Following the January 2024 elections, the Pasteur Network welcomes the members of its new Board, comprising both newly elected and re-elected regional representatives alongside two externally nominated members.

The Board will steer the direction of our association over the next two years and is composed as follows:






External Members:

To have more information about the governance, please visit the association’s governance page.

Six young graduates from the Pasteur Network were honored at the Institut Pasteur’s PhD graduation ceremony on December 8, 2023 in Paris.

This celebration marked the end of a chapter for this new generation of researchers and highlighted the excellence of the growing young scientific community trained at the Institut Pasteur, a Pasteur Network member.

This celebration, organized by the Institut Pasteur’s Education Department since 2013, marked its 11th anniversary, highlighting the scientific excellence of the Institut Pasteur’s young scientist community.

Chaired by Monica Sala, Director of the Education Department and Vincenzo di Bartolo, Head of the graduation ceremony organization team, this edition included an opening address by Valérie Masson-Delmotte, a climatologist, CEA Director of Research and Co-Chair of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as guest of honor.

She emphasized the intrinsic link between climate change and research, highlighting how the increase in temperature fosters the spread of vector-borne diseases. Hence, pursuing research is crucial in supporting the active response to this urgent matter.

The graduates were introduced by Monica Sala, Director of the Education Department at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Rebecca Grais, Executive Director of the Pasteur Network. The doctoral students hailed from all four regions of the Pasteur Network – Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, Euro-Mediterranean – and had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of topics as detailed below. They all chose to share a quote that inspires them.

PhD in social and cultural anthropology, University of Bordeaux (France)
Institut Pasteur de Madagascar/Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit

Thesis: Stunting and the risk of contamination by the living environment. An anthropology of early childhood through the prism of spatial and social organizations in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Antananarivo (Madagascar)

“Do not stop! With passion, courage and determination, we can overcome fear, sadness… progress and can break the barrier to success.”

Elliot Rakotomanana earned a postgraduate degree (DEA) in Biochemistry applied to nutrition from the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) in 2006. He joined the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar (IPM) within the Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit as national coordinator of a socio-anthropological study on stunting in 2014. Passionate about anthropology, in 2016 he embarked on studies in this discipline at the University of Bordeaux through the AFRIBIOTA project, a multidisciplinary research program within the Pasteur Network addressing pediatric environmental enteropathy and stunting. He completed a master’s degree in September 2017 and defended his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Marc-Eric Gruénais (Bordeaux University) and Dr. Tamara Giles-Vernick (Institut Pasteur) in January 2023. He reveals the broad processes underlying the resource-poor neighborhoods of Antananarivo and the inability of local inhabitants to manage waste, drawing on history, political science and geography. His approach is original; instead of asking why children are malnourished and experience stunting, he demonstrates why and how certain children can avoid it. Since 2018, he has been the deputy head of the “Health & Social Sciences” team at IPM.

Assistant professor at the High Institute of Nursing Professions and Health Techniques (ISPITS), Morocco & Associate member of the Oncovirology Laboratory, Institut Pasteur du Maroc

Thesis: Evaluation of viral, genetic and metabolic prognosis biomarkers for nasopharyngeal cancer

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for (39); That (the fruit of) his striving will soon come in sight (40); Then will he be rewarded with a reward complete (41).” Surat An-Najm (The Star), Quran

Amina Gihbid holds a PhD in Virology and Molecular Biology. Her research was conducted in the Oncovirology Laboratory at the Institut Pasteur du Maroc (IPM) and Faculty of Science Ain-Chock Casablanca – Morocco. It was mainly focused on the assessment and identification of potential viral, genetic and metabolic biomarkers that could predict early treatment outcomes in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and improve the prognosis of this particularly prevalent malignancy in Morocco. The findings of her research highlighted circulating Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA viral load, along with metabolic parameters derived from [18F] FDG PET/CT scan as promising prognostic biomarkers in the clinical management of NPC. These biomarkers could therefore help to personalize patient treatment according to the risk of relapse and recurrence.

At IPM, she is currently working on two ongoing projects, one focusing on characterization of the epidemiological-genetic architecture of breast cancer in North Africa: therapeutic and socio-economic impact, and the second project pertaining to Personalized Medicine in North Africa (PerMediNA). She is also involved in studies conducted within IPM’s Oncovirology Laboratory, investigating the viral etiology of oropharyngeal carcinoma and breast cancer in Morocco.

