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Pasteur Institute | Wikipedia audio article

Pasteur Institute | Wikipedia audio article


The Pasteur Institute (French: Institut Pasteur)
is a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms,
diseases, and vaccines. It is named after Louis Pasteur, who made some of the greatest
breakthroughs in modern medicine at the time, including pasteurization and vaccines for
anthrax and rabies. The institute was founded on June 4, 1887, and inaugurated on November
14, 1888. For over a century, the Institut Pasteur has
been at the forefront of the battle against infectious disease. This worldwide biomedical
research organization based in Paris was the first to isolate HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS, in 1983. Over the years, it has been responsible for breakthrough discoveries that
have enabled medical science to control such virulent diseases as diphtheria, tetanus,
tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, influenza, yellow fever, and plague.
Since 1908, ten Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine
and physiology—the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared between two Pasteur
scientists.==History==The Institut Pasteur was founded in 1887 by
Louis Pasteur, the famous French chemist and microbiologist. He was committed both to basic
research and its practical applications. From the start, Pasteur brought together scientists
with various specialties. The first five departments were directed by two normaliens (graduates
of the École Normale Supérieure), Émile Duclaux (general microbiology research) and
Charles Chamberland (microbes research applied to hygiene), a biologist, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov
(morphological microbe research), and two physicians, Jacques-Joseph Grancher (rabies)
and Emile Roux (technical microbe research). One year after the inauguration of the Institut
Pasteur, Roux set up the first course of microbiology ever taught in the world, Cours de Microbie
Technique (Course of microbe research techniques). Pasteur’s successors have sustained this tradition,
which is reflected in the Institut Pasteur’s unique history of accomplishment: Emile Roux and Alexandre Yersin discovered
the mechanism of action of Corynebacterium diphtheriae and how to treat diphtheria with
antitoxins Alexandre Yersin discovered in 1894 the pathogen
of bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis Paul-Louis Simond discovered in 1898 the role
of the flea in the transmission of plague Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin discovered
how to culture the tuberculosis bacillus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (so called BCG
or Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) at Institut Pasteur de Lille, and developed in 1921 the
first effective anti-tuberculosis vaccine Alphonse Laveran received the 1907 Nobel Prize
for his research on the role of protozoans as disease agents (notably, his discovery
of the malaria hematozoon) Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize
in 1908 for contributions to scientific understanding of the immune system
Constantin Levaditi and Karl Landsteiner demonstrated in 1910 that poliomyelitis is due to a filterable
virus Félix d’Herelle discovered in 1917 the bacteriophage,
a virus that spread only inside bacteria Jules Bordet received the Nobel prize in 1919
for his discoveries on immunity, especially the implication of antibodies and the complement
system′s mechanisms of action Charles Nicolle received the Nobel prize in
1928 for unravelling the mystery of how typhus is transmitted, especially the role of the
louse Jean Laigret developed in 1932 the first vaccine
for yellow fever André Lwoff established in 1951 the existence
of proviruses, a work honored by the 1965 Nobel Prize
Jacques Monod and Francois Jacob discovered the mechanism of genes’ transcription regulation,
a work honored by the 1965 Nobel Prize Pierre Lépine developed in 1955 one of the
first anti-polio vaccines Jean-Pierre Changeux isolated in 1970 the
first receptor to a neurotransmitter, the acetylcholine receptor.
Luc Montagnier, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and colleagues discovered the two HIV viruses
that cause AIDS in 1983 and 1985; Montagnier and Barré-Sinoussi were honored by the 2008
Nobel PrizeThe Institute′s biggest mistake was ignoring a dissertation by Ernest Duchesne
on the use of Penicillium glaucum to cure infections in 1897. The early exploitation
of his discovery might have saved millions of lives, especially in World War I.
