Scientist of Ifremer

Principal investigator

Directrice de recherche (C3 Ifremer)

Frédérique Le Roux has used a human herpes virus model system to address critical questions regarding the switch from latency to lytic cycle and the oncogenic properties of viral regulators (PhD and first post-doctoral fellowships, 1991–98). Having acquired substantial background and experience in molecular virology, she initially focused on applied research questions (IFREMER 1998–2004). Her work highlighted the complex eco-evolutionary dynamics of environmental pathogens and the urgent need of pathosystems to explore disease emergence and virulence mechanisms.She then focused her research on bacterial pathogens, the vibrios (2004–now).To develop the genetic toolbox for the diverse systems she had previously worked on, she joined the group of Didier Mazel at the Pasteur Institute (2004-08), the lab of Matt Waldor at Harvard Medical School (2008-10), and more recently Melanie Blokesch, at the EPFL for a sabbatical. During the last 10 years,she has coordinated three ANR grants, and published 30 articles.She was awarded by the ERC advanced in April 2020 for the Dynamic project (2021-25).


2010 –Group Leader, Marine station of Sorbonne University,Roscoff. France

2000 –​Researcher,Ifremer

2008 – 2010​. Guest researcher with Prof Matthew Waldor, Harvard Medical School, Boston.USA

2004 – 2008​. Guest researcher with Prof Didier Mazel, Pasteur Institute, Paris.France

1998 – 2000​. Postdoctoral research fellow with Dr Manolo Gouy, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University and Ifremer.France. Research project: “Molecular epidemiology of Marteilia, a parasite for Ostrea edulis”

1996 – 1998. ​Postdoctoral research fellow with Dr Irene Joab,Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, and with Dr Shannon Kenney, Lineberger Cancer Institute, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.USA. Research project: “Characterization of a variant of an Epstein Barr Virus transcriptional factor identified in rhinopharynx carcinoma”

10/2004​. Habilitation to direct research (Highest Diploma of the French University), Sorbonne University (SU), Paris France

11/1995.Ph.D. degree (Molecular Biology), Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, Lyon. France. Title: Latency and reactivation of the Epstein Barr virus: transcriptional regulation of EB1, a key regulator of the lytic cycle

1991 – 1995. Pre-doctoral fellow with Dr Alain Sergeant and L.Corbo, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon. France

09/1991. Master degree (Molecular biology) Université de Rennes 1, Rennes. France

1986 – 1991. Study of cellular and molecular biology,Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble.France


2015 –​Microbiology, Master 1, Sorbonne University (2 hours/year)

2017 –​Microbiology, Master 2, Sorbonne University-Pasteur Institute (2 hours/year)

2015 –​Environmental Genomics, Master 2, Sorbonne University - National Museum of Natural History (2 half days of lectures and practical work/year)

2015 –​Genomes and Genetics, Master 2, SU – Pasteur Institute (2 hours/year)

1998 –2004. ​She created and taught Continuing education in molecular biology at IFREMER.

Past PhD students

Damien Piel, Adèle James, Johan Binesse, Yann Reynaud, Mélanie Gay


1- Piel D, Bruto M, James A, Labreuche Y, Lambert C, Janicot A, Chenivesse S, Petton B, Wegner KM, Stoudmann C, Blokesch M, Le Roux F. Selection of Vibrio crassostreae relies on a plasmid expressing a type 6 secretion system cytotoxic for host immune cells. Environ Microbiol. 2019 Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920

2- Rubio T, Oyanedel-Trigo D, Labreuche Y, Toulza E, Luo X, Bruto M, Chaparro C, Torres Bejar M, de Lorgeril J, Haffner P, Vidal-Dupiol J, Lagorce A, Petton B, Mitta G, Jacq A, Le Roux F*, Charrière G* and Destoumieux-Garzón D1*. Species-specific mechanisms of cytotoxicity towards immune cells determine the successful outcome of Vibrio infections. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jul 9;116(28):14238-14247.(*co-correspondence)

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

4- Parizadeh L, Tourbiez D, Garcia C, Haffner P, Dégremont L, Le Roux F*, Travers MA*.Ecologically realistic model of infection for exploring the host damage caused by Vibrio aestuarianus. Environ Microbiol. 2018 20(12):4343-4355. (*co-correspondence)

5- Labreuche Y, Chenivesse S, Jeudy A, Le Panse S, Boulo V, Ansquer D, Pagès S, Givaudan A, Czjzek M, Le Roux F. Nigritoxin is a bacterial toxin for crustaceans and insects. Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 1;8(1):1248. 

6- Bruto M, James A, Petton B, Labreuche Y, Chenivesse S, Alunno-Bruscia M, Polz MF, Le Roux F. Vibrio crassostreae, a benign oyster colonizer turned into a pathogen after plasmid acquisition. ISME J. 2017 Apr;11(4):1043-1052.

7- Le Roux F, Wegner KM, Polz MF. Oysters and Vibrios as a Model for Disease Dynamics in Wild Animals. Trends Microbiol. 2016 Jul;24(7):568-80. (review)

8- Lemire A, Goudenège D, Versigny T, Petton B, Calteau A, Labreuche Y, Le Roux F.Populations, not clones, are the unit of vibrio pathogenesis in naturally infected oysters. ISME J. 2015 Jul;9(7):1523-31.

9- Goudenège D, Travers MA, Lemire A, Petton B, Haffner P, Labreuche Y, Tourbiez D, Mangenot S, Calteau A, Mazel D, Nicolas JL, Jacq A, Le Roux F. A single regulatory gene is sufficient to alter Vibrio aestuarianus pathogenicity in oysters. Environ Microbiol. 2015 Nov;17(11):4189-99.

10- Goudenège D, Labreuche Y, Krin E, Ansquer D, Mangenot S, Calteau A, Médigue C, Mazel D, Polz MF, Le Roux F. Comparative genomics of pathogenic lineages of Vibrio nigripulchritudo identifies virulence-associated traits. ISME J. 2013 Oct;7(10):1985-96.