Transversal activities in Applied Genomics at Sciensano, Belgium

Thesis: Exploring the added value of Whole Genome Sequencing in routine and pandemic viral surveillance

“The essence of a successful PhD lies in the ability to evolve and align research with an ever-changing world.”

Laura Van Poelvoorde earned her Master of Science in industrial engineering with a focus on biochemistry from the University of Ghent in 2017. Her interest in research and public health led her to the WIV-ISP (Scientific Institute of Public Health, now part of Sciensano) as a PhD researcher within the “Transversal Activities in Applied Genomics” department under the supervision of Nancy Roosens (Sciensano) and Xavier Saelens (Ghent University). Her PhD research focused on innovative strategies to improve the surveillance of influenza which led to exploring whole genome sequencing and analysis. This experience was extended to SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater surveillance. These studies led to a PhD in Biochemistry and Biotechnology in January 2023 and to 10 peer-reviewed publications on genomic strategies that contribute to improving respiratory virus surveillance for the benefit of society. After graduating, Laura Van Poelvoorde secured a permanent position at Sciensano focused on developing methods for pathogen detection in wastewater.

Laboratory of Stem Cells and Neuroimaging / Neurobiology Department, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Greece

Thesis: Exploring the Brain’s Response to Chemotherapy: Neurogenesis at the Forefront

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” S. Beckett

Irini Thanou’s academic journey in neurobiology has centered on understanding the intricate dynamics of adult neurogenic niches in both homeostasis and pathology. During her PhD research, she unveiled novel migratory routes of neural progenitors in response to chemotherapeutic agents, shedding light on the dynamic interplay of instinct and extrinsic cues regulating neurogenic regions and adjacent brain parenchyma. Exploring the brain’s regenerative capacity in response to pathology, she contributed to a published project using neurogenic microRNAs and small molecules for the direct reprogramming of astrocytes into functional neurons. The Institut Pasteur has played a pivotal role in shaping her research. Collaborative initiatives within the network allowed her to engage in projects investigating Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk factors in brain homeostasis, providing valuable insights into the emerging role of neuroinflammation as a driving factor in AD. She also actively participated in a study on dynamic interactions between astrocytes and microglia during neuroinflammation, employing cutting-edge intravital brain imaging techniques. She aspires her next scientific chapter to be even more captivating.

DTI-CNPq research fellow, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) – Laboratory on Thymus Research (LPT)

Thesis: Anti-VLA-4 antibodies for multiple sclerosis treatment: rational design and study of their mechanisms of action by high-content cell imaging

“Everything that challenges me makes me feel alive.”

Beatriz Chaves is a biotechnologist with experience in T-cell biology and antibody development. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology (UFC – Fortaleza, Brazil), a master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology (Fiocruz – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and a PhD in Biotechnology and Health/Computational and Systems Biology (Fiocruz/INFINITy-INSERM – Eusébio/Rio de Janeiro/Toulouse, Brazil/France). During her academic journey, she worked on the in silico design, production and functional evaluation of antibodies targeting Very Late Antigen 4 (VLA-4) for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment. Throughout her PhD, she investigated the morphological profiling of MS patients’ lymphocytes by high-content cell imaging to determine their clinical response to the current antibody-based anti-VLA-4 therapy. The research, collaborations and scientific skills developed by Beatriz in her academic career have so far resulted in one patent; five published, one accepted and two ongoing papers; and three awards won at conferences. Beatriz’s current research goals include gaining a better understanding of the role of T-cells in MS pathogenesis and improving current immunotherapies for chronic diseases.

Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie
Institut Pasteur Paris, Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases Unit

Thesis: Modeling the dynamics of COVID-19, dengue, and the establishment of Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti populations in New Caledonia / Theme: Infectious diseases modeling

A great adventure with quite a few twists along the way and many joys”

Noé Ochida from New Caledonia graduated from Montpellier University with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology. For his master’s degree, he shifted from the microscopic scale to study the ecology of infectious diseases. Recognizing the impact of dengue in New Caledonia, he pursued an M2 internship at the Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie (IPNC) to work on a public health issue in his homeland. This opportunity led him to a PhD at IPNC in collaboration with the IRD on modeling dengue dynamics and the establishment of Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti populations in New Caledonia. His research focused on present and future climate risk of dengue outbreaks in New Caledonia using downscaled climate projections of global climate models. He also modeled Wolbachia strategy deployment in Nouméa, suggesting optimal release strategies and assessing its impact on dengue transmission. He had the opportunity to provide modeling support to decision makers during the COVID-19 crisis in New Caledonia. He is currently in a postdoctoral research role at the Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases Unit led by Prof. Simon Cauchemez at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Climate change threatens to reverse decades of global development progress and puts the health and livelihoods of future generations in jeopardy. Data indicates a rapid increase in temperature, humidity and rainfall which negatively impacts health, agriculture and vulnerable populations including women. For example, increasing temperatures and rainfall from El Nino support growth of mosquitoes in new locations which previously did not support mosquito populations resulting in spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. There is an urgent need to invest in creative solutions that adapt and build resilience to these existing and future climate related challenges.

The Global Grand Challenges network of partners are pleased to announce a joint funding call of approximately USD 12M. This funding is aimed to support innovators addressing the critical intersection of climate change, health, agriculture, and gender. The partners include Science for Africa Foundation-Grand Challenges Africa; Grand Challenges Rwanda; Grand Challenges Brazil; Grand Challenges Ethiopia; and Grand Challenges India in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Foundation S-The Sanofi Collective S, Rockefeller Foundation and Pasteur Network. This funding follows a 2022 climate and health call for applications by Grand Challenges Canada and the South African Medical Research Council-Grand Challenges South Africa.

Climate change is one of the greatest global health challenges of our time. To help solve it, we need science to understand and address the climate and health crisis, especially to support actions that benefit and protect the most affected people and communities. By bringing different funders together under the common umbrella of the Grand Challenges partnership, we can ensure that promising scientific solutions to climate change are supported and delivered to achieve impact at scale,” said Alan Dangour, Director Climate and Health, Wellcome

We seek innovative projects utilizing transdisciplinary approaches to better adapt to, mitigate, or reverse the combined, deleterious effects of climate change on health, women’s lives, and agriculture. Preference will be given to innovations that are formulated locally or adapted from other contexts. We are especially interested in cross-cutting solutions at the intersection of multiple scientific and engineering disciplines and locally led, system-level innovations that are scalable and sustainable. This request for proposals by Grand Challenges partners will provide innovators with seed grants of up to USD 200,000 each for a period of 24 months to execute their visionary projects.

Announcing the request for proposals today on behalf of all Grand Challenges partners at COP28 session on Climate-Health Solutions Showcase’ in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Science for Africa Foundation, home of Grand Challenges Africa, CEO, Tom Kariuki said: “the people whose health and wellbeing are being harmed first and worst by the climate crisis are also the ones who contribute least to its causes, and who are least able to protect themselves and their families against it—namely people in low-income and disadvantaged countries and communities. In low-income settings, rising heat, extreme weather events, changes in precipitation patterns, shifts in duration and prevalence of climate-sensitive diseases (malaria, dengue, many foodborne and water-borne diseases), and increased potential for the emergence of novel diseases damage already weak primary health care systems and community health structures. Together with our partners, we are committed to fostering collaborative efforts to catalyse innovations that will safeguard the well-being of our communities and pave the way for a more sustainable, resilient future.”

Grand Challenges India is keen to attract proposals that build resilient systems to mitigate climate change impact on agriculture and human health. Solutions may include responsive adaptation mechanisms, accurate surveillance and monitoring systems, predictive models, early detection of vector-borne, waterborne diseases, and infectious pathogens of concern. Strengthening research capacities, developing smart healthcare, integrating crop-livestock system to enhance agroecosystem resilience, soil health and biodiversity are some of the focus areas. The call would encourage research and innovation utilizing transdisciplinary approaches to better adapt and mitigate or reverse the combined, deleterious effects of climate change impact on agriculture and health in India.”  said Shirshendu Mukherjee, Mission Director, Grand Challenges India.

