Dr Philippe Kourilsky
Member, BMS IAC (2000-2006)
Chairman, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) (2006-)
Chair of Molecular Immunology, College de France, France (1998-)
General Director, Institut Pasteur, France (2000-2004)
Head of Research, Pasteur-Mérieux-Connaught (now Aventis-Pasteur), France (1993-1996)
Philippe Kourilsky joined Institut Pasteur in 1972, and made most of his career as a member of CNRS (Central National de la Recherche Scientifique) before being elected in 1998 at the College de France where he holds the chair of Molecular Immunology. He has been an adviser for biotechnologies in the Ministry of Research and has participated in the administration of various research Institutions. In 1981, he was the co-founder of Transgène, a biotech company. From 1993 to 1996, he was the Director of Research of Pasteur Mèrieux Connaught (now Aventis Pasteur) a leading vaccine company. From 2000-2004, he was appointed General Director of the Institut Pasteur. He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris in 1964 and obtained a PhD in 1970 from the University of Paris. He had a rapid scientific career both in academic and corporate settings. He was first involved in the analysis of lysogenisation by bacteriophage lambda. Then his pioneering work in genetic engineering led to the first cloning and expression of an eukaryotic gene, the cloning and characterization of structure and regulation of mouse class I MHC-genes and others. In immunology, he developed new concepts involving the presentation of self-peptides on MHC molecules, the mechanisms underlying alloreactivity and self-tolerance, the detailed analysis of T-cell repertoires, and the cellular response and granuloma formation in mycobacterial infections. His work provided both a basic contribution to the understanding of immunity to tumors (e.g. the involvement of self-peptides in tumor immunity and the analysis of T cell receptor heterogeneity in tumor-infiltrating T cells) and translational applications (e.g. the use of transfected tumor cells in cancer vaccines).
Dr Philippe Kourilsky is the author of more than 300 publications in international scientific journals. He has also written several books dealing with science and the public and with the precautionary principle.
Dr Philippe Kourilsky is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, of EMBO and Academia Europea. He is also Professor and Chair of Molecular Immunology at the College de France. He has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards. He is “Commandeur de I’Ordre National du Mèrite” and “Officer de la Lègion d’Honneur”. Dr Kourilsky has also been a member of the Singapore Biomedical Sciences International Advisory Council BMS IAC since 2000.