NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, USA
Yasmine Belkaid is an immunologist recognized for her work on host-microbe interactions. Her work defined mechanisms that regulate tissue homeostasis and host immune responses and uncovered key roles for the commensal microbiota and dietary factors in the maintenance of tissue immunity and protection to pathogens. She was born in Algiers, Algeria and graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Science & Technology Houari Boumediene of Algiers. In 1991, she moved to Paris to complete her PhD in Immunology at the Pasteur Institute followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda. In 2002, she joined the faculty of the Division of Molecular Immunology in Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In 2005, she returned to NIAID as a faculty and became adjunct Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is today a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at NIAID and the director of the NIAID Microbiome program. Research Interests Dr. Belkaid’s laboratory explores host-microbe interactions in tissues. Work conducted by her team uncovered factors controlling tissue immunity and immune regulation to microbes. Notably, her team identified immune mediators of pathogen persistence and uncovered a role for regulatory T cells in the control of microbial persistence. Her laboratory also explores the interplay between nutrition and the immune system and uncovered a role for defined metabolites in the control of both tolerance and immunity. Dr. Belkaid’s laboratory also explores how the immune system responds and adapts to malnutrition. Finally, her team demonstrated that the microbiota was required for the induction of adaptive immunity to skin and gut pathogens and could control the pathogenic consequences of infections.