“Foundation S is pleased to support this public-private effort to strengthen community resilience to the impacts of climate change on health. Outputs of this work will help facilitate the much-needed evidence and data required to support innovative approaches for climate adaptation at the local level,” said Vanina Laurent-Ledru Director General, Foundation S.

“Continuing to make progress against diseases like malaria means addressing climate, health and development in a complementary way,” said Kedest Tesfagiorgis, Deputy Director of Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “I’m excited to see the global network of Grand Challenges partners, including the seven partners from five continents supporting this call, contributing the diversity of expertise and perspective needed to foster cutting-edge, locally relevant innovation in communities around the world.”

The funding represents a pivotal step towards addressing climate change contributing to a healthier, more resilient future. Proposals should address the following critical areas: 

To read more and apply for this request for proposals please visit :

About the Global Grand Challenges Network of Partners

The global grand challenges network of partners support innovative solutions to “Grand Challenges” in health and development with a vision for a world where local, regional, and global innovation ecosystems are thriving and fostering solutions in the places where they will have the most impact. Together, Grand Challenges (GC) partners have invested US$1.6 billion, awarding 3,800 grants to a diverse pool of scientists and researchers in 118 countries. These include various GCs and their host institutions below:

In addition to national government funding, these GCs are also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Foundation S -Sanofi Collective, Rockefeller Foundation and Pasteur Network.

Media Enquiries:
Juliette Mutheu, Corporate & Science Communications

During the Opening Ceremony of the Pasteur Network Annual Meeting 2023 on November 19th in Tunis, Dr. Ngu Abanda, a scientist from the Centre Pasteur in Cameroon received the Pasteur Network Talent Award 2023 from Stewart Cole, President of the Pasteur Network Foundation and President of the Institut Pasteur. The Talent Awards support the career development of young scientists to become future leaders within the Pasteur Network.

Dr Ngu Abanda obtained his Ph.D. in Tropical Medicine from the University of Hawaii in 2017. During his Ph.D. studies, he conducted research on factors contributing to poor treatment outcomes among Tuberculosis patients, especially children. He also evaluated the accuracy of new rapid molecular-based assays for the diagnosis of drug-resistant Tuberculosis.  

Later on, Dr Ngu Abanda, to broaden his knowledge on the clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases, took up the position of microbiologist at the Public Health Laboratory of the Texas Department of State Health Services (USA). He contributed to set up a new molecular assay to detect Candida auris, an emerging fungal pathogen that is associated with nosocomial infections and considered a serious global health threat. During this postdoctoral period, he acquired solid experience in clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases. He joined the Pasteur Center in Cameroon (CPC) in 2020, first as a temporary laboratory scientist with primary activity to lead a team working 24 hours/7 days on COVID-19 diagnosis.   

“Dr Ngu Abanda made a significant contribution to CPC’s COVID-19 diagnostic activities and became a research scientist at CPC with primary mission to develop arbovirus research activities. He now leads the WHO yellow fever regional reference laboratory (RRL) and the arbovirology laboratory at CPC” explained Mirdad Kazanji, Director of the Centre Pasteur in Cameroun.   

His current research activities focus on the long-term immunity of the yellow fever vaccine, and the epidemiological and entomological surveillance of arboviruses.   

”Providing affordable and quality assured diagnosis to inform vector-borne diseases control and prevention programs is the central tenet of our activities.” Dr Ngu Abanda  

His long-term goal is to develop a comprehensive and multidisciplinary research and training program on arboviruses thanks to its daily investment alongside the CPC teams.  

“Eleven brilliant young scientists of the Pasteur Network have already received this prize and are still contributing in an excellent way to the scientific excellence of the Pasteur Network. Today, we are honored to reward the quality of the first achievements made by Dr Ngu Abanda and to support his career and its further ambitious developments” underlined Stewart Cole, President of the Pasteur Network Foundation and President of the Institut Pasteur. 

The Pasteur Network Annual Meeting 2023 (PNAM), co-organized with the Institut Pasteur de Tunis (IPT) will take place from 19 to 21 November 2023 at the Laico Hotel and Conference Center in Tunis, Tunisia. The PNAM gathers professionals from all Pasteur Network members, scientific institutions, public health institutions, multilateral organizations, civil society organizations and charitable foundations focusing on science and public health.

