Pierre Chambon, MD

Pierre Chambon, MD
University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study, Strasburg, France

Pierre Chambon, MD | Class of 2014

A pioneer in the fields of gene structure and transcriptional control of gene expression, Dr. Chambon has fundamentally changed our understanding of signal transduction, which has led to revolutionary new tactics for drug discovery. His work elucidated how molecules that promote gene transcription are organized and regulated in eukaryotic organisms and, independently of Dr. Ronald Evans, he discovered in 1987 the retinoid receptor families, which led to the discovery and characterization of the superfamily of nuclear hormone receptors, including steroid and retinoid receptors.

Dr. Chambon’s previous research led to the discovery of PolyADPribose, multiple RNA polymerases differentially sensitive to α-amaniti, and has markedly contributed to the elucidation of the nucleosome and chromatin structure, as well as to the discovery of animal split genes, DNA sequences called enhancer elements, and multiple promoter elements and their cognate factors. These discoveries have greatly enhanced understanding of embryonic development and cell differentiation. To further studies of various nuclear receptors, Dr. Chambon has developed a method that allows in the mouse the generation of somatic mutations of any gene, at any time, and in any specific cell type, a tool valuable in generating mouse models of cancer.

In 1994, Dr. Chambon took on the role of founding a major research institute in France. As the first director of IGBMC, he built the institute to encompass hundreds of top researchers and multiple research programs funded by public agencies and private industry. In 2002, he founded and was the first director of the Institut Clinique de la Souris in Strasbourg. In these positions, he has succeeded in supporting and influencing a generation of scientists.

Career Highlights

​2010  Canada Gairdner International Award
2004  Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
2003  Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., Prize, General Motors Cancer Foundation
1999  Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, Columbia University
1998  Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry
1991  Prix Louis-Jeantet de médecine, Fondation Louis-Jeantet
1990  Sir Hans Krebs Medal, Federation of European Biochemical Societies
1988  King Faisal International Prize for Science, King Faisal Foundation
1987  Harvey Prize, Technicon-Israel Institute of Technology
1985  Elected Member, French Academy of Sciences
1985  Elected Foreign Member (hon), American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1985  Elected Foreign Member (hon), National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1982  Richard Lounsbery Award, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
1979  Gold Medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
1958  MD, University of Strasbourg