Research engineer

Understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of infectious agents is important for diagnosing, predicting and preventing diseases in farmed and wild species. During his PhD, Damien studied the evolution of V. crassostreae virulence in relation to the oyster as a host and to the phages as predators. He identified molecular mechanisms leading to the adaptation of vibrios to oysters. He demonstrated the emergence of virulent strains of V. crassostreae in an area impacted by the juvenile oyster mortality syndrome. The emergence of more virulent V. crassostreae strains is linked to the acquisition of a plasmid encoding a type 6 secretion system responsible for lethal activity towards oyster hemocytes. He is, now, working as a research engineer to study mechanistic bases of phage-host interactions using V. crassostreae and its virulent phages.


2020: Research engineer, Genomic of Vibrio team, Marine Station of Roscoff, France.

2016-2019: PhD, Genomic of Vibrio team, Marine Station of Roscoff, France. Evolution of virulence of Vibrio crassostreae in relation to oysters as hosts and phages as predators

2014-2016: Master degree, cellular and molecular infection, vaccinology and therapeutic antibodies at the University François Rabelais of Tours, France

Master I internship (2 months), Insect Biology Institute, Tours, France. Role of virus-like particles, produced by an endoparasitic wasp Venturia canescens, in its host Ephestia kuehniella (PI: Dr Jean Michel Drezen)

Master II internship (6 months), Spirochetes team, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France. Distribution and functionality of the CRISPR / Cas system in leptospires (PI: Dr Mathieu Picardeau)



Ancestral gene acquisition as the key to virulence potential in environmental Vibrio populations. Bruto M, Labreuche Y, James A, Piel D, Chenivesse S, Petton B, Polz MF, Le Roux F. ISME J. 2018 Dec;12(12):2954-2966.

Molecular targets for local adaptation in co-evolutionary interactions between Pacific oyster larvae and their sympatric Vibrio sp. Wegner MW, Piel D, Bruto M, Uwe J, Mao Z, Alunno-Bruscia, Petton B, Le Roux F. Front. Microbiol. 2019 10:2067. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02067

A type 6 secretion system and its transcriptional regulator is a key of V. crassostreae emergence and toxicity for oyster immune cells. Piel D, Bruto M, James A, et al. Environmental Microbiology 2019 doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14776