The meeting will focus on global thematic priorities including climate sensitive emerging infectious diseases, the R&D and innovation ecosystem, epidemic intelligence, AMR, and mother and child health.

The opening ceremony will take place on Sunday 19 November starting at 6 pm (UTC+1) chaired by Hechmi Louzir, former Director General of IPT, and will include opening remarks by the recently appointed Director General of IPT, Samia Menif. Amadou Sall, President of the Pasteur Network & CEO of the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Stewart Cole, President of the Pasteur Network Foundation & President of the Institut Pasteur, Rebecca Grais, Executive Director of the Pasteur Network, Ali M’rabet, Minister of Health of Tunisia will also provide remarks. Furthermore, presentations will be delivered on “Tuberculosis – the forgotten pandemic” by Stewart Cole and “Arabic medicine & Arabic civilization” by Dr. Rafik Boukhris.

Follow the Live Streaming

Available for the Opening Ceremony on YouTube channels

After a series of roundtables and presentations, participants will be able to engage in solution sessions on Pasteur Network strategic axes: (1) reinforcing epidemic intelligence and preparedness with a specific focus on climate sensitivity; (2) supporting the research, development, and innovation ecosystem in critical diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics; (3) creating multi-disciplinary knowledge communities; and (4) equitable collaboration, and sustainability.

This year, the meeting will also provide a platform for young scientists from all the regions of the Pasteur Network to present their research focused on the key thematic areas.

A visit to the Institut Pasteur de Tunis and a cultural tour are also included in the programme.

The PNAM 2023 is funded by the Pasteur Network, the Institut Pasteur de Tunis, and Wellcome.

About the Institut Pasteur de Tunis

The Institut Pasteur de Tunis (IPT) is a public health institution under the authority of the Ministry of Health of Tunisia. Its mission is to carry out epidemiological and clinical studies, biomedical investigations, as well as research activities pertaining to human and animal health. IPT also manufactures vaccines and sera for the needs of the country. Affiliated to the Université de Tunis El Manar, the institute contributes to higher education at both the national and regional levels.

The Institut Pasteur de Tunis is internationally recognized and collaborates with foreign scientific institutions.

Since its creation, in 1893 (the third Institut Pasteur after Paris and Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville), the institute has focused its research activities on infectious diseases of viral, bacterial and parasitological origin, including zoonotic and vector-borne diseases. It is also conducting research on snake envenoming, immune deficiencies, hemoglobinopathies and genetic diseases

Finally, IPT is also active in research projects involving several members of the Pasteur Network in Africa and Europe like REPAIR, PerMediNA, Atun-Dips, and Alliance SHS Afrique. For more information, visit the Institut Pasteur de Tunis’s official website.

Press contact: Hichem Ben Hassine /

About the Pasteur Network

The Pasteur Network is a vast human and scientific community with more than 30 members in over 20 countries contributing together to global health. Located in the heart of endemic areas, the Network has privileged access to a large number of pathogens that it monitors and studies on all five continents. This exceptional diversity makes the Pasteur Network a unique global actor in public health, science, innovation, and education, especially in the fight against infectious diseases.

Presse : Juliette Hardy /

Complex global challenges are best addressed by unlocking the power of existing networks and empowering institutes anchored in local communities. This new partnership brings together Pasteur Network — a storied and unique organization covering a breadth of countries, people and public health challenges — with nonprofit GeoSeeq Foundation — an AI-powered platform for tracking emerging and circulating pathogens, microbial discovery and predictive modeling.

Paris and New York, October 31st, 2023.

The threat of infectious diseases is constant and far-reaching, killing 14 million people annually. Changes in climate are exacerbating infectious disease threats, especially for water- and vector-borne diseases. These increased infectious disease threats are most often distributed in low- and middle-income countries, which experience annual surges in dengue virus, malaria, cholera and other infections. While prevention is the ideal approach to controlling infectious diseases, there is limited cross-border surveillance and coordination to drive prevention and response. Furthermore, despite recent lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still no global system for infectious disease monitoring. Instead, existing platforms are siloed and single-modality or single-region focused.

