlou’s team in order to help to identify a new phosphatase potentially involved in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis in Shigella flexneri.


Charlène is now member of Dr Chassaing’s laboratory as an Assistant Engineer, where she is using molecular approaches to study microbiota composition and function.


During her free time, Charlène loves painting, playing and listening to music. She also enjoys art exhibitions, photography as well as traveling, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.