Director of the Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology at the University of Bern
Joachim Frey studied chemistry and biochemistry at the Universities of Geneva (Switzerland) and Uppsala (Sweden). He earned his PhD at the University of Geneva 1980 on the origin of DNA replication. He worked as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute Berlin and University of Geneva on plasmid incompatibility and genetic engineering techniques. 1986 he was invited professor at UQAM Montréal, Canada. Since 1987 he leads the research activities at the Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Bern where he got nominated full professor and director if the institute in 2000. Frey’s research centres on host pathogen interactions of bacterial animal pathogens. He detected RTX toxins as primary virulence factors of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and was involved in the development of a successfully commercialized vaccine against porcine actinobacillosis. He unravelled the role of glycerol uptake and metabolism as a major virulence attribute of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides via production and translocation of H2O2 and oxygen radicals to host cells. In Aeromonas salmonicida causing furunculosis in salmon trout and char, he detected type III secretion as central virulence attribute. His research also includes molecular epidemiology of Bacillus anthracis and Francisella tularensis. He was chair of the International Organisation of Mycoplasmology, from 2010 - 2012, is member of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes and member of the Swiss Commission of Biological Safety.