Marie-Lise GOUGEON is Professor at the Institut Pasteur, Director of the Infection and Epidemiology Department (220 members, 12 research units), and Director of the Innate Immunity and Viruses Unit. Her research activity is aimed at deciphering the strategies developed by persistent viruses to escape the immune system. In particular she is interested in studying the influence of HIV and HPV on effectors of the innate immune system such as dendritic cells and NK cells. Her team recently discovered that HPV16 might cause an autoimmune disease, the erosive oral lichen planus, through cross-reactive T-cell recognition of immunodominant HPV epitopes and self antigens on keratinocytes, inducing their T-cell mediated destruction; Her team also showed that dendritic cells constitute a persistent reservoir for HIV that is maintained by an extracellular DAMP, HMGB1, which induces in infected DCs their resistance to NK killing, but also promotes HIV dissemination. She has published more than 170 publications in peer review journals.