A new age of preventive medicine in France was made possible by the Institut Pasteur′s
(early 20th century) development of vaccines for tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow
fever and poliomyelitis. The discovery and use of sulfonamides in treating infections
was another of its earlier breakthroughs. Some researchers won fame by discovering antitoxins,
while Daniel Bovet received the 1957 Nobel Prize for his discoveries on synthetic anti-histamines
and curarizing compounds. Since World War II, Pasteur researchers have
focused sharply on molecular biology. Their achievements were recognized in 1965, when
the Nobel Prize was shared by François Jacob, Jacques Monod and André Lwoff for their work
on the regulation of viruses. In 1985, the first human vaccine obtained by genetic engineering
from animal cells, the vaccine against hepatitis B, was developed by Pierre Tiollais and collaborators.===The Institute’s opening===
Although the center against rabies, directed by Jacques-Joseph Grancher and Émile Roux
was more than functional, it became so overcrowded that it became necessary to build a structure
that Pasteur had been calling with the name “Institute Pasteur” long before it was
even built. Since Pasteur could not, for health reasons, do it himself, he delegated the task
of the project and of creating the new building, situated on rue Dutot, to two of his most
trusted colleagues, Grancher and Emile Duclaux.From the beginning the Institute experienced some
economical difficulties that it was able to overcome thanks to the help of the government,
some foreign rulers and Madame Boucicaut, but this aid would not in any way restrain
its independence, therefore respecting Pasteur’s most important prerogative. The million francs
left unused would not be sufficient to provide for the Institute’s needs for long, but the
prestige and the social benefits it would bring to France justified and motivated the
subsidy it would receive; also the money brought in from selling the vaccines in France and
in the rest of the world would help in supporting it. In 1888 this foundation, which had obtained
the full approval from the government, began to function, and from the beginning it was
involved in the development and changes that France underwent during the last decades of
the 19th century.The statutes drawn by Pasteur and later approved by Duclaux and Grancher
define, besides its absolute freedom and independence, the Institute’s internal structure: a rabies
division controlled by Grancher, an anthrax one in Chamberland’s hands, who also supervised
the department of microbiology, while Emile Roux dealt with microbial methods applied
to medicine.===The Institute during World War I and World
War II===During the First World War the Institute was
not only involved in the prevention of sanitary risks but also had to deal with the demands
of the moment. The most urgent matter was to vaccinate the troops against typhoid fever,
easily contracted by the soldiers who often had no choice but to drink from small streams
or puddles from the last rain. By September 1914, the Institute was able to provide 670,000
doses of the needed vaccine and continued to produce it throughout the conflict. It
is important to note that the war brought to light germs that during times of peace
were concealed deep within the soil or in pockets of putrefaction and therefore it revealed
the true nature and severity of some types of pathogens that would otherwise have remained
unknown. That’s how Michel Weinberg, Metchnikoff’s scholar, disclosed the complex etiology of
gas gangrene and created a vaccine for each one of the anaerobes associated with it. The
First World War involved science in warfare: a movement of active participation arose among
researchers who felt the need to help France win the war. This is why Gabriel Bertrand,
with Roux’s authorization, crafted a grenade based on chloropicrin and Fourneau discovered
the chemical reaction that led to the formation of methylarsine chloride, whose effects are
even worse than the ones of other poisonous gases used during the war.
In 1938 the Institute, despite its relative poverty, built a biochemical division and
another one dedicated to cellular pathology, whose direction was entrusted to the hands
of Boivin (who went on to discover endotoxins that are contained in the germ’s body and
are freed after its death). During the same period, Andre Lwoff assumed the direction
of a new microbial physiology branch built on rue Dutot. The general mobilization after
France’s declaration of war against Germany, in September 1939, emptied the Institute and
significantly reduced its activities, as members of appropriate age and condition were recruited
into the army, but the almost total absence of battles during the first months of the
conflict helped maintain the sanitary situation on the front. After the occupation of France,
the Germans never tried to gather information from the Institute’s research; their confidence
in Germany’s advantage in this field decreased their curiosity, and their only interest was
in the serums and vaccines that it could provide to their troops or the European auxiliaries
they recruited. This relative freedom allowed the Institute to become, during the two years
after the occupation, a great pharmacy for the Resistance thanks to the initiative of
Vallery-Radot, Pasteur’s nephew. The Germans became suspicious of the Institute’s staff
only after an outbreak of typhoid in a Wehrmacht division that was stationed near Paris before
being sent to the Russian front. The cause of the epidemic was later found to be due
to a member of the Institute stealing a culture of the germ responsible for the disease and,
with the collaboration of an accomplice, infecting a large quantity of butter used to feed German
troops. The fact that the epidemic spread after the Germans sold some of the butter
to civilians was proof that the illness’s breakout was not caused by local water quality.
