The Story of the Pasteur Institute and Its Contributions to Global Health

V0049876 the Pasteur Institute in Paris
Seminar room at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Photographic postcard, ca. 1910. Credit: Wellcome CollectionCC BY

Marie-Hélène Marchand served as the Secretary General of the Pasteur Institute from 1983 to 2010, having previously worked as Scientific Attaché to the French Embassy in Washington, DC, and as Adviser to the President of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and to the Minister of Research. Her book, The Story of the Pasteur Institute and Its Contributions to Global Health (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018), presents the fascinating story of an institution which had enormous influence on both British and American science and medicine. It offers detailed insights into the Pasteur Institute, where lively personalities and outsized passions give birth to excitement and the triumph of world-class research.

Despite the fame surrounding the name of Louis Pasteur, few people know what exactly occurs at the institute he founded in 1887. Scientific breakthroughs made by pioneers of microbiology, the emergence of molecular biology and genomics, and the identification of VIH–1 in 1983 have kept the Pasteur Institute at the forefront of the fight against infectious diseases. This prestigious private foundation has upheld the vision of its founder, creating a Pasteurian community worldwide, with 33 Pasteur Institutes on five continents, and supported by both famous and unknown donors throughout the world.

In a new review of the book, Jean-Paul Gonzalez of Georgetown University (USA), acknowledges its uniqueness and importance:

This book, the first of this genre to be written in the English language, depicts the history of the Pasteur Institute as a place of intense, historical research and discovery for the good of humankind. Indeed, a large part of the literary works produced in the name of “Pasteur” focus mainly on the life and work of the founders, Louis Pasteur and his collaborators. The story of the Pasteur Institute can be scarcely found in French literature.

This story belongs to all researchers, students, and partners in the House of Pasteur. It is in the walls of the buildings, set along the Rue du Dr Roux in the heart of Paris, where many scientists from all continents came to learn and embrace this unique Pasteurian spirit. […]

Dr Marchand presents the captivating story of a unique institution, which has had a worldwide influence in the progress of biomedicine. Marchand offers personal insights into the Pasteur Institute, those who made it, and those who perpetuate it today. This book is in the spirit of Louis Pasteur, who affirmed without limits that ‘knowledge is the heritage of humanity’.

To read the review in full, published in the One Health Newsletter Kansas State University, you can click here. To read an extract from the book or to purchase a copy, please visit this link on our website.

Happy reading!

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