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Skander Hathroubi

Skander Hathroubi

Senior research scientist/ R&D microbiology/ Ph.D in veterinary science and biofilm expert

Microbiology and pathogenesis
Antibiofilm treatments and preventions
Antimicrobial biomaterials development
Coatings and hydrogels development
39 years old
CRBS, 1 rue Eugène Boeckel67000 StrasbourgFrance
Senior research scientist specializing in R&D microbiology, with a Ph.D. in veterinary science and strong expertise in biofilms. Currently engaged at SPARTHA Medical, leading the microbiology laboratory and developing antimicrobial coatings and hydrogels for medical devices. Previously, held positions at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany) and the University of California, Santa Cruz (USA). My research encompasses a range of interdisciplinary projects, focusing on biofilm architecture, pathogenesis, and innovative treatments. Experienced educator and mentor, strongly contributing to the academic community through teaching, workshops, and publications.
  • Head of the microbiology laboratory. Multidisciplinary approach to develop new strategies to tackle the biofilm problem
  • Developing versatile, personalized antimicrobial and anti biofilm coatings for medical devices.
  • Project leader for an industrial co-development project
  • Engaged in:
    European project "ToxBox" (HORIZON-CL4-2023-RESILIENCE-01-101138387)
    Regional project "KISSMat"
  • Investigating Esherichia coli macrocolony biofilms and their architectures. Role of cellulose and Curli. Interdisciplinary project (Cluster Matters of Activity)
    Laboratory of Prof. Regine Hengge
  • Project leader: Bacterial cellulose from architectural and design perspectives
  • Textile fermentation_Biofilm and textile microbiome. Collaboration with the anthropology expert Dr. Laurence Douny
  • “La récolte des biofilms” exhibition at the Humboldt Labor at Humboldt Forum_2021 Active Curtain.« Humboldt Labor, Humboldt Forum Berlin. Since 29 April 2021.

    "DAOULA sheen". West African Wild Silk on Its Way. Exhibition at the Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin Germany and Ougadougou-Safané, Burkina Faso. 17 November 2022 - 31 December 2022.

    "Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms"
    An Installation for the Triennale XXIII: »Unknown Unknows, An Introduction to Mysteries« in the thematic exhibition »Alchemic Laboratory«, curated by Ingrid Paoletti, from July 15th to December 11th, 2022
  • Book contribution:
    1. B. Beyer and S. Hathroubi. La récolte des biofilms. In: MàJ : design, environnements techniques & pratiques exploratoires. Éditions Cité du design. École supérieure d’art et design Saint-Étienne (ESADSE)/Cité du design, France. 2021
    2. B. Beyer, S. Hathroubi and R Hengge Bacterial Loom. In: Architectures of Weaving From Fibers and Yarns to Scaffolds and Skins. Christiane Sauer / Mareike Stoll / Ebba Fransén Waldhör / Maxie Schneider (eds.) Jovis ISBN 978-3-86859-739-4
    3. L. Douny, S. Hathroubi, A. Dialo, A. Séré, S. Sawadogo and R. Hengge. West African “fermented” textiles. Submitted to Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles
  • Investigating Helicobacter pylori biofilm formation and its potential role in pathogenesis in the lab of Dr. Karen Ottemann. Transcriptomic and genetic approaches to identify genes associated with H. pylori biofilm growth. Mouse-models for H. pylori infections and imaging approaches (CSLM and SEM) to characterize the biofilm structure its components.
    Top publication:

    S. Hathroubi, S. Hu and K. M Ottemann. Genetic requirement and transcriptomics of Helicobacter pylori biofilm formation on abiotic and biotic surfaces. npj Biofilms Microbiomes 6, 56 (2020)

    S. Hathroubi, S. L. Servetas, I. Windham, D. S. Merrell, K. M Ottemann. Helicobacter pylori biofilm formation and its potential role in pathogenesis. Microbiol and Mol Biol Rev 82(2):e00001-18 (2018)

    S. Hathroubi, J. Zerebinski and K. M Ottemann. Helicobacter pylori biofilm involves a multigene stress-biased response, including a structural role for flagella. mBio 9(5):e01973-18 (2018)

    S. Tachiyama, K. L. Chan, X. Liu, S. Hathroubi, B. Peterson, M. F. Khan, K. M. Ottemann, J. Liu and A. Roujeinikova. The flagellar motor protein FliL forms a scaffold of circumferentially positioned rings required for stator activation. PNAS 119(4)e2118401119 (2022)

Teaching experiences

University of California Santa Cruz _UdeMontreal_HU Berlin_University of Strasbourg
Since May 2018
  • Lecture Biofilm and its role in pathogenesis Master degree graduates. University of Strasbourg, Dentistry medical School (Fall session 2022)
  • Teaching Molekulare Mikrobiologie (Modul BXY-36,5. Semester)
    Institut für Biologie, AG Mikrobiologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany- 2019-2020 and 2020-2021
    Seminar training, reading and lectures.
    Lectures: Bacterial biofilm and Bacterial pathogenicity
  • Guest lecture microbiology and pathogenesis for undergraduates and graduates: Biofilm, the social life of microorganisms. University of California, Santa Cruz (Winter-Spring session 2018 and 2019)
  • Microbiology and pathogenesis METX 119-02 online, summer session online classes: Biofilm, the social life of microorganisms. Univeristy of California, Santa Cruz (Summer 2018)
  • Teaching course microbial pathogenesis 2 for Master’s degree, veterinary science: Surface polysaccharides and envelope (Part_1. Microbial envelope and Part_2. Surface polysaccharides). Université de Montréal (Fall session 2015)
  • Laboratory demonstrator for Master’s degree, veterinary science students: Basic practical microbiology. Université de Montréal. (2012- 2015)