Afterwards, the German authorities ordered that the Institute’s stores containing microbial
cultures could be opened only by authorized members; similar security problems also induced
them to demand complete lists of the staff’s names and functions; missing names caused
the Germans to send two very valuable biologists, Dr. Wolmann and his wife, as well as other
three lab assistants, to a concentration camp. The Institute was not a location for German
entrenchment even during the battles for Paris’s liberation because of the honor and respect
it commanded, as well as out of fear that involving it in any type of conflict might
“free the ghosts of long defeated diseases”.===The Institute’s economical difficulties
during the Seventies===At the end of 1973 the Institute’s economic
status was so worrisome that its troubles aroused the public’s interest: no one could
believe that an institution which was to provide vaccines and serums for more that fifty million
people could be undergoing such big financial problems, an institution that furthermore
was believed to be under government protection – like the Bank of France – and therefore
shielded from bankruptcy. The causes of the decadence that brought the Institute to financial
ruins were numerous, but most of them were associated with its commercial and industrial
activities and its management. Both the research and production branch had to endure the recoil
caused by financial issues: the research branch didn’t receive enough funds and the production
branch, which was losing market ground to the new private labs, was immobilized by the
antiquated mechanical equipment. When in 1968, after disappearing for a long
period, rabies reappeared in France, the Institute, which owed its original celebrity to this
disease’s vaccine, was replaced by other pharmaceutical industries in the production of the vaccines;
yet, despite the deficiencies in the organization’s production branch, its members were able to
produce, in 1968, over 400,000 doses of vaccine against the Hong Kong influenza.
In 1971 Jacques Monod announced a new era of modernization and development: this new
awakening was symbolized by the construction of a new factory where all the production
departments were to be reunited. Its construction cost forty-five million francs and the Government,
impressed by the Institute’s will to change, granted it a sum of twenty million francs
to bridge the deficit, followed by the people’s initiative to also accept a role in the division
of the financial responsibilities.==The accomplishments of the Institute’s
members=====
Roux’s cure against diphtheria and studies on syphilis===Not long after the Institute’s inauguration,
Roux, now less occupied in the fight against rabies, resumed in a new lab and with the
help of a new colleague, Yersin, his experiments on diphtheria.
This disease used to kill thousands of children every year: an associated condition was commonly
called croup, which created fake membranes in the small patients’ throats, therefore
killing them by suffocation. It was deservedly called “Horrible monster, sparrowhawk of
the shadows” by Victor Hugo in his Art of being a grandfather. The painter Albert Gustaf
Aristides Edelfelt made a famous painting portraying Pasteur in his laboratory while
he was trying to cure this illness, which was fought at the times through procedures
that were just as cruel as the illness itself. Roux and Yersin grew the bacillus that causes
it and studied, thanks to various experiments they did on rabbits, its pathogenic power
and symptoms, like the paralysis of the respiratory muscles. It is this last consequence of the
diphtheria that provided the two researchers with a valuable clue of the nature of the
disease, since it is caused by an intoxication due to a toxin introduced into the organism
by the bacillus, that while secreting this particular venom is able to multiply itself:
they were therefore inclined to think that the bacillus owed its virulence to the toxin.
