The International Balzan Prize Foundation awarded 750,000 Swiss Francs (approximately $800,000) to French bacteriologist Pascale Cossart, Ph.D., professor and director of the Unité des Interactions Bactéries Cellules at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Dr. Cossart’s research projects, which include the investigation of infection by intracellular bacteria, are focused primarily on Listeria monocytogenes.
According to Dr. Cossart, the goal of her research is to elucidate the bacterial and host cell factors that are essential for the establishment and persistence of infection and to define the mechanisms in which they are involved.
Peter Suter, honorary professor of medicine at the University of Geneva and vice president of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, said Dr. Cossart is receiving the prize for infectious diseases: basic and clinical aspects, "For her seminal discoveries on the molecular biology of pathogenic bacteria and their interaction with host cells. Her research has provided very significant insights into the mechanisms underlying infectious diseases and how they might be combatted."