A delegation from the French Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (OPECST), led by its first Vice-President Cédric Villani, visited the Institut Pasteur in Paris on March 8.
This delegation, made up of French MPs Christophe Bouillon, Jean-Luc Fugit and Cédric Villani, and senators from the French upper house Roland Le Gleut, Pierre Médevielle and Angèle Préville, met with Stewart Cole, President, and François Romaneix, Senior Executive Vice-President of the Institut Pasteur.
The Institut Pasteur is a foundation officially recognized for charitable status that focuses on research in biology, microorganisms, diseases and vaccines, and was set up in 1887 thanks to an international public appeal. For 130 years, the Institut Pasteur has been at the cutting edge of research to improve health worldwide. In 1983, this Paris-based international research organization was the first to isolate HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Over the years, it has been behind revolutionary discoveries that have enabled medicine to tackle many virulent diseases. Since 1908, 10 Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
After a presentation on the overall organization of the Institut Pasteur, and then scientific talks on the various areas in which it is involved (like big data analysis in biology, Inception project, identification and tracking of emerging pathogenic bacteria, etc), the delegation visited two high-tech laboratories (the Synthetic Biology five-year group and the Zebrafish Neurogenetics Unit).