2007: Roots for life
La Fondation Mérieux celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2007
Forty years striving to serve public health worldwide and fight infectious diseases.
Forty years of remarkable actions, initiated by its founder Dr. Charles Mérieux, such as the meningitis vaccination campaign in Brazil in 1974, international scientific meetings on major public health issues, and the inception of structures dedicated to the needs of developing countries and humanitarian work: Bioforce Development, Bioport, ADVAC vaccinology training, and others.
Drawing on this legacy, Dr. Christophe Mérieux chose to focus the Fondation’s action in the field, at the heart of infected areas. His aim was to see disease and suffering diminish, by setting up the conditions for long term development of healthcare in underprivileged countries.
Fondation Mérieux, faithful to this vision and with the longlasting support of Sanofi Pasteur, now concentrates on four strategic fields: enhancing clinical biology potential – applied research – training and exchange of knowledge – patient support.
It works with close support from Fondation Christophe and Rodolphe Mérieux, and shares the same vision of serving the fight against infectious diseases.
In 2007 the Fondation made a number of significant achievements:
In line with Christophe’s choice, I asked Benoît Miribel to become Director General of Fondation Mérieux in January 2007; and last November I renewed the Board of Directors to ensure that the scientific and medical community are more widely represented.
Three new laboratories for diagnosis of infectious diseases were launched in 2007 in Haiti, Laos and Madagascar and will be inaugurated in 2008. These three units, which will be named after Rodolphe Mérieux, will complete the network of outpost laboratories initiated by Dr. Christophe Mérieux in developing countries.
At the end of 2007 the Fondation took on its own research teams dedicated to identifying emerging pathogens: the Gerland research laboratory (Lyon, France) and the Christophe Mérieux research laboratory set up in the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. They will rely on the support of a scientific committee that was renewed in early 2008 and includes internationallyrenowned experts.
The Fondation is progressively adapting its structure and adopting new resources to achieve its missions. By enhancing the Fondation’s financial resources, the sale of its 23% minority holding in Laboratoire Marcel Mérieux at the end of 2007 occurred at a strategic time and enabled the Fondation to speed up new projects in the field.
With our partners – scientists and healthcare professionals in these countries, instigators of international development and biology corporations – our ambition is to expand our network around the world and, together, give life new roots.
Alain Mérieux (President)