Stanislav Dusko Ehrlich, always one step ahead of this gut microbial insight!

Quoting Dusco publications, even limiting ourselves to those qualified and grand will be eloquent but boring as they are numerous. Citing awards, distinctions, honors, and decorations will live up to a long streak. The list of appointments, managerial positions, experience held, and projects he coordinated, became a difficult process. Also, the main points are briefly summarized in the box below.

So, what do we remember from Dusko?

Without being exhaustive, one can not hide his love for science quality, and intellectual stimulation brought to his colleagues, the praise of his new ideas and new hypotheses. As for innovative results from the lab, he was always produced, discussed, written up and distributed with perfect precision requirements. Each student will, after close, technician, engineer or researcher spent in his lab remembers not only the absolute necessity to reproduce the published minimum experience, but also equally important for the condition of the various controls to be carried out. Finally, do not want to pass in the course of the saints, and in spite of his reputation as a negotiator intractable or examiner demanding not unfounded, we can say that the offer to him, his springy and his ability to himself the title of listening in a warm and clear way for a wide variety of listeners not less than its advantages.

Three successive periods, each enriched by its predecessor, to evoke Dusko’s profession within the institute

  • The Decade 1977 – 1986 Dusko to study DNA recombination in bacteria after his experience in cloning DNA in soil bacteria Bacillus subtilis.
  • The The next two decades (1986 – 2005) Those of the establishment and expansion of the Unit of Microbial Genetics, in Joy-en-Josas, were under the direction of Dusko. The main topics were the study of the stability of genetic information in model bacteria of primary interest (Bacillus subtilisAnd Escherichia coli) and of applied benefit (lactic acid bacteria). During this period, Dusko established himself as one of the precursors of the bacterial genome (publishing the genome B. kind in Nature in 1997) and as a catalyst for emerging functional genomics (Catalog of Essential Genes for B. kind published in PNAS in 2003). One constant in Dusko’s concerns was to maintain a non-negotiable condition of high-level basic research, in close and essential interaction in more targeted research of high quality. Finally, we should mention the fact that in addition to his activity as unit manager (1987-2008), Dusko was also the first head of the Department of Microbiology (1991-2002), which then became, in 2004, the Department of Microbiology and Food Chain (MECA).
  • Finally, the Recent decades (2005 – 2021) That was the invention of metagenomics and the explosion of studies on the human gut microbiota. Dusko can take pride in starting this topic and then pushing it both nationally and internationally. In 2008, he coordinated the first large European dedicated project, MetaHIT, which made it possible to decipher the human gut metagenome and forged the concept of a “new organ” to rehabilitate the intestinal microbiota. Still initiated by Dusko, this period saw the launch of a pre-industrial demonstrator in 2012 MetaGenoPolis, in the form of a new INRAE ​​server, dedicated specifically to the latest scientific research on the human intestinal microbiota and its interaction with the host and transferred to the service of new industrial applications. Firmly innovative and interdisciplinary, this new unit bringing together metagenomicians, clinicians, microbiologists, statisticians and bioinformaticians, is quickly becoming an essential partner for research and innovation throughout the human and animal microbiome.
  • Among the latest projects that “carry the paw” of Dusco, let us mention the project French chord” which is part of a large international project ” Million Microbiome of Humans Project ” (MMHP) whose goal is to constitute the world’s largest database of human microbiome and analyze 1,000,000 microbial samples.

Innovative developments for human well-being and health

These various projects have brought their share of necessary innovative progress for human well-being and health. We can mention, among others: the discovery of enterotypes (equivalent to “blood groups”, which makes it possible to distinguish between different types of bacteria); Publication of a reference bulletin of 10 million genes from the human intestinal microbiota; the role of a varied diet in maintaining microbiota diversity (a cause and effect of good health); the effect of metabolic diseases (diabetes, obesity, cirrhosis, etc.) on the microbiota and vice versa; The presence of germs in many genes of resistance to antibiotics, etc. This progress also allows the emergence of new start-ups, the origin of which we still find Dusko and his team.

Thanks dusk!

They say no one is irreplaceable. And the seeds sown throughout a career will continue to spread, thrive and bear fruit. What remains is the fact that the departure of a character like this will create an undeniable untidiness, and that it will take some time to fill it. Thank you, Dusko, for everything you brought, moved, and stirred up.


Born December 6, 1943 in Zagreb, Croatia, Dusko Ehrlich conducted engineering studies in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Zagreb, supporting his PhD in biochemistry in 1972 at the Jacques Monod Institute of the University of Paris VII. After receiving his Ph.D. at Stanford University in California in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua Lederberg (Nobel Prize 1958) he joined INRA in 1986 as Director of Research until 2011, then Emeritus Director of Research from 2012 to 2021 and Project Director until January 2022. He was Professor at King’s College London (KCL) from 2014 to 2018, a visiting scholar at University College London (UCL) since 2022.

1977-1986 Team Leader, Institut Jacques Monod, Paris

1987-2008 Director of the Microbial Genetics Unit, Joy-on-Gosas, INRA
1989-1994 Chairman of the Management Committee, Institute of Biotechnology, Joy-in-Gosas, INRA
1991-2002 Head of Department of Microbiology, INRA
2012-2021 Scientific Director of the MetaGenoPolis Pre-Industrial Demonstration Project (Future Investments Program) and Scientific Director of the INRAE ​​Unit MetaGenoPolis

Scientific expertise
Expert in about twenty councils, committees and committees nationally and internationally.

Member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the French Academy of Agriculture, and the European Organization for Molecular Biology.

Scientific outputs
Author or co-author of nearly 400 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journalshas been nominated
highly quoted researcherin 2020 and 2021 in the international ranking compiled by “Clarivate, Web of Science Group(21); publications are among the 1% of articles most cited in this field of research, during a given year (ESI “highly cited papers”).

Academic awards and honors
2008 INRA Lauriers Excellence Award.

Winner of the Scientific Grand Prix Simone and Cino del Duca (Institut de France, 2014), with Joel Doré
Knight of the National Order of Merit
Knight of the Legion of Honor

Speaker in the 2013 movie “The Belly Our Brain Our Second”
Loudspeaker at the film ” microbiotaThe bewitching powers The stomach » 2019

Exploded model of a chromosome, showing the schematic organization of its structure

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