Since 1975, "International Women's Year", March 8 is recognized as International Women's Day by the United Nations. On this occasion, discover the journey of five women of the Pasteur Network who have agreed to testify in the network's reports. Through them, it is a tribute to all the women of the Pasteur Network who, every day, and in the four regions of the network, contribute to the improvement of human health.
In the face of the crisis imposed by Covid-19, the United Nations has emphasized the inclusion of women in the fight against the pandemic but also in the reconstruction. Their mobilization against SARS-CoV-2 and other research work are outlined in the latest Pasteur Network report, 2019-2020, where several Pasteur women in the network testify.
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Honorary President of Pasteur Network, emphasizes, "The talent, professionalism and humanism of the women of Pasteur Network, who are often very discreet and insufficiently recognized."
In the Americas region
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)
Microbiologist, geneticist and biochemist, Teca Galvao is a researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz) in Brazil. Teca received a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge in 2001. She then carried out two postdoctoral experiences, first at the National Center for Biotechnology - CSIC in Spain and then at the Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics Laboratory at IOC. From 2008 to 2015, she continued her research at the National Reference Laboratory of Tuberculosis at the National School of Public Health (ENSP-Fiocruz). There, she started investigating how antibiotic resistance is determined by the genetic diversity in bacteria isolated from patients with tuberculosis and hospital infections. Since 2015, she has been working in the laboratory that welcomed her for her second postdoc, and has supervised the work of several students. In 2019, she was awarded a Calmette & Yersin program fellowship to start the Fiocruz-Pasteur collaboration on polymyxin resistance. In 2020, she applied to a call for projects from the Institut Pasteur (Paris) and obtained funding for an Inter-Pasteurian Concerted Action (ACIP). She coordinates this project, which also involves Institut Pasteur (Paris) and Institut Pasteur de Montevideo. During the pandemic Teca became involved in an IOC project that supported teachers and educators in the transition to online activities. Also, she is a member of IOC´s Committee for promoting healthy work relationships in the Institute.
In the Euro-Mediterranean region
Hellenic Pasteur Institute
Rebecca Matsas is a research director and head of the Department of Neurobiology at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute. She obtained her doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the University of Essex, UK. From 1980 to 1985, she was a postdoc at the University of Leeds. She became a researcher at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute in 1985 and became head of the Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory in 1989. In 1992, she was a visiting scientist at the Ophthalmology Department of the Tubingen University Medical School in Germany. From 2002 to 2005, she took the position of Director General of the Hellenic Pasteur Institute. In 2010, she was a visiting scholar at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, sponsored by the Fulbright Foundation. She took up her current position in 2013. Winner of numerous awards and fellowships, in 2015 Rebecca Matsas was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She has also been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Mérite Français. In 2021, she joined forces with Chiara Zurzolo to respond to a call for proposals leading to the creation of a Pasteur International joint research Unit (PIU) on Parkinson's disease.
Hellenic Pasteur Institute
Institut Pasteur (Paris)
Chiara Zurzolo is head of the Membrane Trafficking and Pathogenesis Unit and co-director of the Brain connectivity and neurodegenerative diseases research program at the Institut Pasteur (Paris). She received her PhD from the University of Naples Federico II. She then obtained a postdoctoral fellowship to spend four years at Cornell Medical School, New York. In 1995, she returned to Naples to establish her laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of her former university as a professor of cell biology. In 2003, she became director of research at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) where she studies the mechanisms of protein trafficking in health and diseases with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumors. In 2015, she was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and promoted Professor at Institut Pasteur. In 2019, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, sponsored by the Radcliffe Fellowship. Her international reputation leads her to speak all over the world. She takes advantage of this fame to teach and to organize international conferences and courses. In 2021, she joined forces with Rebecca Matsas to respond to a call for proposals leading to the creation of a Pasteur International joint research unit (PIU) on Parkinson's disease.
In the Africa region
Pasteur Center in Cameroon
Director of Research of exceptional rank, she holds a PhD and a habilitation to direct research in microbiology from the University of Paris VII. Sara Eyangoh also holds a diploma in applied research in tropical infectious diseases from the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie. She directed the Mycobacteriology Department of the Pasteur Center in Cameroon, National Reference Laboratory for Tuberculosis from 2003- 2020 and became Scientific Director of the structure in 2012. From 2012 to 2014, she was a member of the WHO Global Laboratory Initiative. She is particularly recognized for her actions against tuberculosis and Buruli ulcer. She coordinates the BU-LABNET laboratory network that brings together laboratories in Buruli ulcer endemic countries in the WHO Africa region. She is also a member of the Tropical Disease Research Scientific and Technical Committee (STAC TDR/WHO) and the WHO Regional Group for the Review of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Program. Involved in capacity building and training, she gives courses organized by the Institut Pasteur (Paris) and teaches at the University of Yaoundé I. In 2018, she was listed as one of 200 Francophone women leaders in health by Women in Global Health. In 2021, she received the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre Nationale du Mérite Français. The award recognizes her involvement in the fight against COVID-19 at the Pasteur Center in Cameroon.
In the Asia-Pacifique region
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge
Tineke Cantaert is a researcher at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge where she has been leading the Immunology unit since 2018. After a PhD in clinical immunology obtained in 2008, she received a grant from the Dutch Research Organization. Thanks to this, she was able to perform her postdoctoral studies at Yale University, USA from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, back in Belgium, she became an assistant professor at the University of Leuven. In 2015, she obtained funding to set up her 4-year Research Group or G4 within the Pasteur Network and moved to the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge to study flavivirus immunology. In 2017, she was awarded the Early Career Research Prize in Vaccinology R&D by the International Union of Immunological Societies. In the same year, she was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Research Fellowship associated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for 5 years. In 2021, she notably signs a paper in the journal Science for her work on dengue.