Professor Pierre Chambon was born in Mullhouse, France, in 1931. He obtained his M.D. in 1958 and became a researcher at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the College of Medicine in Strasbourg University and subsequently Professor of Biochemistry in that Institute and Director of the National Laboratory of Emryology. He is currently Professor Emeritus of the Collège de France, Founder and Honorary Director of the Institute of Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology at Luis Pasteur University and Director of Génopole Strasbourg Alsace-Lorraine and the Institut Clinique de la Souris.
Professor Chambon made the striking discovery that eukaryotic cells are split in their amino acid coding sequence. This finding had markedly influenced current views on the structure, function and evolution of living organisms. Another major breakthrough was his discovery of transcriptor enhancers. This proved to be an essential component of the control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Chambon’s research was crucial to the advancement of molecular genetics and earned him several prestigious prizes and honorary fellowships or memberships of nearly all major scientific academies and organizations in Europe and the USA, as well as a long list of invited lectureships and visiting professorships. He published nearly 1000 scientific papers and reviews. He is ranked among the ten most cited researchers in molecular biology and genetics, and is considered by many as the father of the genetic revolution.
In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Science, Professor Chambon earned many other prizes, including the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Robert Walsh Prize, Luisa Gross Horwitz Prize, March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, Louis-Jenet Prize for Medicine, Gairdner Foundation International Award, Sir Hans Krebs Medal of the Association of European Societies of Biochemistry, Gold Medal of the French National Center for Scientific Research and Prizes of Science Academies in France, Europe and the USA. He also holds doctorate degrees from Leige University in Belgium, Lussaine University in Switzerland and Saboro Medical University in Japan. Professor Chambon is a Member of the French Académie des Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. He also served on a number of editorial boards, including those of Cell, Molecular Cell and Genes and Development.
Professor Chambon, a leader of European Molecular Biology, heads a large and productive scientific team. He discovered that genes (the hereditary material) of higher organisms are “split”, a striking discovery which has profoundly influenced our views on the structure, function and evolution of higher organisms. Professor Chambon has mane many other major contributions to the understanding of the regulation of gene activity, such as the discovery of “enhancers’, which enhance the transcription of genes, and the elucidation of the way human cells interact with the steroid hormones.
Professor Charbon’s work has thus profoundly influenced the advance of molecular medicine in ways which relate to the understanding of cancer and its possible treatment.