Today, Pasteur Network and the GeoSeeq Foundation are announcing a partnership to usher in a new era of global pathogen monitoring and response, supporting the Pasteur Network’s 32 institutes distributed across 25 countries on five continents and powered by Biotia’s GeoSeeq platform, an AI platform leveraging diverse data streams, including climate, genomics and public health data. This partnership is facilitating new, equitable solutions for data sharing, cross-entity discovery and pathogen tracking to drive analytics and predictive models that flag circulating and emerging threats.

The partners are tackling challenges ranging from data governance (using a federated storage-based approach), platform and model development (empowering community-driven model development) to interpretation of signals working with local governments and translation to actionable insights, equity, funding and implementation. It is expected that this partnership will have an outsized impact in the Global South — as 75% of Pasteur Network members work in laboratories for the ministries of health in the low and middle-income countries (LMICs) — with an initial focus on vector-borne diseases of dengue virus and malaria.

“This partnership marks an important step toward unlocking untapped potential across a leading global infectious disease network”, said Dr. Rebecca Grais, executive director of Pasteur Network. “Unlocking network potential can transform separate initiatives into a global engine of discovery and more equitable, actionable public health information”.

GeoSeeq is designed to overcome cross-border data-sharing challenges and preserve data sovereignty while still allowing data to be indexed and connected on a common platform. With this capability, the partners anticipate connecting more than 40 million data points over the next three years. This will drive new collaborations, facilitate discovery and enhance response to infectious disease threats. It will also enable impactful data-driven health responses, create new infectious disease dashboards for ministries of health and support the development of novel therapeutics, biological discoveries and vaccine design.

“Through this partnership, we are launching an ambitious, open and dedicated international effort”, said Dr. Christopher Mason, president and cofounder of the GeoSeeq Foundation. “Pathogens move readily across nations’ borders; thus, collaboration should also seamlessly move internationally between scientists, physicians and policymakers. This partnership is an essential step toward making this vision a reality”.

“Too often, groups feel isolated in their fight against infectious diseases”, said Dr. Amadou Sall, director general of the Institut Pasteur de Dakar and president of Pasteur Network. “This partnership helps to level the playing field, providing support and tools for local groups to tackle regional problems that affect their local communities”.

About Pasteur Network

The Pasteur Network is a vast human and scientific community with more than 30 members in over 20 countries contributing together to global health. Located in the heart of endemic areas, the network has privileged access to a large number of pathogens that it monitors and studies on all five continents. This exceptional diversity makes the Pasteur Network a unique global actor in public health, science, innovation and education, especially in the fight against infectious diseases.

Connect on LinkedIn.

About GeoSeeq Foundation

GeoSeeq Foundation is a nonprofit empowering infectious disease researchers and public health agencies globally to track, understand and control infectious disease threats.
Connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Earlier this week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s #GrandChallenges Annual Meeting took place in Dakar, Senegal, where the RFP “Catalyzing Equitable Artificial Intelligence (AI) Use to Improve Global Health” was launched jointly by several Grand Challenges partners, including the Pasteur Network. This RFP will enable LMICs to take the lead on designing AI solutions for improving community health and well-being.

This opportunity allows for the development of global health and development solutions in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) using AI-enabled large language models (LLMs). The purpose of the Equitable AI for Health in LMICs Call is to help advance the development of robust, locally relevant AI-empowered tools. These tools will expedite decision-making, policy pathways, and implementation by frontline health workers and policymakers.

The initiative is led by GC Brazil, GC India, GC Ethiopia, GC Senegal, GC South Africa, and GC Africa. Support for this initiative is provided by GC Canada, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, the Pasteur Network, and the Gates Foundation.

More information:

Read the press release of the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation (10 octobre2023) “Gates Foundation Celebrates 20 Years of “Grand Challenges” With New Investments and a Call to Make R&D Breakthroughs Available More Quickly and Equitably”

Grand Challenges Annual Meeting :

Pasteur Network announces the online publication of the report, which covers the 2021-2022 activities. 

This latest report includes a presentation of the network and worldwide highlights of its members, achievements, and community.

Each of the four chapters is dedicated to a Pasteur Network Region: Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Euro-Mediterranean with a specific page for each member.

