Honoris Causa Titles awarded by the University of Montpellier since January 01, 2015

An “honoris causa” doctorate (derived from the latin “causa”, meaning the source of or the reason for, preceded by the genitive of honor, honoris), is an honorary degree awarded by a university or a faculty to an eminent personality.

The degree of Doctor Honoris Causa gives French universities the opportunity to honor foreign eminent scientists who have rendered valuable services to science, literature and the arts. It is one of the most prestigious distinctions awarded by French higher education institutions.

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Etoiles de l’Europe

Two UM researchers are among the 12 winners of the Étoiles de l’Europe, which recognize European commitment and the coordination of international projects.


Montpellier University of Excellence: a tradition of innovation

2017 Jamal Tazi (UM, biology and health) > CNRS Innovation Medal

2017 University of Montpellier is 15th in the European Reuters ranking “Europe’s most innovative universities”.

2014 Patrick Valduriez (Inria, IT) > Inria Innovation Prize – Academy of Sciences – Dassault systems

2014 Claude Grison (UM, green chemistry) > CNRS Innovation Medal

2011 François Pierrot (CNRS, robotics) > CNRS Innovation Medal

Honoris Causa Titles awarded by the University of Montpellier since January 01, 2015.

An “honoris causa” doctorate (derived from the latin “causa”, meaning the source of or the reason for, preceded by the genitive of honor, honoris), is an honorary degree awarded by a university or a faculty to an eminent personality.

The degree of Doctor Honoris Causa gives French universities the opportunity to honor foreign eminent scientists who have rendered valuable services to science, literature and the arts. It is one of the most prestigious distinctions awarded by French higher education institutions.

Created by the decree on 26 June 1918

The decree of 26 June 1918 authorizes, under Article 1, to award the title of Doctor Honoris Causa without conferring on the holder any right granted by laws and regulations to doctoral degree holders.

According to Article 2, the title of Doctor Honoris Causa could only be awarded to foreigners as form of recognition of their outstanding services rendered to sciences, letters and arts, to France or to the university awarding it.

Among the other provisions of the decree, one distinguished the origin of the proposal, depending on whether it came from one of the faculties or from the university itself.

It seems that from the beginning, during the solemn ceremony, at the same time as he received his diploma, the holder received the doctor’s insignia: a shoe or epitoge generally in the colors of the university or faculty.

The origin of this tradition could date back to the 17th century.
Nowadays this title is awarded to foreign personalities. This choice underlines the fact that universities have a vocation to reach beyond borders and are increasingly getting global.

The common practice is for only 4 titles per year to be awarded in order to maintain the prestige of this distinction.


  • Andrew R. Marks (proposed by Professor Jacques Mercier – Medicine)
    Professor in the Department of Cell Physiology and Biophysics, New York University
  • Dirk Wiechmann (proposed by Professor Gibert – Odontology):
    Professor of Orthodontics at the Medical School of Hanover D.U. Lingual Orthodontics Head in Paris and Hanover (Germany)
  • Ricardo Augusto Da Luz Reis (proposed by Professor Michel Robert, Honorary President of the University of Montpellier 2 and Serge Pravossoudovitch, Polytech Director)
    Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul Porto Alegre-Brazil. A doctor-engineer in computer sciences from the Grenoble Polytechnic Institute, microelectronics option.


  • Aïda Kelmejamer de Carlucci (proposed by Professor of law Rémy Cabrillac)
    Professor of Civil Law – University of Mendoza. Judge at the Supreme Court of Mendoza (Argentina)
  • Ron Laskey (proposed by Marcel Méchali member of the Academy of Sciences)
    Professor of Animal Embryology at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Director of the MCR Cancer Cell Unit, Member of the Royal Society and Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Camille Scalliet winner of the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science

Camille Scalliet is trying to understand how the presence of disorder at the microscopic level gives amorphous solids their unique physical properties.She is a member of the Charles Coulomb Laboratory (L2C), a Joint UM-CNRS Research Unit, with a particular interest in a new phase of material in amorphous state and whose existence was previously unsuspected. “Discovered very recently in abstract mathematical development, this complex phase seems to have particularly interesting properties,” explains Camille, whose research equipment consists of sophisticated mathematical tools and advanced numerical simulations. To gain insights into the physics of amorphous materials could pave the way for the design of novel materials with innovative thermal, mechanical or optical properties.

For the past 10 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO Program for Women in Science has aimed to promote and support young doctoral and post-doctoral students at a pivotal moment in their professional careers. These scholarships are awarded each year to 30 doctoral and post-doctoral fellows in order to accompany them as their careers unfold, support their research work and give them the visibility they deserve.