After filtrating the microbial culture of the Corynebacterium diphtheriae and injecting
it into the lab animals, they were able to observe all the typical signs of the sickness.
Roux and Yersin established that they were dealing with a new type of bacillus, not only
able to proliferate and abundantly reproduce itself, but also capable of spreading at the
same time a powerful venom, and they deduced that it can play the role of antigen, that
is if they could overcome the delicate moment of its injection, made especially dangerous
by the toxin. Some German researchers had also discovered
the diphtheria toxin and were trying to immunize some guinea pigs through the use of a vaccine:
one of them, Von Behring, Robert Koch’s student, stated that he was able to weaken small doses
of the toxin. Nonetheless Roux was not convinced by this result, since no-one knew the collateral
effects of the procedure, and preferred to use serotherapy since more than one lab study
– like the one accomplished by Charles Richet – demonstrated that the serum of an animal
vaccinated against the disease included the antibodies needed to defeat it. The anti-diphtheria
serum which was able to agglutinate the bacteria and neutralize the toxin was supplied by a
horse inoculated with the viral germs, and it was separated from the blood drawn from
the horses’ jugular vein. Like it happened for his teacher with the
anti-rabies vaccine, Roux needed to test the effectiveness of the product he elaborated,
and endured all the stress and ethical dilemmas that the first use of such a risky but also
groundbreaking procedure implied. To test the serum two groups of children were chosen
from two different hospitals: in the first one, which received the serum, 338 out of
449 children survived, in the latter one, treated with the customary therapies, only
204 out of 520 survived. Once the results were made public by Le Figaro newspaper, a
subscription fund was opened to raise the money needed to provide the Institute the
number of horses necessary to produce enough serum to satisfy the national demand.After
Duclaux’s death, Roux took his place as head of the Institute, and the last research he
carried out was the one on syphilis, a dangerous disease because of its immediate effects and
the hereditary repercussions that result from it. Despite Fournier’s considerable work,
van Swieten’s liquid mercury was still the only known cure, although its results were
doubtful and uncertain. The search for a stronger remedy against this disease was made more
difficult because most animals are immune to it: it was thus not possible to experiment
possible cures and study their likely side effects. The sexually transmittable Treponema
pallidum (the syphilis germ), detected by two German biologists, Schaudinn and Hoffmann,
affects only the human race – where it resides in sperm, ulceration and cancers that it is
able to cause – and, as it will be later discovered, some anthropoid apes, especially
chimpanzees. Both Roux and Metchnikoff, consequent to the discovery that this type of ape can
be contaminated with the illness, contributed with their research in creating a vaccine,
while Bordet and Wassermann elaborated a solution that was able to expose the germ’s presence
in human blood. Even though it was not yet a completely reliable solution, it represented
a noteworthy evolution compared to the previous medicines used against syphilis.===Metchnikoff’s phagocytosis theory===
Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov already announced the “principle of immunization” during his
voluntary exile in Italy, where he went to undertake some studies, the results of which
he had promptly communicated to Pasteur. The phagocytosis theory is based on the notion
that phagocytes are cells that have the power to englobe foreign bodies – and above all
bacteria – introduced inside an organism. German biologists opposed to his doctrine
the humoral theory: they claimed to have found in Roux’s serum some substances able to reveal
the presence of microbes, and to ensure their destruction if properly stimulated. The German
scientist Eduard Buchner referred to these substances as “alexine” and two other
biologists, Von Behring and Kitasato, demonstrated their lytic power towards bacteria. In 1894
one of these scientist published the result of an experiment that appeared to completely
refute Metchnikoff’s ideas: using the cholera vibrio, discovered ten years before by Robert
Koch, as an antigen, Richard F. J. Pfeiffer introduced it in the abdomen of a guinea pig
already vaccinated against this disease, and was able to observe the destruction of the
vibrio in the local blood plasma, without the participation of the phagocytes. Not even
