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Jacques Samarut

photo JSBorn on 2nd September 1949, Jacques Samarut has been the president of the (new) École Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon since 1st January 2010.

He became Deputy Director of Research at the (former) ENS de Lyon in September 2005, its Provisional Administrator in August 2007 then its Director from May 2008 until 31st December 2009.

Since his arrival at the ENS de Lyon, Jacques Samarut has directed a research group working on embryo stem cells and signalling by nuclear hormone receptors. In 2002 he became a full professor-hospital practitioner at the Université Claude-Bernard and the Hospices Civils de Lyon hospital group.

Jacques Samarut gained his Docteur ès sciences degree at the Université Claude-Bernard (Lyon 1) after training as a cellular and molecular biologist. He prepared his doctorate by researching into the development of the blood system in chicken and mouse embryos. After a post-doctoral period at the Rockfeller University (New York), where he developed research into oncogenic retroviruses, Jacques Samarut joined the molecular biology of the cell laboratory of the ENS de Lyon, a CNRS-INRA-ENS Lyon mixed research unit, which he went on to direct for six years. He was director of the Life Science Department of the CNRS (national centre for scientific research), from 1997 to 1999.

In 2000, he founded Rhône-Alpes Génopôle genomics research centre, which he directed until 2005. In 2007, he founded the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon (the IGFL, institute of functional genomics) which he directed until 2009.

Jacques Samarut has been a member of numerous national and international evaluation committees and juries: the evaluation committee of the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (2005), scientific commissions of various charitable foundations (ARC and Ligue (associations combating cancer), FRM (medical research foundation)), the jury of the Griffuel prize of the ARC, the jury of the AGF prize of the Académie des Sciences (French academy of sciences). He was also a member of the CNRS national committee for four years.

With some 160 publications in international peer-reviewed journals to his name, Jacques Samarut writes for numerous scientific journals. He has been a member of the EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) since 1996.

Jacques Samarut has also been president of the scientific council of the INRA national agronomics research institute since 2003 and is still a practising professor of molecular biology at the medical faculty of the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1.

Recent prizes and distinctions:

  • Rosen Prize for oncology awarded by the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale medical research foundation (1990);
  • Silver Medal of the CNRS national research body (1997);
  • Chevalier dans l'ordre national du mérite (2004);
  • Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (2008).

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Last update April 19, 2012
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