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The 2013 Doctors Honoris Causa

This year, UPMC has chosen ten exceptional individuals to receive their honorary doctorate: The Doctor Honoris Causa (DHC). This title is the highest distinction from a French university. UPMC awards the DHC to individuals who have contributed to the advancement of our society.

The awardees for 2013 will become new standard bearers for UPMC abroad. This year’s DHC awards have been to a particularly balanced mix of men and women that come from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. The DHC recognizes both the excellence of those who are preeminent in their fields, as well as their commitment to humanity and involvement in the development of the society overall.

In today’s world of international knowledge sharing, France aims to fully participate. UPMC’s long-standing tradition reinforces its ties with foreign peers and underscores its cooperation without borders between researchers worldwide.  



The 2013 DHC Recipients

Sun-Yung Alice Chang

Professor, Eugene Higgins chair in Mathematics, Princeton University, USA

Sun-Yung Alice Chang’s research has focused on harmonic analysis, geometric analysis and partial differential equations. She has degrees from the National Taiwan University and UC Berkeley. Her career includes professorial positions at UCLA, UC Berkeley, fellowships from the Sloan and Guggenheim Foundations, and she has received the Satter Prize. She is a member of the American Academy of Science, the US National Academy of Science and the Academia Sinica, Republic of China.

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

Managing Director of the Centre for Phytotherapy Research (CEPHYR), Mauritius

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has held the chair in Organic Chemistry since 2001 at the University of Mauritius, where she also served as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor (2004-2010). Ameenah Gurib-Fakim received her PhD from the University of Exeter, is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the African and Islamic World Academies of Sciences. She has won numerous awards, including the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award for Africa. Her research projects focus on indigenous plants of the Indian Ocean.

Bilal Haq

Director of Marine Geoscience programs at National Science Foundation, USA

Born in Pakistan, Bilal Haq is the author of influential studies in the fields of Paleoceanography, Paleoclimatology. Global stratigraphy and Sea-Level Change. He has undertaken research at many European and US universities and held assignments with the White House and the World Bank. He has been awarded the Shepard medal for excellence in marine geology by the Society of Sedimentary Geology, the Antarctic Medal by National Science Foundation and the Ocean Sciences Award by the American Geophysical Union.

Anne L’Huillier

Professor of Atomic Physics, Lund University, Sweden

Anne L’Huillier’s research group at the Lund Laser Center is focused on producing short attosecond light pulses via harmonic generation and exploring applications of this source of radiation. L’Huillier performed research at the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, (the CEA, France) and then held a permanent research position there for 11 years, before moving to Lund University. She received the UNESCO-L’Oréal award for Women in Science in 2011, and is member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Jorge Kalil

Professor, the Clinical Immunology and Allergy chairs, Sao Paolo University School of Medicine, and director of Butantan Institute, Brazil

Jorge Kalil is part of the research team that developed the HIVBr18 vaccine currently being tested in monkeys. Kalil is a Medical Doctor and obtained his Doctorate of Science from Paris Diderot University, working with Jean Dausset (Nobel Laureate 1980). He was visiting professor at Stanford University, and International Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Kalil was awarded the Brazilian Medal of Merit for Science twice, as Commander and as Great Cross, and was knighted in the French Order of Merit. He is the President of the International Union of Immunological Societies.

Krzysztof Matyjaszewski

Professor, JC Warner Chair in Chemistry, Carnegie-Mellon University, USA

Krzysztof Matyjaszewski is a polymer chemist best known for the discovery of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). Matyjaszewski received his doctorate from the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1976. His long-standing association with UPMC started in 1984, working closely with the Laboratory of Macromolecular Chemistry. With more than 60,000 citations, he is one of the most cited chemists in the world. Matyjaszewski has received numerous awards, including the US Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2009 and the prestigious Wolf Prize in 2011, and the AkzoNobel North America Science Award in 2013.

Edward M. De Robertis

Professor, the Norman F. Sprague Chair of Biological Chemistry, UCLA/HHMI , USA

Edward M. De Robertis is an embryologist whose work has contributed to the discovery of conserved molecular mechanisms that mediate embryonic cell differentiation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American and Latin American Academies of Sciences, and an honorary member of the Société de biologie de Paris. De Robertis received the Ross Harrison Prize in Developmental Biology in 2009.

Anne Sofie von Otter

Mezzo-Soprano, Sweden

Anne Sofie von Otter performs works from all periods from baroque to contemporary and pop. After studying in Stockholm and London, she embarked on a career that has taken her to all the world’s major opera houses and concert halls. In addition to the standard repertoire she has dedicated her talents to lesser-known composers, Swedish music, and music from composers imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps.

Conjeevaram Srirangachari Seshadri

Director-Emeritus of the Chennai Mathematical Institute, India

C.S. Seshadri is an eminent mathematician known for his contributions to algebraic geometry, representation theory and invariant theory. He is a founder of the school of modern algebraic geometry in India. His work has been part of some spectacular developments in mathematical physics and topology of four-manifolds. He is a pioneer in establishing Franco-Indian cooperation in mathematics. Seshadri has received the Padma Bhushan, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, and the Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal. He is a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Royal Society of London and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Lesley Anne Wilson

Secretary General of the EUA (European University Association)

Lesley Wilson was a pioneer in federating European universities in support of common goals. Previously, she held senior positions in higher education and research management: Director of UNESCO’s European Centre for Higher Education in Bucharest (UNESCO-CEPES) from 1995 to late 1999, Head of the Science Policy Unit at the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, and Director of the EC TEMPUS Office in Brussels. Lesley Wilson received degrees from the University of Glasgow, and the Institut des hautes études européenes (Strasbourg).