this study was able to shake Metchnikoff’s belief and faith in his theory, and his ideas,
as well as Pfeiffer’s and Buchner’s, would all contribute to the elaboration of the current
theory of the immune system.===Yersin’s studies on the plague===
Yersin, after his research with Roux, abruptly left the Institute for personal reasons, without
losing Pasteur’s benevolence, who never doubted that the young man was destined to great things
in the scientific area and would contribute in spreading Pasteur’s discoveries around
the world. The news of a violent plague outburst in Yunman enabled Yersin to truly show and
reach his potential as he was summoned, as Pasteur’s scholar, to conduct a microbiological
research of the disease. The plague he had to deal with was the bubonic plague, which
is recognizable most of the time through the abscesses, known as buboes, it provokes in
its victims. Yersin looked for the germ responsible for the infection specifically in these plague-spots,
tumors caused by the inflammation of the lymphatic glands which become black because of the necrosis
of the tissue. After many microscopic exams he was able to state that in most of the cases
the bubonic plague bacterium was located in these buboes; but in the meanwhile the Japanese
scientist Kitasato also declared that he had isolated the bacterium, even though the description
he provided was dissimilar to the one given by Yersin. Therefore, although at first named
“Kitasato-Yersin bacillus” by the scientific community, the microbe will later assume only
the latter’s name because the one identified by Kitasato, a type of streptococcus, cannot
be found in the lymphatic glands. However it is Paul-Louis Simond who was the
first to understand and describe the etiology of the plague and its modality of contamination:
he observes all over the bodies of the people affected by it small flea-bites, which he
also found on the bodies of the dead rats that were always linked to the plague, and
then deduced that the fleas which carried the bacteria were its true vector or source,
and that they transmitted the illness by jumping from the dead rats’ bodies to the human ones
and biting them.===Calmette’s and Guerin’s anti-tuberculosis
vaccine===By the beginning of the 20th century, the
improvement of the general life conditions and the development of a more extensive conception
of hygiene produced in France a slight regression in tuberculosis cases: nonetheless the Institute’s
labs, like many other ones, kept trying to find among the Koch’s bacillus many singularities
the one that would allow them to find an antidote to its terrible consequences. Right after
he had discovered the bacillus, Koch had tried in vain to create a vaccine against it, however
the injection of the filtrate he had prepared, later called tuberculin, had the effect of
revealing who was phthisic from who wasn’t by causing in the latter—and not in the
former—fever and light trembling. The Institute’s newspaper was filled at the
time with articles regarding tuberculosis, some of which written by Albert Calmette,
who extended his research to a socio-professional category which was extremely affected by it,
that is the miners in whom this disease is often anticipated or accompanied by silicosis
and anchylostomiasis (caused by a small intestinal worm that creates a state of anemia propitious
to tuberculosis). After finding a better solution to anchylostomiasis, he focused on creating
a vaccine using the bacillus responsible for bovine tuberculosis, very similar to the human
one, as it caused almost the same symptoms. Having observed that most actinomycetales
are saprophytes, that is able to survive outside of living organisms, with the help of a veterinary,
Camille Guerin, he attempted to create a special nutritious environment for the bacillus that,
in time, altered its features by eliminating the virulence and leaving only the antigenic
power. Both of the scientist knew that this arduous task would require a lot of effort
and time, because it was necessary to act on a large number of generations to change
the genetic foundation of a species, nevertheless the velocity of the bacteria’s reproduction
allowed, since it was constantly monitored, to interfere with an important phase of its
evolution. The environment deemed appropriate for the
denaturation of the Mycobacterium bovis was a compost of potatoes cooked in the bile of
an ox treated with glycerine, and Calmette re-inseminated it every three weeks for thirteen
years, while checking for an enfeeblement of the pathogenic power of the bacillus. Having
finally lost completely its virulence, the bovine tuberculosis germ grown with their
method was the principal prophylactic weapon against human tuberculosis, and it helped
to reduce considerably the frequency of this disease.
