October 11, 2004
Inauguration of the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai - Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences is being inaugurated today in the presence of Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, Mr. Lu Yongxiang, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mr. Han Zheng, Mayor of Shanghai, Mr. Philippe Kourilsky, President of the Institut Pasteur, and the Year of France in China's Committee of Honour.
On 30 August 2004, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai Municipal Government, and the Institut Pasteur in Paris signed a cooperation agreement to create the "Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences", in the presence of Ms. Yan Jungqi, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Mr. Chen Zhu, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Mr. Philippe Kourilsky, President of the Institut Pasteur. This agreement followed the signing of a letter of intent on 28 January 2004 in Paris, in the presence of Chinese President Hu Jintao and French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, of the Institut Pasteur and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ mutual intention to create an Institut Pasteur in Shanghai.
The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai / Chinese Academy of Sciences is a non-profit Chinese national institution, totally independent in its operation and management, and supervised by a Board of directors.
The institution’s General Director is Prof. Vincent Deubel, and Prof. Zang Jingwu is the Co-director. It is located in a 3500 m2 building, made available by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, near Shanghai Medical University 2 and the Rui Jin hospital. At the end of three years, its staff should reach 160 people.
The missions allotted to this new Institute rely on the Institut Pasteur’s experience in the fields of biomedical research, public health, and education concerning infectious diseases, especially virology, immunology, epidemiology, and vaccinology. The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences will also be able to engage in exploring the active principles of Chinese traditional medicine, and in building biological resource centres. The emphasis will then be on responding to health and health safety needs expressed by the Chinese authorities.
Therefore, basic and applied research concerning infectious diseases must be developed, especially in the field of virology, with the fight against emerging viral diseases such as SARS and bird flu, as well as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, encephalitis, and haemorrhagic fevers, whose molecular aspects are to be studied along with their epidemiology and prevention. The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences will be responsible for providing answers to the major problems in public health that endemic and emerging diseases represent.
The research programme will be elaborated within the context of the strategic and scientific plan that the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the Chinese Academy of Sciences will jointly define.
A multi-disciplinary approach is being considered, with:
- research in virology centred on studying the structure of the viruses and the functions of their genes, and on the molecular mechanisms of virus-host interactions;
- an immunology component concerning the investigation of response to viral infection, with the goal of producing applications in the fields of vaccinology and immunotherapy;
- ecological activities integrating surveillance, diagnosis, and epidemiology in order to obtain basic elements with which to anticipate a virus’ emergence, and to halt its spread.
The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences will develop advanced research to respond to the most crucial public health problems, and should play a major international role in knowledge about the viruses and their role in zoonoses.
The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences enjoys extensive financing from the Chinese authorities, primarily the Chinese Academy of Sciences and from the Shanghai Municipal Government. On the French side, the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences is receiving substantial assistance from several private sponsors: The Year of France in China’s Committee of Honour, LVMH/MOET HENNESSY.LOUIS VUITTON and AREVA. In particular, these funds will enable the acquisition of a P3 high-security laboratory, high-tech scientific equipment, and financing for research and educational programmes. French authorities are also supporting the new Institute thanks to a contribution from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Eventually, the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences should provide part of its financing through the increased valuation of its research.
See also :
The Institut Pasteur is a private, non-profit foundation dedicated to biomedical research, public health, and education. Nearly 2,800 people work at its Paris campus, where a large part of the research focuses on infectious diseases. Throughout the world, 25 Instituts Pasteur are spread out across five continents, bringing together 8,500 people.
* Doctor of Sciences in Virology (Université Paris VII, Paris), Vincent Deubel came to the Institut Pasteur in 1977. He worked at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S., before directing the Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fevers Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris starting in 1993. He was named the Scientific Director of the "Jean Mérieux" P4 Laboratory in Lyon, and Scientific Director of the Mérieux-Pasteur Research Centre in Lyon from 2000 to 2003. He also supervised the Institut Pasteur’s Biology of Emerging Viral Infections Unit (BEVIU) (National Reference Centre and World Health Organisation Collaborative Centre for Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fevers ), located in Lyon, until 2004.
His research work has been devoted to the viruses responsible for emerging haemorrhagic fevers and encephalitis (yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, Lassa, Nipah, and Ebola): he is studying virulence and the interaction of viruses with their host cells and immune responses to viral infections. This research has been applied to epidemiology, diagnosis, and vaccine research on these viruses. At the same time, he teaches at the Institut Pasteur and the Université Paris VII (a course in virology, and international courses on dengue and flaviviruses).
** Receiving his medical degree in 1984 (Medical University No. 2 in Shanghai, China), then his Ph.D. in Immunology in 1990 (University of Brussels, Belgium), Prof. Zang worked in Belgium on multiple sclerosis in Diepenbeek until 1996, before joining the neurology and immunology departments at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas), where he currently works. Prof. Zang is also Professor at Medical University No. 2 of Shanghai, Director of the Health Science Center, an institute that is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
An immunologist and world-renowned specialist in multiple sclerosis, his research revolves around the role of T lymphocytes and interferon on MS and vaccination trials with the help of immunotherapy depending on T-cells.
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