Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology



+44 (0)20 7594 2746j.vaubourgeix Website




2.42Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus





Helene Botella, PhD, Marie Skłodowska Curie fellow.

HBMy scientific interest in tuberculosis burgeoned when I joined the laboratory of Dr. Olivier Neyrolles at the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology (Toulouse, France) as a master's student. After completing my PhD in his laboratory in December 2011, I moved to New York to work in the laboratory of Dr. Sabine Ehrt as a post-doctoral fellow and was promoted to an instructor in 2017. I have always been interested in the relationship between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its host, seeking to grasp how the bacillus escapes clearance by the host despite the defense mechanisms deployed by immune cells. In the laboratory of Dr. Julien Vaubourgeix, I aim to comprehend how M. tuberculosis survives exposure to a combination of stresses imposed by host immunity and chemotherapy. Outside the lab, I enjoy running, horse riding and—once upon a time—playing rugby. Contact:

Sarah SChrader, MD-PhD student.

SMSI graduated from Western Kentucky University--where I discovered my love for microbiology through my first research project, in which I isolated and characterized a novel bacteriophage--in May 2014 with B.S. degrees in Biology, Chemistry, and Mandarin Chinese. In July of that year, I moved to New York to join the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program. After completing my first two years of medical school as required by the MD-PhD curriculum, I began my thesis research in August 2016 when I joined Carl Nathan’s lab at Weill Cornell Medicine to work under the joint mentorship of Dr. Julien Vaubourgeix and Dr. Nathan. I am currently investigating molecular mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance in mycobacteria, a phenomenon whereby genetically drug-sensitive bacteria transiently survive exposure to an antibiotic. In 2016, I received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Defense to support my work, and in 2018 I was awarded an F-30 Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral Fellowship from the NIAID, NIH. Outside of lab, I delight in exploring the fascinating diversity of microbes by making whimsically anthropomorphic clay versions of them in all their various shapes and forms (and I sometimes try my hand at non-microbial subjects, too). Contact:

andrea majstorovic, PhD student.

AndreaMy research interests lie at the intersection of microbiology and biotechnology. In the laboratory of Dr. Julien Vaubourgeix, I aim to investigate the role of polyphosphate in the mycobacterial response to stress, including in the ability of mycobacteria to survive lethal concentrations of antibiotics. Before joining the Vaubourgeix lab in October 2019, I obtained a Master of Research (MRes) degree in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection from Imperial College London in 2019, a Master of Science degree (MSc) in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Rijeka in 2018, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology and Drug Research from the University of Rijeka in 2016. Further, I was an exchange student in South Korea at the Hankuk University of International Studies in 2017 and an intern at the University of Roehampton in 2018. My previous research projects were focused on host-pathogen interactions in Francisella novicida and Salmonella enterica (with Drs. Marina Santic and David Holden, respectively) and mechanisms of antibiotic persistence in Salmonella enterica (with Dr. Sophie Helaine). I was awarded a SIZIF research grant for my MSc project in 2017 and a postgraduate scholarship from Xellia Pharmaceuticals for my MRes degree in 2018. Outside of the laboratory, I continue to cultivate my skills as a musician: I have been a pianist since 2004 and a member of the Imperial College Chamber Choir since 2019. Along with practising yoga and aikido, I also enjoy learning Japanese. Contact: