Short CV/Education and training

Positions and Employment

  • Since 2012 CR1-CNRS Research associate, MEPHI, IHU Méditerranée Infection

    2008-2012 CR2-CNRS Research Associate, URMITE UMR 6236, Marseille, France

    2007 – 2008
    Postdoctoral fellow, URMITE UMR 6236, Marseille, France

    2006 – 2007
    Postdoctoral fellow, Rohwer's Lab, San Diego State University, San Diego, USA.

    2004 – 2005
    Research associate (ATER), LMGEM UMR 6117, Marseille, France


  • Since 2007
    Lecturer in viral ecology and metagenomics, Faculté de Médecine de la Timone, France

    2006 – 2007
    Lecturer in Microbiology, San Diego State University, USA

    2004 – 2005
    Lecturer in Microbiology, Faculté de Luminy, France (ATER, 96 hours total)

    2001 – 2004
    Assistant lecturer in Biostatistics, Faculté de Luminy, France (Monitorat, 192 hours total)

D. PhD/postdoc supervision

  • 2018-Emily Chase (PhD, 50%, co-supervision with Dr. G. Blanc)

    2018-Elsa Gadouin (PhD, 50%, co-supervision with Dr. Y. Bettarel)

    2018-Harilanto Andrianjakarivony (PhD, 50%, co-supervision with Dr. Y. Bettarel)

    2017- Alexia Bordigoni (PhD)

    2015-2017 Raja Duraisamy (post-doc)

    2015-2017 Sébastien Halary (post-doc)

    2015-2018 Maxime Gaudin (PhD)

    2014-2017 Nicolas Rascovan (postdoc)

    2013-2016 Sarah Temmam (PhD)

    2010-2013 Laura Fancello (PhD, 90%, co-supervision with Pr. D. Raoult)

    2011-2013 Nikolay Popgeorgiev (postdoc)

    2009-2011 Mickaël Boyer (postdoc)

    Emmanuel Prestat (postdoc

Selected publications

  • Bettarel Y., Halary S., Auguet J.C., Mai C.T., Bui V.N., Bouvier T., Got P., Bouvier C., Monteil S., Desnues C. (2018) Corallivory and the microbial debacle in two branching scleratinians. ISME Journal 12 (4):1109-1126. doi: 10.1038/s41396-017-0033-5

  • Rascovan N., Huynh H., Chouin G., Adekola K., Georges-Zimmermann P., Signoli M., Desfosses Y., Aboudharam G., Drancourt M., Desnues C. (2016) Tracing back ancient oral microbiomes and oral pathogens using dental pulps from ancient teeth, NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes. 2 (6) doi:10.1038/s41522-016-0008-8

  • Rascovan N., Duraisamy R., Desnues C. (2016) Metagenomics and the Human Virome in Asymptomatic Individuals. Annu Rev Microbiol. 70:125-141. doi: 10.1146/annurev-micro-102215-095431.

  • Popgeorgiev N., Boyer M., Fancello L., Monteil S., Robert C., Rivet R., Nappez C., Azza S., Chiaroni J., Raoult D., and Desnues C. (2013) Marseillevirus-like virus recovered from blood donated by asymptomatic humans, Journal of Infectious Diseases 208 (7), 1042-1050

  • Fancello L., Trape S., Robert C., Boyer M., Popgeorgiev N., Raoult D., and Desnues C. (2013) Viruses in the desert: a metagenomic survey of viral communities in four perennial ponds of the Mauritanian Sahara, ISME journal 7: 359-369

  • Desnues C.*, La Scola B.*, Yutin N., Fournous G., Robert C., Azza S, Jardot P., Monteil S., Campocasso A., Koonin E., and Raoult D. (2012) Provirophages and transpovirons as the unique mobilome of giant viruses. PNAS, 109(44):18078-83. *contributed equally

  • Desnues C. and Raoult D. (2012) Virophages question the existence of satellites, Nature Rev. Microbiol. 10: 234

  • LaScola B.*, Desnues C.*, Pagnier I., Robert C., Barrassi L., Fournous G., Merchat M., Suzan-Monti M., Forterre P., Koonin E., and Raoult D. (2008) The virophage as a unique parasite of the giant Mimivirus. Nature, 455: 100-104 * contributed equally

  • Dinsdale E., Edwards R., Hall D., Angly F., Breitbart M, Brulc J., Furlan M., Desnues C., Haynes M., Li L., McDaniel L., Moran M., Nelson K., Nilsson C., Olson R., Paul J., Rodriguez Brito B., Ruan Y., Swan B., Stevens R., Valentine D., Vega Thurber R., Wegley L., White B., and Rohwer F. (2008) Functional Metagenomic Profiling of Nine Biomes. Nature, 452: 629-632

  • Desnues C., Rodriguez-Brito B., Rayhawk S., Kelley S., Tuong T., Haynes M., Liu H., Furlan M., Wegley L., Chau B., Ruan Y., Hall D., Angly F., Edwards RA., Vega Thurber R., R. Reid P., Siefert J., Souza V., Valentine DL., Swan BK, Breitbart M., and Rohwer F. (2008) Biodiversity and biogeography of phages in modern stromatolites and thrombolites. Nature, 452: 340-343

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Leader of the research group "Pathovirome", since 2011

  • HEARTVIR: RNA viruses and human inflammatory heart diseases: from viral metagenomics to animal model, ANR Young Investigator Grant, 2014 – 2017

  • PATHOVIROME: Viral metagenomics of human pathologies with unknown etiology, European Research Council project, Starting Grant, 2010 – 2013

  • CORINE: Ecology and genomics of coral viruses from the protected marine area of Hon Mun, Vietnam, EC2CO project, (IRD-CNRS)

  • Viral diversity in modern stromatolites

    - Viruses in an aquaculture farm

    - Viruses in the desert

    - Giant viruses and their virophages

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the cERCle (Club of ERC grantees from Aix-Marseille University) since 02/2017

  • Member of the ANR (French Research Agency) evaluation committee SVSE6, 2011

Media coverage

  • Biofutur Magazine: “In lab with: Christelle Desnues, écologue de l’humain” (03/2014), Portrait for the Biofutur magazine, first French and Francophone media in the field of life sciences.

  • Elle Magazine “Sciences”: “Trois femmes qui changent le monde” (12/2013), Interview "Elle magazine" on the researcher job (

  • Hangout in live with Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (03/2014), “Partager les clés du succès personnel et professionnel”. Hangout of 1h with the French Minister of women rights and 6 other women for the International Women Day (

  • Exposition : 1000 chercheurs parlent d’avenir, Panthéon PARIS (Oct. 2010) (

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • 3 children (5, 7 and 9 years)


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