Professor Félix Rey, winner of the 2015 Pasteur-Weizmann / Servier Award, for his work in the field of emerging pathogenic viruses


Today, Professor Félix Rey, director of the Structural Virology Unit at Institut Pasteur (Paris) was awarded the 2015 Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Prize for his work in the field of emerging pathogenic viruses. 

Professor Rey has been working on the virus responsible for such severe world epidemics as dengue fever, chikungunya fever, hepatitis C, respiratory syncytial virus and rotaviruses for more than 25 years. The research conducted by Professor Félix Rey and his team is devoted to the study of the structure of pathogenic viruses and understanding the mechanisms that enable them to penetrate cells. This preliminary work is essential for developing antiviral agents and vaccines.

The 2015 Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Prize is awarded for remarkable progress made in research that makes it possible to improve the treatment and/or prevention of any of the numerous emerging diseases that threaten our planet.

Professor Rey, originally from Argentina, follows in the footsteps of other internationally known scientific winners of the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Award such as amyloidosis specialist Professor Merril Benson in 2003, Professors Lucienne Chatenoud and George Eisenbarth in 2006, for their work in self-immunity and type 1 diabetes, memory neuropsychologist Professor Endel Tulving in 2009, and Professor Caroline Dive in 2012, for her pioneering work in circulating biomarkers.

For Professor Félix Rey, “Thanks to the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Award, we will be able to conduct new structural studies. Our work will particularly concern viruses such as cytomegalovirus and herpes viruses, which deplete the immune system and are responsible for increasingly frequent infections due to the ageing of the population. There is still much to do to elucidate all the mechanisms used by these viruses to penetrate the nerve cells”.

The Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Prize, awarded every three years, is one of the most important international research awards. Created by the Pasteur-Weizmann Council and the Institut Servier, the prize, worth 150,000 €, is awarded to an internationally recognised researcher, physician or scientist, and/or their team, for a major contribution to a biomedical discovery leading to a therapeutic application.  Its aim is to promote and encourage basic research, particularly the transition from basic research to medical therapy.

The Pasteur-Weizmann Council

Its aim is to develop scientific collaboration between Institut Pasteur and Institut Weizmann des Sciences in the field of biomedical research: organisation of symposia, joint Ph.D. programmes, scientific exchanges between the two institutes, financing of collaborative research programmes, allocation of grants to young researchers and post-doctoral fellowships.

Institut Servier

Its vocation is to develop different types of research and scientific knowledge to further medical progress through the organisation of top level symposia and the allocation of grants so that post-doctoral and medical students and researchers can obtain diplomas outside their country of origin, through partnerships with health-related organisations throughout the world and the sponsorship of training organisations in the emerging countries. These various projects are not connected in any way with the promotion of Servier products.

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