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Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
TypeGovernmental organization
  • Paris
Region served
Official language
Claire Giry (interim)

The Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm, French pronunciation: ​[insɛʁm]) is the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

History and organisation[edit]

Inserm was created in 1964 as a successor to the French National Institute of Health.[citation needed]

Inserm is the only public research institution solely focused on human health and medical research in France.[1] It is a public institution with a scientific and technical vocation under the dual auspices of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Research.[citation needed] Similarly to the US National Institutes of Health, Inserm conducts fundamental and translational research projects through 339 research units, run by around 13,000 scientists, including 5,100 permanent research staff members and 5,100 staff members co-affiliated with university hospitals and medicine faculties. Inserm's laboratories and research units are located all over France, mainly in the largest cities. Eighty percent of Inserm research units are embedded in research hospitals of French universities.[citation needed]. In April 2020, Inserm researchers, Dr. Camille Locht and Dr. Jean-Paul Mira, suggested on live television that COVID-19 experimental drugs be tested in Africa, despite the fact that Africa had the fewest cases of the virus in the world. After the comments were widely denounced as racist, Inserm and the two researchers released statements of apology.[2]

Inserm's CEO is chosen by decree upon a proposal of the Ministers of Health and Research, advised by a review committee.[3] The CEO since January 2019 is Gilles Bloch, a doctor and researcher specializing in medical imaging.[4]


According to the 2019 Scimago Institutions Ranking, Inserm is ranked 2nd best research institution in the health sector (behind the NIH), and 22nd across all sectors.[5]


Nobel prizes[edit]

Two Inserm research scientists have been awarded by the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 1980, the French immunologist Jean Dausset received the Nobel prize (along with Baruj Benacerraf and George Davis Snell), for his work on the discovery and characterisation of the genes making the major histocompatibility complex. In 2008, the French virologist Françoise Barré-Sinoussi was awarded, together with her former mentor Luc Montagnier, for the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus.

Grand prix de l'Inserm[edit]

Each year, Inserm awards three researchers in three major distinct categories. The Grand prix de l'Inserm recognizes major advancements in biology for an active researcher of the institution, the Grand prix d'honneur recognizes a French public institution's researcher whose contributions have had a major impact in science, and the Prix étranger (Foreign Prize) awards a foreign researcher for their particular contributions to biomedical research. In addition the Inserm has internal awards for engineers and young researchers.


Year Grand prix Prix d'honneur Prix étranger
2018 Alain Tedgui Antoine Triller Elisabetta Dejana
2017[6] Edith Heard Claude-Agnès Reynaud and Jean-Claude Weill Marie-Paule Kieny
2016[7] Jean-Laurent Casanova Catherine Barthélémy Linda Fried
2015[8] Pier-Vincenzo Piazza Étienne-Émile Baulieu Peter Piot
2014[9] Anne Dejean William Vainchenker Leszek Borysiewicz
2013[10] Stanislas Dehaene Daniel Louvard Ogobara Doumbo
2012[11] Philippe Sansonetti Jean-Paul Soulillou Ingrid Grummt
2011[12] Alain Prochiantz Ethel Moustacchi Susan Gasser
2010[13] Didier Raoult Eliane Gluckman Denis Duboule
2009[14] Yehezkel Ben-Ari Nicole Le Douarin Nora Volkow
2008[15] Alain Fischer Alim-Louis Benabid Tomas Lindahl
2007 Christine Petit Pierre Ducimetière Mina Bissel
2006 Pierre Corvol Ketty Schwartz Zhu Chen
2005 Bernard Malissen at the CIML Jacques Glowinski David P. Lane
2004 Jean-Marc Egly Pierre Chambon Harvey Alter
2003 Miroslav Radman
2002 Monique Capron
2001 Yves Agid
2000 Arnold Munnich

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ About INSERM n.d., retrieved 16 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Coronavirus: France racism row over doctors' Africa testing comments". BBC News. 2020-04-03. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  3. ^ France may be back, but the old ways persist for INSERM. The Lancet, Volume 391, Issue 10138, p 2390, retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Gilles Bloch, Inserm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, takes office". Newsroom | Inserm. 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  5. ^ "Scimago Institutions Rankings". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  6. ^ "Edith Heard, Specialist in Epigenetics, Awarded the 2017 Inserm Grand Prize". Newsroom | Inserm. 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  7. ^ 2016 Inserm awards laureates on the INSERM website retrieved Dec 4th 2016.
  8. ^ Lauréats des prix Inserm 2015 de la recherche médicale on the INSERM website retrieved Nov 23rd 2015.
  9. ^ Lauréats des prix Inserm 2014 de la recherche médicale Archived 2016-09-20 at the Wayback Machine on the INSERM website retrieved Dec 14th 2014.
  10. ^ Lauréats du Grand Prix 2013 de la recherche médicale Archived 2014-02-08 at the Wayback Machine on the INSERM website retrieved Nov 22nd 2013.
  11. ^ Lauréats du Grand Prix 2012 de la recherche médicale Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine on the INSERM website retrieved Nov 21st 2012.
  12. ^ Lauréats du Grand Prix 2011 de la recherche médicale Archived 2011-12-05 at the Wayback Machine on the INSERM website retrieved Dec 06th 2011.
  13. ^ Lauréats du Grand Prix de la recherche médical Archived 2010-12-10 at the Wayback Machine on the INSERM website retrieved Nov 30th 2010
  14. ^ Lauréats du Grand Prix de la recherche médical Archived 2010-12-27 at the Wayback Machine on the INSERM website retrieved Nov 24th 2009
  15. ^ Lauréats du Grand Prix de la recherche médical[permanent dead link] on the INSERM website retrieved on Dec 2nd 2008

External links[edit]