Consult the 2021-2022 report

About the Pasteur Network

The Pasteur Network is a vast human and scientific community with more than 30 members in over 20 countries contributing together to global health. Located in the heart of endemic areas, the Network has privileged access to a large number of pathogens that it monitors and studies on all five continents. This exceptional diversity makes the Pasteur Network a unique global actor in public health, science, innovation, and education, especially in the fight against infectious diseases.

Video presentation

Pasteur Network on Linkedin

Five members of the Pasteur Network— the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, the Institut Pasteur de Bangui, the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane and the Institut Pasteur—have collaboratively published the results of a study on mosquito ribosomal RNA. In addition to the release of 234 complete ribosomal RNA sequences from 33 mosquito species to public databases, the study presents the bioinformatics methodology used to assemble these sequences. The eLife article also assesses the use of ribosomal RNA as a molecular marker for taxonomic and phylogenetic studies on mosquitoes. These findings will facilitate the discovery and monitoring of viruses in all the mosquito species investigated as well as others.

Monitoring virus circulation with RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)

Mosquitoes are known to transmit many pathogenic viruses among humans and animals. Most of these viruses carry genetic information in the form of ribonucleic acid or RNA. By sequencing the RNA found in mosquitoes, a technique known as RNA-seq,

we can identify what viral pathogens are circulating in certain mosquito populations by detecting their RNA genomes. This also allows us to discover potential emerging viral pathogens.

However, the mosquito itself contain plenty of RNA, specifically the RNAs that make up protein-producing machines called ribosomes. This type of RNA is aptly called ribosomal RNA. The hyperabundant presence of ribosomal RNA constitute “background noise”, which can reduce the sensitivity of pathogen detection by masking the sequences of interest, and they need to be removed from the sample. To successfully remove or deplete ribosomal RNA, we need to know its reference sequence.

Using RNA sequencing to detect viruses by their RNA genome consist of several steps. Knowing ribosomal RNA sequences enables Step 3 and 5 for improved detection of viral pathogens in mosquito samples. This image was created using © Cassandra Koh

However, the lack of reference ribosomal RNA sequences for a large majority of mosquito species makes it difficult to perform RNA-seq in these species. Only a few vector species were listed on public databases—a collection of all known genetic sequences for all living things. This gap leads to a neglect of the transmission cycles perpetuated by other mosquito species endemic to more remote environments, which are responsible for the infection of reservoir animals. To allow for virus discovery and monitoring in a wider range of mosquito species, the team expanded the current collection of reference ribosomal RNA sequences.

Employing the collective expertise of the Pasteur Network members

By bringing together their expertise and resources, scientists from the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, the Institut Pasteur de Bangui, the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane and the Institut Pasteur, all members of the Pasteur Network, have released a large assemblage of ribosomal RNA sequences to public databases. Using a unique bioinformatics method described in the study, the team was able to assemble the complete ribosomal RNA sequences for all their specimens, even in the presence of contaminating biological material. This genomic resource constitutes a set of 234 complete ribosomal RNA sequences of 33 mosquito species.

The implications of this genomic resource

These novel sequences allow for the physical and computational elimination of interfering ribosomal RNA sequence reads, the aforementioned “background noise”, leading to the detection of target viral genomic RNA at increased sensitivity. In addition, ribosomal RNAs can be used for the molecular identification of the mosquito species under study. The accuracy of molecular identification of mosquito species using ribosomal RNA sequences is comparable to that of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene sequence—the gold standard and current reference in molecular taxonomy. The bioinformatics methodology and sequences resulting from this collaboration will thus help to discover and monitor known and potential new pathogens in a large number of insect species by RNA-seq metagenomics.

For more information:
Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences from 33 globally distributed mosquito species for improved metagenomics and species identification
eLife, janvier 2023.
Cassandra Koh, Lionel Frangeul, Hervé Blanc, Carine Ngoagouni,Sébastien Boyer, Philippe Dussart, Nina Grau, Romain Girod, Jean-Bernard Duchemin and Maria-Carla Saleh.
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.82762 /

The COS-Pasteur Network is organizing its 2023 webinar series on ticks and tick-borne diseases. 6 webinars are planned throughout the year with speakers from the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, the Institut Pasteur de Bangui and the Institut Pasteur de Côte d’Ivoire, members of the Pasteur Network. These webinars are free but registration is required.

For more information:
Link to register: