Microorganism-Host-Environment Interactions (MHEI)

The IMHE program is unique in the region, offering students training through research in general and environmental microbiology, both fundamental and applied.

The IMHE master's degree aims to provide in-depth knowledge of microbial systems, covering the study of microorganisms as cells, populations and communities in their environment, as well as interactions with their hosts (humans, animals, plants) and vectors. The course covers interactions at the molecular, cellular and microbial community levels, as well as the effect of biotic and abiotic factors on these interactions. It explores the role of microorganisms in the functioning of natural and anthropized ecosystems. The practical and finalized aspects of microbiology are also covered, in particular the applications of microbial biomass and diversity in the fields of agriculture, the environment, health and biotechnology.

Combinations of teaching units (TU) enable us to offer two profiles, one focused on "Fundamental Research" (profile 1), the second on "Research & Development" (profile 2). The program offers students the opportunity to meet a wide range of career goals, with a high placement rate for students at PhD (40-50%), and job opportunities in companies or laboratories directly on completion of the program. Profile 2 students can earn a double diploma by taking additional TU courses offered by IAE Montpellier (subject to dossier selection). The program is open to apprentices.

The program is based on the region's strong research community in the field of microbiology, and draws on the close involvement of researchers, teacher-researchers and industrialists from this community in Montpellier and the wider Occitanie region.

The IMHE Master's degree is part of the range of training courses that follow on from the Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences, with a specialization in Microbiology, offered by the University of Montpellier (Faculty of Science). It is open to all students with a Bachelor's degree in Biology or Life Sciences, specializing in Microbiology. It is also part of a microbiology specialization program for students in medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, and for engineering students in biology and agronomy schools (such as Institut Agro).

Master IMHE keywords : microorganisms, microbiology, environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, microbiota, emergence, resistance, adaptation, symbiosis, parasitism, genomics, metagenomics, microbial valorization, bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, microalgae, eukaryotic microorganisms.

Detailed presentation of IMHE training

Objectives, organization, list of TU, partners, insertion..., it's here

IMHE Master's students produce original scientific results!

The work of IMHE students, in collaboration with students from the Bioinformatics master's program, supervised by their respective teaching supervisors and Jean-Christophe Avarre (ISEM-IRD researcher) as part of the BILLproject, resulted in the publication of an article in an international peer-reviewed journal: link to the article Klafack, S., Fiston-Lavier, A.-S., Bergmann, S.M., Hammoumi, S., Schröder, L., Fuchs, W., Lusiastuti, A., Lee, P.-Y., Heredia, S.V., Master student consortium, Gosselin-Grenet, A.-S., Avarre, J.-C. (2019). Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 Evolves in vitro through an Assemblage of Haplotypes that Alternatively become Dominant or Under-Represented. Viruses 11, 754.

Other IMHE student publication on The Conversation: link to the article Etudiants Master 1 IMHE (promo 2020), Gosselin-Grenet, A.-S., Avarre, J.-C. (2020). Species hopping: when an animal virus generates the emergence of a human disease. The Conversation, published November 4, 2020.

The latest IMHE student publication: link to the article Etudiants Master 2 IMHE (promo 2022), Teyssier C., Carré-Mlouka A. (2022). Learning through research at the University of Montpellier: Study of microbial biodiversity in the soil of the Lunaret nature reserve. Étude et Gestion des Sols. Vol. 29. Pages 185-197.

Students present their results at conferences (JFV, JOBIM, Montpellier Omics Days, MicrobiOccitanie 2019, Microbes 2022, JFV 2024) and regularly take part in science outreach activities (Fête de la Science 2020 and 2021; video creation).

Master 1 IMHE

Back-to-school meeting scheduled for Monday, September 2, 2024.

Promo M1 2020

The first year of the M1 program forms the basis of the training, with the acquisition of fundamentals in general microbiology and microbial ecology, and includes practical work and a field trip. The TU elective allows students to follow one of the two profiles, without this choice being definitive (it is possible to change profile each semester without affecting results).

The emphasis is on project-based teaching andpedagogical innovation. By pooling skills with the Faculty of Science's Bioinformatics master's program, and setting up the Bioinformatics Learning Lab (BILL), an innovative interdisciplinary learning laboratory, students are encouraged to take an active role in their training, managing a mini research project from A to Z (from field sampling to DNA extraction, sequencing and microbial sequence analysis, in M1) and valorizing their results (publication, conference presentation, in M2). More info on BILL and photos here.

TP BILL (2021 and 2022)

Training through research is also provided through a long internship in a laboratory or company (4 months), culminating in the writing of a thesis and an oral presentation before a panel of specialists.

Field trip to Perpignan (M1 2019)

Master 2 IMHE

The second year of the M2 program builds on the fundamental and applied knowledge and skills acquired in the first year. Students interact with a large number of researchers who come to present their research work, focusing on themes such as the molecular mechanisms of interactions between microorganisms and hosts (with a wide range of models), the role of microorganisms in ecosystems or their valorization.

M2 focuses on the acquisition of a scientific research approach. Students work on bibliographic resources (research, comprehension, criticism and bibliographic synthesis) and pedagogical communication methods, and complete a long internship (6 months) with a scientific report and oral presentation.

During the course, several TU are dedicated to professional integration, during which students work on their professional and personal projects.

IMHE students present their results at conference (M2 2019)

At the end of M2, students take the competitive entrance exams for doctoral schools, notablyDS GAIA, or can enter working life directly in public research laboratories or corporate R&D sectors; these choices are made possible by the choice of profile in M1/M2.

Teaching content M1 - Semester 1
COMMON TRACK for Profiles 1 and 2:
Profile 1 (Basic research)

+ Choice grouping 'specific profile'= 1 TU from :

  • Molecular basis of infectious diseases (HAV714V - 6 ECTS)
  • Symbiotic and parasitic interactions (HAB705B - 6 ECTS)

+ Choice of grouping = 1 TU from :

  • Phylogeny and evolution (HAB708B - 3 ECTS)
  • Elements of plant pathology (HAA713V - 3 ECTS)
Profile 2 (R&D)

+ TU 'specific profile' required

+ Choice of grouping = 1 TU from :

  • Elements of plant pathology (HAA713V - 3 ECTS)
  • Phylogeny and evolution (HAB708B - 3 ECTS)
Teaching content M1 - Semester 2

COMMON TRACK for Profiles 1 and 2:

Profile 1 (basic research)

1 TU 'specific profile':

Profile 2 (R&D)

Choice of 1 grouping TU

Course content M2 - Semester 1
COMMON TRACK for Profiles 1 and 2:
Profile 1 (Basic research)

+ Choice of grouping = 6 ECTS from :

Profile 2 (R&D)

+ Choice of grouping = 2 TU from :

Course content M2 - Semester 2
Profile 1 (Basic research)
Profile 2 (R&D)

Graduation 2023