While experimenting on chimpanzees in Kindia, on which he was able to test exhaustively
his vaccine, Calmette also discovered that it can notably weaken some leprosy manifestations
– its bacillus presents some similarities with Koch’s.===Calmette’s work in Saigon===
In Saigon Albert Calmette also created the first overseas branch of the Institute, where
he produced an amount of smallpox and rabies vaccines sufficient to satisfy the needs of
the population, and started a study on venomous snakes, particularly cobras. During these
studies Calmette discovered that the power of the venom, as well as that of tetanus,
could be annihilated by the use of alkaline hypochlorites, and was able therefore to create
a serum, effective if injected right after the cobra’s bite. Back in France, he acquired
enough snakes to continue his work and create serum for the local population.===Nicolle’s work on epidemic typhus===
The scientist and writer Charles Nicolle while in Tunis studied how epidemic typhus – known
for the red spots it left on sick people that disappeared before their death – was transmitted.
His insight into the mode of transmission occurred while he was visiting the hospital:
patients were washed and given clean clothes on admission, and no new cases occurred within
the hospital. This made him realise that the vector of the disease were lice that were
discarded with the patient’s own clothes. Nicolle managed to attract Hélène Sparrow
to be Laboratory Chief in Tunis. She had worked with Rudolf Weigl who had developed a vaccine,
and she was able to introduce this to Tunisia as the start of a public health programme
to control the disease. Nevertheless, three other scientists identified
the bacterium responsible for the disease: Ricketts, Russell Morse Wilder (1885–1959),
and Prowazek, who called it Rickettsia prowazekii.===Chantemesse’s typhoid vaccine===
During the summer of 1900, the extremely hot weather and scarcity of the water supply in
Paris, usually ensured by the Ourcq channel and by the de la Dhuis aqueduct, forced the
authorities to pump water directly from the Seine, which, despite filtering, led to a
sudden and alarming outbreak of typhoid cases in Paris.
The cause of the disease, a bacillus that was discovered almost twenty years before
by the German bacteriologist Karl Joseph Eberth and that looks like a bodyless spider, was
constantly present in this river and not even pouring extensive quantities of ozone and
of lime permanganate into its water was enough to exterminate the bacteria.
The difficulty in creating a vaccine is caused by the nature of the germ’s endotoxins. Unlike
diphtheria, which releases toxins via exocytotic secretion, typhoid pathogens encapsulate endotoxins
which survive even after the death of the bacillus.
After working in the rabies division of Rue Vaquelin and studying the microbe that causes
dysentery, André Chantemesse collaborated with a younger bacteriologist, Georges-Fernand
Widal. Together they were able to immunize guinea pigs by inoculating them with heat-treated
dead bacteria, calling into question the notion that only weakened, not dead, bacteria can
be used to immunize. They concluded that a series of three or four early injections of
such heat-inactivated bacteria can effectively inoculate against development of the disease,
as the endotoxins alone are sufficient to trigger the production of antibodies.===Fourneau and the Laboratory of Medicinal
Chemistry===Regarding curative medicine, it was in 1911
that it took off at the Institut Pasteur, when Ernest Fourneau created the Laboratory
of Medicinal Chemistry, which he directed until 1944, and from which emerged numerous
drugs, among which one can mention the first pentavalent arsenical treatment (Stovarsol),
the first synthetic alpha-adrenoreceptor antagonist (Prosympal), the first antihistamine (Piperoxan),
the first active drug on heart rate (Dacorene) or the first synthetic no-depolarising muscle
relaxant (Flaxedil). The discovery of the therapeutic properties of sulfanilamide by
Tréfouël, Nitti and Bovet, in the laboratory of Fourneau, paved the way for the sulfamidotherapy.==The Hospital Pasteur==
The Hospital Pasteur was built during the first years of the 20th century in front of
