Home >Pasteurians>Nobel Laureates of Institut Pasteur
Over 20,000 Pasteurians in the 33 Institut Pasteur International Network are striving to excel in research for our health and our future. Among Pasteurians, ten scientists of Institut Pasteur have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the first dating back to the early 20th century. The distinguished award underlines the outstanding research accomplished by Pasteurians and equally importantly promotes the cause cherished by Louis Pasteur: Applying science for the benefit of all humanity.
Alphonse Laveran was France’s first Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine. He discovered the parasite that causes malaria.
Ilya Ilitch Metchnikov discovered phagocytes and phagocytosis in 1883. He is considered the father of cell-mediated immunity as opposed to the humoral immunity observed by Paul Ehrlich. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1908 with Paul Ehrlich.
In 1919 Jules Bordet was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on the role of antibodies and the complement system. His discoveries expanded early 20th century knowledge of immunology considerably.
In 1928 Charles Nicolle won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on typhus. He notably discovered the role of lice in transmission of the infection in humans.
In 1957, Swiss-born Daniel Bovet won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries relating to synthetic compounds and their effects on blood vessels and skeletal muscles. He discovered the first antihistamine and the first synthetic curare-like agents. Daniel Bovet pioneered medicinal chemistry.
The scientific work of André Lwoff was dominated by two major discoveries: bacterial growth factors and dormant forms of bacterial viruses called prophages. With François Jacob and Jacques Monod he was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery relating to the genetic regulation of enzyme and virus synthesis."
For Jacques Monod molecular biology was a way to piece together the puzzle explaining the mechanisms shared throughout the living world, from bacteria to complex animals. Inspired by André Lwoff, Jacques Monod worked closely with François Jacob to discover the first genetic regulation system, for which they coined the name operon. Four years after publication of the discovery the three scientists were awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
François Jacob worked closely with Jacques Monod, developing the concept of genetic regulation considered revolutionary for the time. The two men were awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with André Lwoff "for their discovery relating to the genetic regulation of enzyme and virus synthesis."
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Luc Montagnier for the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus in 1983. Beyond the work of the scientists, the tireless engagement of a whole community in the fight against HIV is recognized. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, PhD, is Emeritus Professor at the Institut Pasteur and heads the Regulation of Retroviral Infection Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
Luc Montagnier is Emeritus Professor at the Institut Pasteur, where he was director of the Viral Oncology Unit from 1972 to 2000. He is also Emeritus Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and member of the French Academies of Sciences and Medicine.