Grégory Katz-Bénichou

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Grégory Katz-Bénichou, Gregory Katz

Grégory Katz-Bénichou (1971), published as Grégory Bénichou[1][2] and Gregory Katz, is a French academic and writer on genetic ethics.[3][4]

He is chaired professor of the ESSEC Chair of Therapeutic Innovation,[5] and co-director of the Institute of Health Economics & Management[6] at ESSEC Business School (Paris-Singapour).[7] He holds a doctorate in pharmacy, a doctorate in philosophy and a Master of Business Administration. His publications focus on the socio-economic impact of biomedical innovation. He also heads the Fondation Générale de Santé.[8]

Academic activities[edit]

In 2003, Gregory KATZ joined ESSEC and became chaired professor of the Chair of Therapeutic Innovation that same year. A visiting professor at INSEAD[9] (Singapore) in 2004 and at Bocconi University[10] (Milan) in 2006, he was appointed co-director of the Institute of Health Economics & Management at ESSEC[11] in 2010.

His publications deal with the challenges of human genome patentability, the organization of stem cell biobanks, and the impact of genetic testing on public health.

As principal investigator, he has published a number of articles in health policy journals such as the Yale J of Public Health, Law and Ethics,[12] and in medical journals such as Transfusion[13](5-years IF = 3,053).

He is a member of several journal editorial boards including Philosophy of Management;[14] Journal of Methodology & Education for Clinical Innovation; and the International J of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing.[15]

He is a board member of the European School of Surgery.[16] He regularly advises public and private organizations in the health sector. He is frequently invited to sit on expert bioethics and public health panels by the French Senate, the Conseil d'Etat, the French Ministry of Health and the European Parliament.


Between 2004 and 2009, Professor Katz worked alongside Professor Eliane Gluckman as co-founder and elected vice-president of Eurocord,[17] an international platform specialized in clinical research on umbilical cord blood stem cells.

Eurocord centralizes and analyzes clinical data from 511 transplant centers in 56 countries. Funded by the European Union, Eurocord works closely with the European School of Haematology.[18] In 2007, the association was recognized by the Medicen[19] network of world-class cell therapy clusters. Eurocord also develops training programs for clinicians and researchers specialized in blood cancer and cell therapy.

In 2010, Eurocord became part of the Agence de la biomédecine[20] which now heads its operations.

Contributions to the French debate on bioethics laws[edit]

Since 2007, Professor Katz has been involved in the drafting of a bill presented by Senator Hermange in 2010 on umbilical tissue and cord blood stem cells.[21] Considered "medical waste" in France until 2010 and the object of illegal commercial activities, the legal status of these stem cells was not clearly defined by French law.[22] This bill was designed to ensure application of the principles of informed consent, anonymity and free donation.[23] Voted in 2011 by the French Senate and National Assembly as part of a general review of bioethical law (article 7 of the French Government's bill), these provisions have since been transposed into French public health law.[24]

Reconciling genomics and humanism[edit]

In 2002, Gregory Katz-Bénichou published le Chiffre de la vie: réconcilier la génétique et l'humanisme (Seuil).[25] A philosophical essay on DNA, the book was hailed by critics and the general public alike.[26] Moving beyond prevalent currents of thought, the author explains why, where a microscope sees only blind mechanics, lies the Cipher of life – an extraordinary text where biochemical signs convey form and meaning.

Plunging into the heart of this universal grammar, Katz criticizes the linguistic metaphors used in biology, their anthropomorphism, and makes the assumption of a genetic protolanguage that existed before all human conscience, and whose gradual evolution enabled the emergence of verbal languages and their polymorphism.[27] Between the biochemical signs, should we read a signature? If there is a program, is there a Programmer? In light of the most recent advances in genomics, he revisits the debate over the origin of life, from biblical biology to philosophical traditions of the great book of Nature. He criticizes the theories of "self-organization" of life, and beyond the current controversies, he demonstrates why the concepts of creation and evolution can be reconciled through the idea of "creative evolution".

"But in this program, where does free will lies?", Katz asks. Science has just barely discovered the subtlety of the program of life, yet Man is already seeking to reprogram it in an attempt to control its determinism. In the final chapter, he anticipates the eugenistic trend that would reduce Man to the raw score of his genetic quotient. Beyond orthogenic discrimination, Katz identifies how the hopes of regenerative medicine and personalized medicine may succeed in healing people without alienation and stigmatization. Written in a direct and lively style that is accessible for the layperson, the book was selected by French bookshops as one of the top philosophical essays of 2003.[28]

Fondation Générale de Santé[edit]

Since 2008, Professor Katz has headed the Fondation d’entreprise Générale de Santé,[29] a not-for-profit initiative from the leading French private hospitalization group. Through public-private partnerships, Fondation Générale de Santé is involved in the field of biomedical innovation and humanitarian projects.[30]

Since 2008, Fondation Générale de Santé has initiated a broad altruistic mobilization operation for collecting cord blood stem cells, in collaboration with the French health authorities. The Fondation has signed a partnership with the Établissement Français du Sang[31] and the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris.[32] The Fondation provides information for pregnant women, trains obstetricians and midwives, collects cord blood units and makes them available to patients and researchers, free of charge, for therapeutic or scientific purposes.

