Yvette is a research associate at the Department of Biochemistry, working at the interface between structural biology, biochemistry and biophysics. Her research focuses on bacterial membrane transporters, with a particular interest on protective machines involved in antimicrobial resistance.
After studying Biochemistry at the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon, where she completed a bachelor degree, she continued with a M. Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the formerly named Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC, Paris 6, now member of Sorbonne Universités), Paris, France during which she gained experience in Biophysics, while working as an intern at the Pasteur Institute on structural and functional investigations of a toxin from the whooping cough bacteria, Bordetella pertussis, as a vehicle candidate for vaccine against cervix cancer. This led to a patent and one co-author paper. She started with membrane transporters exploration and investigation of their involvement in antimicrobial resistance, as well as structural biology using X-ray crystallography when she joined the membrane transport and signaling group for her PhD, in the formerly named Laboratoire de Cristallographie et RMN Biologiques (LCRB, now CiTCOM) at the formerly named Université Paris Descartes (Paris 5, now member of Université de Paris). Her subsequent postdoc in the membrane protein studying group at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique (IBPC), Paris, France, then explored the role of membrane transporters from Gram-negative bacteria in haem acquisition during bacterial infections, using cryo-electron microscopy. Her current research in the Prof Luisi’s group focuses on the investigation of multidrug efflux pumps from Gram-negative bacteria belonging to the ABC (ATP-binding cassette) and resistance/nodulation/cell division (RND) families. Those nanomachines are macromolecular complexes spanning the bacterial cell wall and they are involved in antimicrobial resistance, as they allow the bacteria to tolerate a wide range of toxic compounds, including clinical antibiotics by expelling them out of the cell.
Her research is interdisciplinary and includes structural characterization, in vitro and in vivo functional characterization using a combination of biochemical, biophysical and microbiological techniques, with the ultimate goal of restoring old antibiotics efficiency and tackle antibiotic resistance.