Five Bordeaux researchers honored by the Académie des Sciences

On October 15th 2019, the French Académie des Sciences awarded prizes to Hélène Budzinski, Alain Demourgues, Gilles Guichard, Sébastien Lecommandoux and Joel Swendsen, five researchers from the Bordeaux campus.

  • 21/11/2019

Prix de l'Académie des sciences © université de Bordeaux Prix de l'Académie des sciences © université de Bordeaux

Since it was created in 1666, the Académie des Sciences has been committed to the advancement of science and advises government authorities in this field. It is an independent and enduring body, under the protection of the President of the Republic, and is one of the five academies that sit at the Institut de France. The Académie has five fundamental missions: encouraging scientific life, promoting the teaching of science, transmitting knowledge, fostering international collaborations and ensuring a dual role of expertise and advice.

Every year, the Académie des Sciences awards prizes to honor experienced scientists and encourage young researchers at the start of their careers, and covers all areas of both basic and applied research.

Joel Swendsen, the Philippe and Maria Halphen Grand Prix

Joel Swendsen is a CNRS research director and was awarded the Halphen Grand Prix by the Académie des Sciences for his work in psychiatry using mobile technologies. These methods are currently revolutionizing mental health research as they are able to overcome major methodological and conceptual limitations. Joel Swendsen is acknowledged as a pioneer in this field and has more publications to his name on the feasibility and validity of mobile technologies in psychiatry than any other researcher in France or internationally. He works with psychiatrists (Profs. Manuel Bouvard and Mélina Fatseas; Drs. David Misdrahi and Anouk Amestoy) and psychologists (Drs. Ellemarije Altena, Sylvie Berthoz, and Micha Pfeuty) in his team at the Aquitaine Institute for Cognitive and Integrative Neurosciences (INCIA - CNRS, EPHE and University of Bordeaux) on a wide range of mental disorders.

Hélène Budzinski, the Philippe A. Guye Prize and Berthelot Medal

Hélène Budzinski is a research director with the CNRS at the Oceanic and Continental Environments and Paleoenvironments laboratory (EPOC - CNRS, EPHE and University of Bordeaux). She is one of the world’s leading specialists in the biogeochemical monitoring of ultra-trace contaminants in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Her pioneering work in analytical chemistry has made it possible to carry out ecotoxicologicalmonitoring of “emergent” pollutants dispersed in the environment which include many pharmaceutical compounds and endocrine disruptors. Winner of the Philippe A. Guye Prize, she was also awarded the Berthelot Medal by the Académie des Sciences.

Gilles Guichard, Grammaticakis-Neuman Prize

Gilles Guichard is Director of the Department of Health sciences and technologies at the University of Bordeaux, CNRS research director at the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Membranes and Nano-objects (CBMN - CNRS, Bordeaux INP and University of Bordeaux) and at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology at Bordeaux (IECB - CNRS , INSERM and University of Bordeaux). He was rewarded for his exceptional contribution to the chemistry and physico-chemistry of foldamers and especially for his discovery of water-soluble oligoureas able to self-organize like proteins.

Alain Demourgues, Lamb Prize

Alain Demourgues is a research director at the Institute for Solid-State Chemistry Bordeaux (ICMCB - CNRS , Bordeaux INP and University of Bordeaux). Throughout his career, he has seamlessly combined basic research in solid-state chemistry at a very high international level on fluorinated, oxyfluorinated and even oxy-sulfofluorinated rare earth derivatives. Alain Demourgues also works on solving real industrial materials problems vital for military and civilian research, for example with Comurhex-Areva on purifying uranium hexafluoride, and with Rhodia-Solvay on increasing the depollution performance of automotive three-way catalytic converters, and the discovery of new, highly stable inorganic colored pigments.

Sébastien Lecommandoux, Seqens Prize

Sébastien Lecommandoux is a professor at the National School of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, Bordeaux INP (ENSCBP), working in the Laboratory of Organic Polymer Chemistry (LCPO - CNRS, Bordeaux INP and University of Bordeaux). He has developed innovative concepts at the interface between polymer chemistry and self-assembly, at the frontier of nanomedicine and biomaterials. Using his biomimetic approach, combining synthetic polymers and biopolymers (polypeptides, polysaccharides, proteins), he has designed self-assembled vesicles capable of interacting specifically with complex living environments due to the action of various stimuli (pH, magnetic field, photocontrol, etc.).