Womed has been awarded the 2018 i-Lab Great Prize

The i-Lab 2018, national jury, chaired by Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan, distinguished 64 winners from the 383 applications received this year. Among them, 14 Grand Prizes are awarded to the most outstanding projects, which are part of one of the ten societal challenges defined by the “France Europe 2020” agenda.

Founded in 2018 by Gonzague Issenmann, serial entrepreneur in the field of medtech, Professor Xavier Garric and Dr. Stéphanie Huberlant, the inventors of the technology, Womed’s mission is to help women improve their fertility by protecting and repairing the uterus for pregnancy. The first product is a medical device to prevent and treat the adhesion of the walls of the uterus following surgery.

The innovation comes from the Artificial Biopolymers Department of the Max Mousseron Biomolecules Institute (which is attached to the University of Montpellier, the CNRS and the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier) and the obstetrical gynaecology department of the Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Nîmes. The research was largely funded by a maturation program of  SATT AxLR, which granted an exclusive license to the company to exploit the patents.

Morgane Bayle was awarded the prize for the best doctoral thesis in Pharmacology

Morgane Bayle, Contractual Technical Assistant who defended her thesis at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Montpellier in July 2017, has just been awarded the prize for the best doctoral thesis in Pharmacology conferred by the Société Française de Pharmacologie et Thérapeutique which recently organized its annual conference in Toulouse.
Her research carried out at IBMM (CNRS 5247) and the Faculty of Pharmacy (Pharmacology Department of Professors Gérard Cros and Catherine Oiry) focused on the antidiabetic properties of molecules (urolithins) formed from polyphenols contained in certain foods (pomegranate, nuts…) by the action of intestinal bacteria. During her work, Morgane has been able to be versatile by mastering different pharmacological models ranging from fundamental mechanisms to in vivo models.

Given her achievements, Morgane must follow up with a post-doctoral certificate on this same theme supported by the SATT AxLR in the form of a partnership maturation aimed at fully exploiting the therapeutic potential of uroliths.

Olivier Fontaine, laureate of the 2017 “La Recherche” Prize in Chemistry

Olivier Fontaine, Associate Professor in the Department of Solid State and Divided Matter Chemistry at the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute, has just recieved the 2017 prize awarded by the magazine La Recherche in the area of Chemistry.

Olivier Fontaine

Olivier Fontaine, Associate Professor at the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute (CNRS/UM/ENSCM), has just been awarded the  2017 prize from the magazine La Recherche in the area of chemistry, for his publication “Biredox ionic liquids with solid-like redox density in the liquid state for high-energy supercapacitors”, published in 2017 in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Materials. As part of this award, Olivier Fontaine’s research work will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the magazine La Recherche.

Since 2004, the Prix La Recherche honors each year the best francophone scientific works of the past year, in 12 categories including Chemistry. These publications, selected by a panel of 21 experts representing all disciplines, must meet three criteria: achieve a breakthrough in their field of research, involve francophone researchers; and be the subject of a peer review in 2017.

The awards ceremony for this 14th edition will take place on 31 January 2018 at the University of Paris-Dauphine as part of the Think Education & Research event.

Étoiles de l’Europe

Two UM researchers are among the 12 winners of the Étoiles de l’Europe, which recognize European commitment and the coordination of international projects.

Florin Grigorescu (UMR Nutripass)

MEDIGENE project, understanding insulin resistance

MEDIGENE studies the genetic and environmental factors of the metabolic syndrome of insulin resistance in humans in order to improve clinical diagnosis. This interdisciplinary program, which focuses on both native and migrant populations in the Mediterranean basin, brings together geneticists, anthropologists, endocrinologists and nutritionists.

As part of this project, more than 6,000 DNA samples from migrant populations (Albanians, Romanians, Turks, Moroccans, Algerians or Tunisians) or from the Mediterranean region (French, Italians, Greeks) were analyzed and compared. These data were then cross-referenced with human DNA samples from Roman times to observe the evolution of genetic markers and past demographic events over time.

This work has highlighted the role of ancestral components in the genetic susceptibility of some chronic diseases. They also strengthen our knowledge of genetic variability within populations in the Mediterranean basin. It is therefore possible to identify new markers in genetic epidemiology with a view to developing personalized medicine.

Benoit Bardy (Euromov)

AlterEgo project: better understanding of mental disorders through human movement

Coordinated by the UM, the European project AlterEgo has developed a unique method for the detection and treatment of mental disorders. This innovative therapeutic strategy, based on the theory of similarity applied to movement, has been successfully tested on a cohort of patients with schizophrenia.