the Institute, and was employed for a long time by the members as a field for clinical
observation and experimentations of therapeutical processes elaborated by themselves. Since
in the beginning it was provided with only 120 beds, every patient was so well isolated
in his private room that each room could be almost considered a small pest house, ideal
for quarantine. The construction of the Hospital was enabled by the gift of a rich benefactor,
Madame Lebaudy, while the money offered by another rich woman, the baroness Hirsch, was
used to build a vast pavilion that accommodated the Department of Chemical Biology of the
Institute.===Duclaux work in the chemical biology department
===The work done in the new pavilion by Duclaux
clarified how the human body accomplished some of its vital functions, and brought to
light the role of a diastase. It was critical in resolving a controversy aroused between
Pasteur and Berthelot after the publication of Claude Bernard’s posthumous essay regarding
the nature of the agents implicated in some transformations that happen inside plants,
like fermentation. While Pasteur believed that the only substance implied in the process
of fermentation was yeast, Bernard – and Berthelot in his own way – believed that
some other soluble ferment was involved: the German chemist Eduard Buchner later demonstrated
the existence of this “ferment”, an intracellular diastase which he called “zymase,” what
we know now as enzymes. Duclaux’s study on the metabolism of nutrients did not have immediate
practical applications, but later revealed how extensive is the field of enzymes and
opened new roads that would lead biology to extend the knowledge on life’s mechanisms
on a molecular level.==Pasteur’s museum and tomb==
The Musée Pasteur (Pasteur Museum) is located in the south wing of the first building occupied
by the Institut Pasteur, which was inaugurated on November 14, 1888. Established in 1936,
this museum preserves the memory of Louis Pasteur’s life and work in the vast apartment
where he lived during the last seven years of his life, from 1888 to 1895. This museum
also includes the collection of scientific objects illustrating the scientist’s work,
as well as the Neo-Byzantine funeral chapel where Pasteur is buried.==Institut Pasteur today==
Today, the Institut Pasteur is one of the world’s leading research centers; it houses
100 research units and close to 2,700 people, including 500 permanent scientists and another
600 scientists visiting from 70 countries annually. The Institut Pasteur is also a global
network of 24 foreign institutes devoted to medical problems in developing countries;
a graduate study center and an epidemiological screening unit. The international network is present in the
following cities and countries: Algiers, Algeria
Bangui, Central African Republic Brussels, Belgium
Rome, Italy São Paulo, Brazil
Phnom Penh, Cambodia Dakar, Senegal
Lille, France Pointe-à-Pitre,(Guadeloupe), France
Cayenne,(French Guiana), France Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Nha Trang, Vietnam Hanoi, Vietnam
Tehran, Iran (Pasteur Institute of Iran) Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Tananarive, Madagascar Casablanca, Morocco
Nouméa, (New Caledonia), France St Petersburg, Russia
Tunis, Tunisia Athens, Greece
Montevideo, Uruguay Sofia, Bulgaria
Bucharest, Romania Niamey, Niger
Yaoundé, Cameroon Seoul, South Korea
Shanghai, China (Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS))
Pasteur Foundation New York City, United States Canadian Pasteur Foundation, Montreal, Canada
Hong Kong University – Pasteur Research Centre Hong Kong, China
Pasteur Institute of India, Coonoor, India==
Research Centers==The Institut Pasteur web site currently shows
10 major research departments in 2008. These are: Cell Biology and Infection,
Developmental Biology, Genomes and Genetics,
Immunology, Infection and Epidemiology,
Microbiology, Neuroscience,
Parasitology and Mycology, Structural Biology and Chemistry,
VirologyThere are also non-research departments devoted to records and archives maintenance,
maintenance of historical micro-organism cultures, publications and the library.
