Discover the Winners of This Year’s Sanofi - Institut Pasteur Awards



What does a malaria-causing parasite - Plasmodium - need from humans to survive? And how can we use that knowledge to keep it from bringing about this deadly disease? Those are some of the key objectives that Dr. Maria Manuel Dias Da Mota and her team have been working on.

Dr. Claude-Agnès Reynaud and Dr. Jean-Claude Weill, a research duo of 37 years, have focused their efforts on understanding what immunological memory means. How does the immune system remember an infection or a vaccination?

So what do these projects have in common? They were both awarded with this year’s Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards and all three researchers were recognized for their outstanding work in the field of microbiology & infection and immunology.

Maria Mota

Our aim is to not allow the parasite to get what it needs so that it won’t be able to multiply and cause disease,” said Mota, Executive Director and Group Leader at the Portuguese Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) in Lisbon and Laureate of the Sanofi – Institut Pasteur International Mid-Career Award in microbiology & infection. “We believe that we are creating knowledge that can be used later on to develop new strategies to combat the disease."

video Maria Mota

Learn more about Maria Mota

Reynaud Weill

Winning the Sanofi - Institut Pasteur International Senior Award means that our scientific contribution is recognized by our peers. This gives us increased visibility, allowing us to pursue our current projects and develop new ones,” Claude-Agnès Reynaud, Director of Research at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), and Jean-Claude Weill, Professor Emeritus of Immunology, who co-lead a team “Development of the Immune System” at the Institut Necker-Enfants Malades, explained. “There are two potential impacts of our project on people’s health: a better understanding of vaccine responses, and a better evaluation of cell dysfunction in autoimmune diseases, allowing for targeted therapeutic interventions.”

video Reynaud Weill

Learn more about Claude-Agnès Reynaud and Jean-Claude Weill

Celebrating critical advances in biomedical research at the 7th Sanofi - Institut Pasteur Awards

The 7th annual Sanofi - Institut Pasteur Awards took place on November 15 in Paris (France) in the presence of leaders from the Institut Pasteur and Sanofi, members of the Jury and distinguished guests. The aim of the awards is to recognize outstanding scientific achievement while also helping Laureates to further research that is essential to the development of new therapeutic strategies for global health issues.

Chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth H. Blackburn, a distinguished 14-member Jury from the international scientific community selected the Laureates among 67 submissions.

Winning the awards can make an important difference in the lives and careers of the Laureates. Some of them have continued their research career instead of retiring; others have been able to pursue additional areas of research, recruit new scientists or buy equipment that allowed them to dive deeper into their projects and received additional funding. The award also provides an important networking opportunity that allows the winners to connect with other researchers, academics and industry members.

About the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Pasteur International Network

The Institut Pasteur, a private foundation with officially recognized charitable status set up by Louis Pasteur in 1887 and inaugurated on November 14, 1888, has been, for the past 130 year, an internationally renowned center for biomedical research with a network of 33 institutes worldwide. In the pursuit of its mission to prevent and fight against diseases in France and throughout the world, the Institut Pasteur operates in four main areas: scientific and medical research; public health and health monitoring; teaching; and business development and technology transfer.

Sanofi has been working with the Institut Pasteur since 1976, and is proud to co-sponsor the Sanofi - Institut Pasteur Awards.

About Sanofi

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions. With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.

Sanofi, Empowering Life