Based on the theory of similarity, according to which it is easier to interact socially with someone who looks like us, this project uses movement as a marker of mental health. By using humanoid robotics and virtual reality, AlterEgo has made it possible to develop a method for re-educating the relational disorders that accompany certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

From healthy volunteers, the researchers first recorded thousands of movements involving their upper limbs. This data was then used to build a solid database to animate virtual avatars and robots. The latter have in turn been used to reproduce these movements in order to interact with a cohort of schizophrenic patients.

Sara CAVALIERE, CNRS Bronze medalist

Sara CAVALIERE, Associate Professor at the University of Montpellier and member of the Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier (ICGM), has just been awarded the CNRS Bronze Medal at an official ceremony held on Friday 24 November in Montpellier Sup Agro.

Sara was recruited as an Associate Professor at the University of Montpellier and assigned to the Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier UMR 5253 in 2009, after an executive training period at the University of Milan, a doctorate at the Lavoisier Institute, University of Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 18 months of post-doctorate at the University of Freiburg and two years as Temporary Teaching and Research Associate at the University of Lyon 1. Sara has successfully developed the use of polymer and ceramic nanofibers in energy conversion devices, which has enabled her to quickly gain international recognition. Her research project was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2013, thanks to which she was able to gather a critical number of doctoral and post-doctoral students around her.

Sara is also the editor of a book entitled “Electrospinning for Advanced Energy and Environmental Applications” (CRC Press, 2015). She initiated and chaired the first international conference (Montpellier, 2016) “Electrospinning for Energy”. The approaches it has developed have been very well received in the context of industrial partnership: 2 patents in industrial co-ownership CNRS-University of Montpellier, a European project specifically dedicated to the up-scaling of its inventions. The CNRS Bronze medalist also participates in several H2020 and ANR projects.

Sara Cavaliere’s CNRS Bronze Medal recognizes an original and creative scientific activity that has opened up a new field of interdisciplinary research in the development of materials for energy conversion and storage.

The European Mineralogical Society Research Excellence Medal

On August 17, 2017, during the Goldschmidt conference 2017 in Paris, Sylvie Demouchy (Geoscience Montpellier) received from Michael Carpenter, President of the European Mineralogical Union, the 2016 Research Excellence Medal awarded by the European Mineralogical Society (EMU).

The EMU has been awarded annually, since 1955, a young researcher (under the age of 40) for his or her significant contribution to mineralogical research and for his or her involvement in the European scientific community. Sylvie Demouchy is rewarded for her contributions to experimental geochemistry applied to mineral physics, especially regarding water cycle in the deep Earth and olivine’s rheology.

The “Paul Silver” Award for David Mainprice

The “Paul Silver” prize of the AGU (American Geophysical Union) is awarded this year to David Mainprice, CNRS research director at Géosciences Montpellier. The latter will receive this award next December in New Orleans.

David Mainprice will receive the Paul G. Silver Award for “Outstanding Scientific Research” at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11-15 December, 2017 in New Orleans. This award recognizes outstanding contributions in the fields of geodesy, seismology or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community-based research initiatives or other forms of unselfish research collaborations.

David Mainprice has made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the dynamics of our planet by playing a major role in establishing the links between rock textures and their physical properties. This pioneering approach provides the keys for interpreting the deep Earth deformations based on geophysical data. This award recognizes in particular his commitment, throughout his career, to the improvement of techniques and the development of open source software in the field of petrophysics, which is now widely used by the global geosciences community.

Odile Eisenstein “Doctor Honoris Causa” of the Technion

Crédit photo Technion

Odile Eisenstein, Director of Research Emeritus in the Department of Physical Chemistry at theCharles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute, has just been awarded the title of “Doctor Honoris Causa” of the Technion.

Odile Eisenstein has been a member of the Academy of Sciences since 2013 and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Theoretical and Computational Chemistry in Oslo. An internationally renowned theoretical chemist, she is recognized for her work on the behavior of metals in transition and has received numerous awards for her research on the prediction of unknown properties and processes, as well as for her outstanding contributions to the theoretical understanding of the structure and the reactivity of transition metals for catalysis.
In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Centenary Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry for all of her research accomplishments.

Thesis Prize

Claire Cuyamendous, ENSCM Chemical Engineer, class of 2012, has just received the 2016 thesis prize from SFEL (Société Française pour l’Etude des Lipides). This thesis work entitled Synthèses Totales de Phytofuranes, nouveaux métabolites de l’acide α-linolénique” French for “Total Synthesis of Phytofurans, new metabolites of α-linolenic acid” was carried out, with the support of the University of Montpellier (Doctoral-UM Contract, ED 459-Chemistry), at the Max Mousseron Biomolecules Institute (IBMM) in Montpellier, under the supervision of Dr. Jean-Marie GALANO and Dr. Camille OGER.