In addition to the isolation of HIV-1 and HIV-2, in the recent past researchers at the
Institut Pasteur have developed a test for the early detection of colon cancer, produced
a genetically engineered vaccine against hepatitis B and a rapid diagnostic test for the detection
of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium which is implicated in the formation of stomach
ulcers. Other research in progress includes the study of cancer and specifically the investigation
of the role of oncogenes, the identification of tumor markers for diagnostic tests and
the development of new treatments. One area of particular interest is the study of human
papilloma viruses (HPV) and their role in cervical cancers. Researchers are currently
focusing on the development of various vaccines against many diseases including AIDS, malaria,
dengue fever and the Shigella bacterium. Currently, an extensive line of research aims
at determining the complete genome sequences of several organisms of medical importance,
in the hope of finding new therapeutic approaches. The Institute has contributed to genome-sequencing
projects of the common yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an organism which was so important
for Louis Pasteur’s history), completed in 1996, Bacillus subtilis completed in 1997,
Mycobacterium tuberculosis completed in 1998.==Teaching Center==
Since its founding, the Institute Pasteur has brought together scientists from many
different disciplines for postgraduate study. Today, approximately 300 graduate students
and 500 postdoctoral trainees from close to 40 different countries participate in postgraduate
study programs at the Institute. They include pharmacists and veterinarians, as well as
doctors, chemists and other scientists.==Epidemiological Reference Center==
Strains of bacteria and viruses from many different countries are sent to the Institute’s
reference center for identification. In addition to maintaining this vital epidemiological
resource, the Institute serves as advisor to the French government and the World Health
Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. Pasteur scientists also help to monitor epidemics
and control outbreaks of infectious diseases throughout the world. These activities have
created a close collaboration between the Institute and the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC).==Vaccines and Diagnostic Products==
Production and marketing of diagnostic tests developed in the Institute laboratories are
the responsibility of Sanofi Diagnostics Pasteur, a subsidiary of the French pharmaceutical
firm Sanofi, while production and marketing of vaccines are the responsibility of Pasteur
Mérieux, Sérums et Vaccins.==Structure and Support==
As a private, non-profit organization, the Institut Pasteur is governed by an independent
Board of Directors, currently chaired by François Ailleret. The Director general of the Pasteur
Institut is Stewart Cole. By drawing financial support from many different
sources, the Institute protects its autonomy and guarantees the independence of its scientists.
The Institute’s funding includes French government subsidies, consulting fees, licensing royalties,
contract revenue and private contributions.==In popular culture==
The book The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds begins with four men blowing
up the Institut Pasteur, as a cover for stealing a molecular computer project being done there.
The Institut Pasteur in Paris features prominently in the terrorist-fiction eBook, The Madness
Analog, as the location for clandestine experiments in biochemical weaponry.==Notes====Bibliography==
Gascar, Pierre. La Strada di Pasteur, Jaca Book, Milano 1991. ISBN 88-16-40291-1.
Hage, Jerald and Jonathon Mote. “Transformational Organizations and a Burst of Scientific Breakthroughs,”
Social Science History (2010) 34#1 pp 13–46. online
Reynolds, Moira Davison. How Pasteur Changed History: The Story of Louis Pasteur and the
Institut Pasteur (1994) Seidel, Atherton. “Chemical research at the
Institut Pasteur,” Journal of Chemical Education, (1926) 3#11, p 1217+ DOI: 10.1021/ed003p1217
Weindling, Paul. “Scientific elites and laboratory organization in fin de siècle Paris and Berlin:
The Institut Pasteur and Robert Koch’s Institute for Infectious Diseases compared,” in Andrew
Cunningham and Perry Williams, eds. The Laboratory Revolution in Medicine (Cambridge University
Press, 1992) pp: 170–88. Stephen Dando-Collins “Pasteur’s Gambit” Penguin
Books. A sensational episode in Australasian history that combines science, subterfuge,
and scandal.==External links==
Official website Monod, J.: The Institut Pasteur. The Nobel
Foundation. 1890-07-05: M. PASTEUR IN HIS CABINET AT THE
Institut Pasteur PARIS. Annales de l’Institut Pasteur in Gallica,
the digital library of the BnF==Sources==
The History of Institut Pasteur Fondation Mérieux
Institut Pasteur Montevideo, Uruguay “Pasteur Institute” . The New Student’s Reference
Work. 1914.

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