Olivier Jousson
Olivier Jousson
affiliation: Università di Trento
research area(s): Genetics And Genomics, Immunity And Infection
Course: Biomolecular Sciences
University/Istitution: Università di Trento
Academic position:
Oct. 2001 – Dec. 2003: Research Associate (First University Assistant), Dermatology Service, University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV), Switzerland. Swiss National Science Foundation project
• Jan. 2004 – Dec. 2006: Contract Professor, Department of Animal Pathology, University of Pisa, Italy. Program “Rientro dei Cervelli” from the Italian Ministry of Instruction, University and Research (MIUR)
• Jan. 2007 – Aug. 2007: Visiting Professor, Faculty of Science, University of Trento, Italy.
• Sep. 2007 – present: Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, University of Trento, Italy.

• 1995: University Degree in Biology,University of Geneva, Switzerland
• 1997: Master Degree in Biology, ERASMUS program. University of Geneva, Switzerland, and University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France.
• 2001: PhD in Biology, thesis “in cotutelle” supported by the Rector’s Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS). University of Geneva, Switzerland, and University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France.

• Administration and management
- Director of BSc program in Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, University of Trento, Italy;
- Thesis supervision of graduate, undergraduate and PhD students, member of evaluating committees;
- Scientific Reviewer for: Veterinary Microbiology; Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology; International Journal for Parasitology; Molecular Ecology, BMC Genomics;
- Society memberships: American Society for Parasitologists; Society for General Microbiology; Swiss Society for Microbiology; Italian Society for General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology.
Our group is interested on the application of comparative and functional genomics to the study of bacterial pathogenicity. The acquisition by horizontal gene transfer of a number of accessory elements has been demonstrated to play a major role in bacterial genome plasticity. These elements are important “carriers” of genetic information and confer to recipient bacteria new functionalities involved in pathogenicity, virulence, and drug resistance. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis requires both the identification of the functions of individual genes as well as knowledge of how genes interact to form complex traits such as virulence.
Together with an increased understanding of how gene content, acquisition, and expression contribute to pathogenicity, genomic research should lead to the identification of candidate drug targets against infectious diseases.

Research directions
Our main bacterial model is the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is a frequent cause of nosocomial pneumonia, septicemia, urinary tract infections and chronic lung infections. This versatile and ubiquitous bacterium produces an arsenal of virulence factors and displays a remarkable range of virulence, from weakly virulent isolates to highly virulent broad spectrum strains.
Specific projects are:

* Identification of genes and genetic elements involved in bacterial virulence. We are studying interstrain differences in genome structure and gene expression. Whole-genome comparative experiments help to identify genes or genetic elements related to the gain of peculiar functions in highly virulent strains. By using DNA microarrays, subtractive hybridization and signature-tagged mutagenesis, a collection of wild-type and mutant strains of P. aeruginosa are screened for the identification of candidate genes encoding new virulence factors. The slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are used as models for examining the virulence phenotype.
* Transcriptional regulation of the type III secretion system. The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a complex syringe-like apparatus that mediates the delivery of bacterial proteins into eukaryotic host cells. A complex set of signalling pathways modulates T3SS expression in response to extracellular and intracellular cues. By using high-throughput gene expression profiling, gene perturbation experiments, and computational models, we are studying the molecular mechanisms linking metabolic stresses to T3SS expression. The association between T3SS regulation and the establishment of chronic P. aeruginosa infections is also investigated.
* Contribution of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to bacterial virulence and fitness. By using a combination of experimental and computational approaches, we are studying interstrain transfer of accessory genetic elements (pathogenicity islands). The aim is to better understand the role of HGT in the adaptive response of bacteria to various environmental conditions and extracellular stimuli.
* Molecular typing system of bacterial pathogens. Infection by nosocomial pathogenic bacteria is increasingly becoming a major threat to patients and public health. We are working on the development of a DNA microarray dedicated to the identification and monitoring of nosocomial pathogens. The microarray will consent to accurately identify the species and strains responsible for nosocomial infections and to establish their antibiotic resistance profile. It will assist hospital personnel in the prevention and control of nosocomial infections.
1. Sriranganadane D, Reichard U, Salamin K, Fratti M, Neuhaus JM, Jousson O, Waridel P, Quadroni M, Monod M. 2011. Secreted glutamic protease rescues aspartic protease Pep deficiency in Aspergillus fumigatus during growth in acidic protein medium. Microbiol-SGM, in press.

2. Bernabò P, Rebecchi L, Jousson O, Martínez-Guitarte JL, Lencioni V. 2010. Thermotolerance and hsp70 heat shock response in the cold-stenothermal chironomid Pseudodiamesa branickii (NE Italy). Cell Stress Chaperones, in press.

3. Iannelli M, Fumanelli L, Janjua HA, Jousson O. 2011. Mathematical modeling of bacterial virulence and hostpathogen interactions in the Dictyostelium/Pseudomonas system. J Theor Biol 270: 19-24.

4. Symoens F, Jousson O, Planard C, Fratti M, Staib P, Mignon B, Monod M. 2011. Molecular analysis and mating behaviour of the Trichophyton mentagrophytes species complex. Int J Med Microbiol 301: 260-266.
5. Salamin K, Sriranganadane D, Léchenne B, Jousson O, Monod M. 2010. Secretion of an endogenous subtilisin by Pichia pastoris strains GS115 and KM71. Appl Environ Microb 76: 4269-4276.

6. Bernabò P, Jousson O, Latella L, Martinez-Guitarte JL, Rebecchi L, Lencioni V. 2009. Comparative analysis of Heat shock proteins and thermoresistance in stenothermal insects from caves and cold streams (NE, Italy). Comp Biochem Physiol A-Mol Integr Physiol 154: S4.

7. Reichard U, Jousson O, Monod M. 2008. Novel secreted proteases of Aspergillus fumigatus. Mycoses 51: 395-396.

8. Reichard U, Jousson O, Monod M. 2008. Secreted proteases of the mold fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Mycoses 51 S3: 30-32.

9. Zaugg C, Jousson O, Léchenne B, Staib P, Monod M. 2008. Trichophyton rubrum secreted and membraneassociated carboxypeptidases. Int J Med Microbiol 298: 669-682.

10. Intorre L, Vanni M, Di Bello D, Pretti C, Meucci V, Tognetti R, Soldani G, Cardini G, Jousson O. 2007. Antimicrobial susceptibility and mechanism of resistance to fluoroquinolones in Staphylococcus intermedius and Staphylococcus schleiferi. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 30: 464-469.

11. Jousson O, Di Bello D, Vanni M, Cardini G, Soldani G, Pretti C, Intorre L. 2007. Genotypic versus phenotypic identification of staphylococcal species of canine origin with special reference to Staphylococcus schleiferi subsp. coagulans. Vet Microbiol 123: 238-244.

12. Jousson O, Di Bello D, Donadio E, Felicioli A, Pretti C. 2007. Differential expression of cysteine proteases in developmental stages of the parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. FEMS Microbiol Lett 269: 77-84.

13. Reichard U, Léchenne B, Asif AR, Streit F, Grouzmann E, Jousson O, Monod M. 2006. Sedolisins, a new class of secreted proteases from Aspergillus fumigatus with endoprotease or tripeptidyl-peptidase activity at acidic pHs. Appl Environ Microb 72: 1739-1748.

No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.