Mentorship experiences

At differents locations
Since 2017
  • Since 2022: Supervised two master student, one Bachelor student and co-supervising a Ph.D student at Strasbourg University
  • Supervising Nicole Rackov for Bachelor thesis (Humboldt-universität zu Berlin) - December 2020 - June 2021
  • Co-Supervising Nils Jensen, Master thesis (MPIKG and Humboldt-universität zu Berlin) - December 2020 - July 2021
  • Supervising undergrad student Yasmine E. (University of California, Santa Cruz) - August 2018 - July 2019
  • Supervising Ph.D student Aaron C. (University of California, Santa Cruz) - October 2017 - July 2019
  • Supervising undergrad student Julia Z. (University of California, Santa Cruz) - October 2017-September 2018
  • Supervising summer student Tyler Dewitt (University of California, Santa Cruz) - June-July 2017
  • Supervising student internship Sarah-Eve Fontaine-Gosselin (University of Montreal) Bachelor of Life Science, Sherbrooke University) - January-May 2014

Oral communications

Since 2010
  • Invited speaker at Annual conference of the Inserm Unit 1121 November 2022

    Invited speaker at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, USA May 2022

    Invited speaker at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden May 2022

    Invited talk at Biofilm10 international conference, Leipzig, Germany May 2022

    #Invited speaker for ‘Textile: The Past and the Future of fashion’, workshop Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin_ the concept of Fermented textile 5 May 2022

    Invited Speaker workshop ‘Shelf life, Ferment-Activity’, Berlin; Germany. 10 December 2020

    Invited Speaker workshop ‘Material as Environmental Device’, Berlin; Germany. 10-11 September 2020

    Invited speaker to 5th Workshop on bacterial and fungal biofilms, Ghent University conference Center. May 2019. Unraveling the mystery of Helicobacter pylori biofilm.

    Invited speaker to INRS-INSTITUT ARMAND-FRAPPIER October 2018. Helicobacter pylori biofilm and the unexpected role of flagella.

    Invited speaker to 2nd Technology Seminar-SandBox (UCSC_Startup incubator) September 2018. Targeting the Helicobacter pylori impenetrable biofilm.

    PBSE Research Conference 2018, Felton, California, USA. Unexpected role played by flagella during biofilm formation.

    UC Biosafety officer meeting 2018, Santa Cruz, USA. New Insights into Helicobacter pylori biofilm.

    WCBP Annual conference, 2017, Asilomar, California, USA. Novel genes associated with Helicobacter pylori biofilm growth.

    CRIPA symposium, 2016, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae biofilms mitigate innate immune response.

    ASM Biofilm, 2015, Chicago, USA. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae biofilms induce lower response of porcine alveolar macrophages.

    CRIPA symposium, 2015, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada. Effect of sub-inhibitory concentrations of penicillin G on Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae biofilm formation.

    Phd in 180sec (3MTMC) 2014, Science on stage, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, St-Hyacinthe, Québec Canada. Best presentation 3rd prize. Rôle du biofilm dans la pathogénicité d’Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.

    Congrès BiSP 2013, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. Rôle des polysaccharides de surface dans la formation du biofilm chez Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.

  • Site-directed mutagenesis (allelic exchange)
    Immunodetection of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS)
    EPS extraction (eDNA...), Immunodot tests
  • Biofilms culture in static and dynamic conditions: Drip flow reactor, BioFlux, MBEC assay, flowCell
  • Enzymatic treatments on biofilms
  • Macrophages in vivo Infection, PBMC isolation
  • Lipid A extractions and structure analysis
  • Microscopies
  • Antibiotic susceptibility tests and serotyping assay of P. aeruginosa clincal strains
  • Static biofilm formation and enzymatic treatments
    Curcumin and berberine chloride test on biofilm
  • Biofilm genes identification
  • Swarming et twitching motility
  • E. coli chromosomal toxin antitoxin systems identification by PCR
    Phylogenetic analyses

2014 to 2016
Canada - Québec
  • Assist students and teachers in location of print and non-print resouces
  • Check books and materials in and out to students and teachers using the computerized circulation system
  • Monitor student use of the library
  • Assist in maintaining the appearance of the library


Université de Montréal
Since September 2012
Canada - Québec
  • Monitoring students during the writing of tests/exams


Microscopic identification, biochemical testing of bacteria
Antibiotic susceptibility tests and serotyping assay
Biofilms culture in static and dynamic conditions
Enzymatic and chemicals treatments on biofilms
Swarming et twitching motility tests