With 300 volunteer obstetricians and midwives operating in some 10 French cities, the Fondation produces roughly 1/6th of all validated cord blood units in France each year. A leading player in cord blood stem cell collection, the Fondation was issued the Grande Cause Nationale accreditation in 2009 by the French Prime Minister.[33]

Scientific affiliations[edit]

  • Member of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics[34]
  • Member of the American Association of Blood Banks[35]
  • Member of the Academy Health[36]
  • Member of the Academy of Management[37]
  • Member of the European Haematology Association[38]
  • Member of the European Health Management Association[39]
  • Member of the European Bone Marrow Transplantation[40]
  • Membre of the Société Française d'Hématologie[41]
  • Membre of the Société Française et Francophone d'Ethique Médicale[42]
  • Membre of the Société Française de Greffe de Moelle et Thérapie Cellulaire[43]
  • Membre of the Société Française de Bio-ingénierie Cellulaire et Tissulaire[44]
  • Member of the International Health Economics Association[45]
  • Member of the World Marrow Donor Association[46]
  • Member of the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society[47]


Professor Katz was the 2008 winner of the San Benedetto Prize awarded by the Fondazione Sublacense for his achievements in bioethics and humanism. Created in 2000, this international prize rewards distinguished work on political, social, theological and ethical issues in connection with the Christian world.[48]

Past prize-winners include such figures as the President of the Italian National Bioethics Committee Francesco D'Agostigno (2002), Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki (2003), Irish European Parliament member Dana Scallon (2004), Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (2005), and Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Janne Haaland Matlary (2007).


Some recent articles

  • Katz G., Mills A., Garcia J., Hooper K., McGuckin C., Platz A., Rebulla P., Salvaterra E., Schmidt A., Torrabadella M., (2011) Banking Cord Blood Stem Cells: Attitudes and Knowledge of Pregnant Women in five European Countries, Transfusion, 51 (3): 578–586. (5-year IF = 3,053)[13]
  • Katz G., Schweitzer S., (2010) Implication of Genetic Testing for Public Health, Yale Journal of Public Health, Law and Ethics, 10 (1); 91-135. (5-year IF = 1,021)[49]
  • Katz G., Mills A., (2010) Cord Blood Banking in France: Reorganizing the National Network, Tranfusion and Apheresis Science, 42: 307-316. (IF = 1,587)[50]
  • Marville L., Haye I., Katz G. (2010) Quel statut pour les banques de sang de cordon ombilical ?, Médecine et Droit, 102: 81-85.[22]
  • Katz G. (2008) The Hypothesis of a Genetic Protolanguage: an Epistemological Investigation, Biosemiotics, 1: 57-73.[27]
  • Katz-Benichou G., (2007) Umbilical Cord Blood Banking: Economic & Therapeutic Challenges, International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, Vol. 8, N°5, pp. 464–477.


  • G. Katz-Bénichou, Le chiffre de la vie : réconcilier la génétique et l'humanisme, Paris, Seuil, 2002. ISBN 2-02-052400-7.  Missing or empty |title= (help)


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  2. ^ Futuribles -v293-296 p98 International Association Futuribles - 2004 -"Jean-Jacques Salomon outlines the viewpoints of Grégory Bénichou and Michel Neyraut, whose articles appear later in the ... The Invention of the Disposable Human Being Grégory Bénichou For some time the topic of cloning has been a ..."
  3. ^ Corps normalisé, corps stigmatisé, corps racialisé Gilles Boëtsch, Christian Hervé, Jacques J. Rozenberg - 2007 "3 Grégory Katz-Bénichou, The Advent of the Genetic Quotient, Diogenes, UNESCO, Blackwell, n° 195, vol. 49, June 2002. 4 Grégory Katz-Bénichou, Le Chiffre de la vie, réconcilier la génétique et l'humanisme, Paris, Seuil, 2002."
  4. ^ Robert G. Vaughn The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws -- 2012 p253 Gregory Katz-Benichou and Marc Lenglet refer to the divisions of the Dreyfus affair and the Vichy collaborations 'as embedded like a deep splinter in French national memory.'57 The permanence of that memory explains the reaction when an ..."
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