Professor Félix Rey, winner of the 2015 Pasteur-Weizmann / Servier Award, for his work in the field of emerging pathogenic viruses
Professor Rey has been working on the virus responsible for such severe world epidemics as dengue fever, chikungunya fever, hepatitis C, respiratory syncytial virus and rotaviruses for more than 25 years. The research conducted by Professor Félix Rey and his team is devoted to the study of the structure of pathogenic viruses and understanding the mechanisms that enable them to penetrate cells. This preliminary work is essential for developing antiviral agents and vaccines.
The 2015 Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Prize is awarded for remarkable progress made in research that makes it possible to improve the treatment and/or prevention of any of the numerous emerging diseases that threaten our planet.
Professor Rey, originally from Argentina, follows in the footsteps of other internationally known scientific winners of the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Award such as amyloidosis specialist Professor Merril Benson in 2003, Professors Lucienne Chatenoud and George Eisenbarth in 2006, for their work in self-immunity and type 1 diabetes, memory neuropsychologist Professor Endel Tulving in 2009, and Professor Caroline Dive in 2012, for her pioneering work in circulating biomarkers.
For Professor Félix Rey, “Thanks to the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Award, we will be able to conduct new structural studies. Our work will particularly concern viruses such as cytomegalovirus and herpes viruses, which deplete the immune system and are responsible for increasingly frequent infections due to the ageing of the population. There is still much to do to elucidate all the mechanisms used by these viruses to penetrate the nerve cells”.
Interview with Professor Félix Rey
The Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize
The 150 000 euro Prize is awarded every three years for scientific and medical research in areas of particular interest for the Pasteur/Weizmann and Servier Institutes. It honors an internationally recognized researcher, physician or scientist and their team for their major contribution to a discovery.
It was the wish of the Scientific Committee members to award the fifth edition of the Prize to researchers working in the field of virology. The specific topic suggested by the Prize Jury was: “Emerging viral pathogens: structural and molecular bases of virulence and mechanisms of associated pathologies”. In choosing this theme, we wished to draw attention to the battle being waged by the scientific and medical communities against the threat posed to human and animal health worldwide by these viral pathogens.