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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2017/18 Prof. Dr. Pascale Romby

Prof. Dr. Pascale Romby

University of Strasbourg
Molekulare Biologie
External Senior Fellow
March 2018 - February 2019


Pascale Romby, born in 1958, is Director of the CNRS Unit "Architecture and Reactivity of RNA" at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC) since september 2016. Doctor ès Sciences, Pascale Romby has a CNRS researcher position since 1987, and leads the research team entitled " mRNAs and regulatory RNAs in bacteria". She has contributed to 130 publications in peer-reviewed international journals. She is a member of various editorial committees including RNA Biol, Pathogens and Diseases, Biochemistry, and Virulence. She has received various awards, i.e. the silver medal of the CNRS in 2016 and the Langevin Prize of the Academy of Sciences in 2010.

P. Romby’s team has the main objectives to get a global and integrated view of the roles of RNAs in gene regulation and to decipher the intricate links between transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators in the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Two main axes are currently being studied: (i) the translation initiation of structured mRNAs and its control in Escherichia coli and S. aureus in bacteria, and (ii) the functions of regulatory RNAs and their networks in the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The team has demonstrated novel translational regulatory mechanisms mediated either by proteins or non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) in Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and the key roles of several regulatory networks involving sRNAs that link stress adaptation, metabolism, and virulence in S. aureus.

Selected Publications

FRIAS Research Project

MapRNA: Mapping RNA-RNA pairings in vivo in bacteria and their importance in fast acclimation processes (stress responses, virulence)

Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are a very heterogeneous class of regulatory factors in bacteria. Extensive analysis revealed that many sRNAs in Enterobacteriaceae regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. These  sRNAs  were  the  missing  links in  the  networks  that  are  required  for  fast  growth  adaptation,  and  which interconnect key cellular pathways. However, the insight into the functions and mechanism of sRNA’s action in other phyla such as the Firmicutes or Cyanobacteria is still lagging behind, because these  bacteria face other  regulatory challenges and hence have evolved different machineries to regulate gene expression.  Here, we will combine the complementary expertise of the two teams to decipher the rules that dictate the sRNA-mediated regulation in two non-enterobacterial model bacteria. These are Staphylococcus aureus, a human pathogen  and Synechocystis 6803, which  is  targeted   for  developing  biotechnology  in  photosynthetic  bacteria.  Because  most  sRNAs  act  through basepairing interactions, we will apply novel strategies to map pairwise sRNA-RNA interactions genome-wide in vivo with high specificity. The results will be further exploited to improve algorithms to predict RNA interactions, and to identify hubs in the regulatory networks. This project will contribute to better  understand  the physiology of the two targeted  organisms, to find novel targets for anti-microbial drug design and to strategies to enhance the yield from photobiotechnology.