Cell biology

Cell culture, macrophages culture
Cytokines detections (PCR and ELISA)
PBMC isolation and proliferation
Gastric gland isolation and imaging


Biofilm staining and EPS detection
3D analysis (biomass, volume and thickness)
SEM microscopy of biofilm and flagella detection

Molecular biology

DNA and RNA extraction, PCR and RT-PCR Site-directed mutagenesis, RNA-seq (Transcriptomic) EPS extraction (eDNA...), LPS extractions, Lipid A micro-extractions Immunodetection of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS)

Animal experiment

Mice infection and treatments Gastric gland isolation
May 2011 to September 2016

Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal

PhD in Veterinary Science, Microbiology and Infectious Disease

Study of micro-organisms in their natural environment. Development of techniques for culturing bacteria form biofilms. Effect of antibiotics on biofilm. Immune response towards biofilms. Phenotypic changes in biofilms cells.
GPA 3.85/4.3


1_Bacterial biofilm derived-antigens: a new strategy for vaccine development against infectious diseases. A. Loera-Muro, A. Guerrero-Barrera, Y. D. N Tremblay, S. Hathroubi and C. Angulo. 2021. Expert Rev of Vaccines

2_ Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae: Role of biofilm in pathogenicity and potential impact for vaccination development. S. Hathroubi, A. Loera, J.T. Bossé, P.R. Langford and M. Jacques. 2017. Animal Health Research Review. (Published,7:1-14)

3_ Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae biofilms induce lower response of porcine alveolar macrophages. S. Hathroubi, C. Provost, C. A. Gagnon and M. Jacques. Innate immunity

4_ Biofilms: Bacterial shelters against antibiotics. S. Hathroubi, M.A Mekni, P. Domenico, D. Nguyen and M. Jacques. Microbial Drug Resistance

5_ Surface polysaccharide mutants reveal that absence of O antigen reduces biofilm formation of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. S. Hathroubi, M.A. Hancock, J.T. Bossé, P.R. Langford, Y.D.N Tremblay, J. Labrie and M. Jacques. 2015. Infection and Immunity

6_ Sub-inhibitory concentrations of penicillin G induce biofilm formation by field isolates of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. S. Hathroubi, S-È. Fontaine-Gosselin, Y.D.N. Tremblay, J. Labrie and M. Jacques. 2015. Vet Microbiology (

7_ Les biofilms bactériens : leur importance en santé animale et en santé publique. Y.D.N. Tremblay, S. Hathroubi and M. Jacques. 2014. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research (
Research Workshop Viral biofilms
Study of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae pathogen pork biofilm
Mutagenesis and characterization of biofilm mutant

Communication during PhD program
The "viral biofilms" Out Of Context Seminar
Research Workshop pharmacokinetic / pharmacodynamic
September 2012 to November 2012

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Certificate '' Bacteria biofilms in chronic infections''

Distinguish biofilms from planktonic bacteria both in nature and in medical related situations. Examine health care problems caused by infections involving bacterial biofilms. Design and develop biofilm models. Strategies for future research.
Since September 2011

Université de Montréal

Training/Certification program for animal experimentation

The Ethics of animal experimentation gives me the right to experiment on animals ifor laboratory research
September 2008 to June 2010

Université Pierre Et Marie Curie, Paris 6, France

Master Applied Microbiology, Environment and Health

A good understanding of microbiology ; bacteriology, virology, parasitology, environmental quality and health.
Training the Oceanological Observatory Banyuls-sur-mer
Biodiversity and biotechnology to microorganisms
September 2005 to June 2008

Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6 France

Bachelor of Life Sciences

Scientific knowledge of biology and the general organisation of the animal and vegetable kingdoms as well as the functioning of organisms, from the molecular level to integrated biological systems.


  • Photography; photo treatment Photoshop, ACDSee
  • Adobe InDesign

Foreign trips

  • 18 countries visited
  • Road trips cross-country (Canada, USA)


  • Ethereum (ETH) mining
  • Trading crypto

Exhibition at the Tieranatomisches Theater (Germany) and Ougadougou-Safané (Burkina Faso).

DAOULA | sheen. West African Wild Silk on Its Way. Exhibition. Tieranatomisches Theater, Ougadougou and Safané, Burkina Faso. 17 November 2022 - 31 December 2022.
Creation date
17 Nov 2022

XXIII Triennale International Exhibition_Unknown Unknowns: An Introduction to Mysteries

Creation date
08 Aug 2022

The Past and Future of Fashion 2022 at Wissenschaftskolleg

The concept of Textile fermentation and the role of bacteria in dyeing process. Photo credit goes to Laurence Douny
Creation date
05 May 2022

La récolte des biofilms_Book participation

B. Beyer and S. Hathroubi. La récolte des biofilms. In: MàJ : design, environnements techniques & pratiques exploratoires. Éditions Cité du design. École supérieure d’art et design Saint-Étienne (ESADSE)/Cité du design, France. 2021

“Active Curtain”_Exhibition “After Nature” at Humboldt Labor at Humboldt Forum_2021

Creation date
01 Sep 2021
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