Imperial College London

Dr Sophie Helaine

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Honorary Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 3976s.helaine




2.20Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus





Bacterial pathogens cause many diseases in humans and are frequently well controlled by treatment with antibiotics. However, antibiotics are increasingly becoming inefficient. In addition to the well-documented cases of antibiotic resistance, persistence, characterised by relapsing infections following antibiotic treatment, is a major problem. We investigate Salmonella persisters during infection. 

After completing my Ph.D. at Universite Paris 5- Necker, Paris, France, in 2006 with Dr Vladimir Pelicic, I joined the CMBI in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London as a Research Associate in the laboratory of Prof David Holden in 2007. I have been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship by Imperial College London in 2012 and started my own research group as a Senior Research Fellow to study the formation and biology of Salmonella persisters during infection of the host in 2013. I became a senior lecturer of the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology of Infection at Imperial College London and a Lister Research Prize fellow since 2017. I moved my lab to Harvard Medical School in the Department of Microbiology in summer 2019.



Michaux C, Ronneae S, Giorgio RT, et al., 2022, Antibiotic tolerance and persistence have distinct fitness trade-offs, Plos Pathogens, Vol:18, ISSN:1553-7366

Paulini S, Fabiani FD, Weiss AS, et al., 2022, The Biological Significance of Pyruvate Sensing and Uptake in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium, Microorganisms, Vol:10

Paulini S, Fabiani FD, Weiß AS, et al., 2022, Identification of two pyruvate transporters in<i>Salmonella enterica</i>serovar Typhimurium and their biological relevance

Ronneau S, Hill PWS, Helaine S, 2021, Antibiotic persistence and tolerance: not just one and the same, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Vol:64, ISSN:1369-5274, Pages:76-81

Grabe GJ, Giorgio RT, Hall AMJ, et al., 2021, Auxiliary interfaces support the evolution of specific toxin-antitoxin pairing, Nature Chemical Biology, Vol:17, ISSN:1552-4450, Pages:1296-1304

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