Professor Pierre CHAMBON
Pierre Chambon is Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS), Honorary Professor at the Collège de France, Paris, and Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Strasbourg . He is the founder and former Director of the Institute for Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology, IGBMC, and the founder and former Director of the Institut Clinique de la Souris, ICS/MCI, in Strasbourg, France.
Pierre Chambon was the founder of the Institute for Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology in Strasbourg, France. He was one of the leading molecular biologists who utilized gene cloning and sequencing technology to first decipher the structure of eukaryotic genes and their modes of regulation. His major contributions to science include the identification of RNA polymerase II(B), the identification of transcriptional control elements, the cloning and dissection of nuclear hormone receptors, revealing their structure and showing how they contribute to human physiology.
Chambon was elected a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and to the French Academie des Sciences in 1985, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1987. He was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University in 1999. In 2003 he was awarded the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. He received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2004 for his work in the field. In 2010, Chambon was awarded the Gairdner Foundation International Award « for the elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of transcription in animal cells and to the discovery of the nuclear receptor superfamily.
Professor Philippe KOURILSKY
Philippe Kourilsky joined the Pasteur Institute in 1972, and spent most of his career as a member of CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) before being elected in 1998 to the College de France where he holds the chair of Molecular Immunology. He has been an adviser for biotechnologies at the French Ministry of Research and has participated in the administration of various research institutions. In 1981, he was the co-founder of Transgène, a biotech company. Since 1993 to 1996, he was the Director of research of Pasteur Mérieux Connaught (now Sanofi Pasteur) – a leading vaccine company. In 2000-2005, he was appointed Director General of the Pasteur Institute and chaired the International network of Pasteur Institutes. He graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris in 1964 and obtained his PhD in 1970 from the University of Paris. He had a rapid scientific career both in academic and corporate settings. He was first involved in the analysis of lysogenisation by bacteriophage lambda.
Then his pioneering work in genetic engineering led to the first cloning and expression of an eukaryotic gene, the cloning and characterization of structure and regulation of mouse class I MHC-genes and others. In immunology, he developed new concepts involving the presentation of self-peptides on MHC molecules, the mechanisms underlying alloreactivity and self-tolerance, the detailed analysis of T-cell repertoires, and the cellular response and granuloma formation in mycobacterial infections. His work provided both a basic contribution to the understanding of immunity to tumours (e.g. the involvement of self-peptides in tumor immunity and the analysis of T cell receptor heterogeneity in tumour-infiltrating T cells) and translational applications (e.g. the use of transfected tumour cells in cancer vaccines).
Prof Philippe Kourilsky is the author of some 350 publications in international scientific journals. He has also written several books dealing with science and the public, with the precautionary principle, and research issues related to infectious diseases worldwide. Besides being Professor and Chair of Molecular Immunology at College de France since 1998, Prof. Philippe Kourilsky is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, EMBO and Academia Europea. He has been sitting since 2006 to 2008 in the High Council of Science and Technology which advises the President and the Prime Minister of the French Republic.
He has been sitting for many years on the Board of Directors of several major public and private institutions including Ecole Polytechnique and Veolia Environment. He has been the recipient of a number of honours and awards. He is “Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur” and “Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite”. Dr Kourilsky has also been a member of the Singapore Biomedical Sciences International Advisory Council (BMS/ IAC) in 2000-2006. In addition, since Jan 2006 he has taken on the position as the Chairman of the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN). As such, he is promoting the development of a large human immunology platform in Biopolis (Singapore).
Professor Daniel METZGER
Professor Daniel Metzger had been leading the Department of Physiological Genetics and Nuclear, Signaling for the past 10 years at the Institute for Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology (IGBMC, Strasbourg, France). During his PhD training, Daniel Metzger revealed a striking conservation of the molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional activation across eukaryotes. He was recruited in 1995 at the CNRS, and established CreERT2, an efficient system to perform spatio-temporally controlled targeted somatic mutagenesis in the mouse, which is now used worldwide.
Daniel then applied this mouse mutagenesis system to investigate the role of nuclear receptors in vivo. These studies brought major insights on the functions of nuclear receptors, notably in intermediary metabolism and skeletal muscle. He currently leads a research group on functions of nuclear receptors in homeostasis and diseases. He graduated from French Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie (ESBS ) in 1985. He is the 2007 Jules Martin Prize Winner, Sciences Academy.