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The Foundation for Medical Research highlights Montpellier excellence

Information updated on 03/07/19

On May 13, fourteen Montpellier laureates of the Foundation for Medical Research were honored at an evening event organized in partnership with Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole. About 300 people attended the event at the Montpellier Comédie opera house.

Les lauréats montpelliérains de la Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale © Laura Soulages

“Medical research in Montpellier is of a very high level,” exclaims Gilles Roche, president of the Languedoc-Roussillon committee for the Foundation for Medical Research (FRM), a non-profit organization that uses public donations to fund 400 research projects per year.

An evening event was organized to honor FRM’s fourteen laureates from Montpellier, in partnership with Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole. About three hundred donors and supporters attended. The fields covered reflect the broad diversity of Montpellier’s excellence in medical research, including oncology, neuroscience, infectious and tropical diseases, hematology, auto-immune diseases and gastroenterology or rheumatology, regenerative medicine, genetics, epigenetics, and more.

The program included a graduation ceremony, musical interludes, and cocktails in a friendly setting.

Among the fourteen lucky candidates selected in 2018 by FRM’s independent scientific committee, four were awarded with the “FRM Team” label, each receiving between €300,000 and €400,000 over a three-year period for their research project. The reward delighted Eric Soler, Inserm research director, who works for the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Montpellier Molecular Genetics Institute.

“We are exploring a new world of tiny genetic regulating elements that control our genes and red blood cell development,” says Eric Soler. The FRM Scientific Committee’s choice gives us recognition that opens opportunities with excellent doctors. It also provided us with the funds to hire two engineers and a computer scientist. This is a great way to get started.”

Jose-Juan Lopez-Rubio, an Inserm researcher who leads a research laboratory at University of Montpellier, shares the same enthusiasm:

“With support provided by FRM, I can continue to develop my project, hire a post-doctoral researcher, and conduct laboratory experiments. Our goal is to better identify specific genetic aspects of the malaria parasite to effectively fight this infectious disease that kills 500,000 people every year.”

The Languedoc-Roussillon FRM Committee intends to hold this event again annually in Montpellier to support and promote the development of medical research. Central to the health ecosystem, this approach is supported actively by Montpellier Métropole, notably through the Montpellier France Health Hub initiative that it leads and manages, and through research promotion.

Caption: From left to right: Jackie Galabrun-Boulbes (1st Vice President of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole); Jose-Juan Lopez-Rubio (Inserm researcher and Montpellier laureate of the Foundation for Medical Research); Philippe Marin (CNRS researcher at the Functional Genomics Institute); Gilles Roche, president of the Languedoc-Roussillon Committee for the Foundation for Medical Research.
© Laura Soulages
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