Claire Cuyamendous’ work has led to the discovery of new non-enzymatic oxygenated metabolites of a-linolenic acid (C18:3 n-3, ALA) and confirmation of their presence in Chia, nut and flax seeds (Cuyamendous et al. Chem Comm. 2015, 51, 15696-15699). More recently, its synthesis work and the discovery of new non-enzymatic oxygenated metabolites of a-linolenic acid in Chia in seeds and oils developed by the PANAM company of Toulouse, have led to the the creation of a new field Chia de France, whose scientific launch day is organized by the Occitanie Region at the Cité Universitaire, just outside Paris, on 27 June, 2017.

Guy Carcassonne Award

Mrs Cécile Lefrancois and Mrs Clémence Vialatte, both Contractual PhD candidates in criminal law, within the Montpellier Criminal Law Team (EDPM-UMR 5815), under the direction of Professors Didier Thomas and Marie Christine Sordino, were awarded the Guy Carcassonne Prize in its 4th edition, on 7 June, 2017, at the Constitutional Council. This Prize is awarded under the leadership of the Constitutional Council and the Lawyers’ Club.

The two doctoral students were distinguished for the high quality of their article, on a constitutional law issue, the revenge porn, which was published in the newspaper Le Monde (June 9, 2017 edition) and in the magazine Pouvoirs.

Camille Oger: the Société de chimie de France Award – 2017 Young Researcher Award

Camille Oger, 32 years old, obtained her Master’s degree in chemistry from Pierre and Marie Curie University in 2007 before completing her thesis work at the Biomolécules Max Mousseron Institute  in Montpellier, under the joint supervision of Drs. Thierry Durand and Jean-Marie Galano. Her thesis, defended in 2010, focused on the development of a new strategy for the synthesis of neuroprostans, the metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acids. She then joined Prof. Ilan Marek’s team at the Faculty of Chemistry of Technion (Haifa, Israel) for a post-doctoral internship on the synthesis of Erythronolide A via “one-pot” access to polypropionate-type stereopentades. In 2011, she was recruited as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Montpellier within the team of Dr. Thierry Durand, and obtained her HDR in 2016.

At the interface with analytical chemistry and biology, Camille Oger’s research work, has led to the development of new, more specific and early biomarkers of oxidative stress (e. g. Rett syndrome), but also interesting biological activities (e. g. anti-arrhythmics). Camille Oger is co-author of 50 articles, 4 patents and 2 book chapters. She has also been involved with the SCF as president of the Languedoc-Roussillon regional section, creative member of the RJ-SCF and secretary of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN).

Sara Cavaliere, CNRS Bronze medalist

Sara Cavaliere, a teacher-researcher at the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute, has just been awarded the CNRS Bronze medal,which recognizes “the first autonomous work of a researcher, who is a talented specialist in his field”.

This prestigious award recognizes particularly promising advances in energy conversion and storage through the use of polymer and ceramic nanofibers.

Jamal Tazi receives the CNRS innovation medal!

Jamal Tazi, Professor at the University of Montpellier, was awarded this year along with 3 other researchers with the prestigious CNRS innovation medal. At the heart of his current work is the ABX464 molecule, currently in phase 2 of clinical trial, which could play a key role in the development of a functional cure for the AIDS virus.

Aged 57 years old, this professor specializing in functional genomics, leads a research team at the Montpellier Institute of Molecular Genetics (CNRS/University of Montpellier). His work in the field of alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNAs has led to several major discoveries, opening up new avenues for the treatment of viral and genetic diseases. Jamal Tazi is also working on the development of new antiviral drug candidates. He heads the CNRS-Abivax cooperative laboratory, named Abivax Therapeutics (formerly Splicos Therapeutics) and created in 2009 by his company and the CNRS.

Odile Eisenstein, winner of the 2017 Centenary Prize of the Royal Society for Chemistry (RSC)

Odile Eisenstein, a theoretical chemist in the Department of Physical Chemistry (CP) at the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute (CNRS/UM/ENSCM), Assistant Professor at the Center for Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (CTCC) in Oslo and member of the Academy of Sciences, has just received the prestigious Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This new prestigious award recognizes Odile Eisenstein’s outstanding contributions in the field of transition metal complexes for catalysis including the prediction of properties and/or reaction paths.

It should be recalled that the RSC Centenary Prize is awarded to renowned chemists who have a recognized talent as speakers and also gives scientists from outside the British Isles the opportunity to give a series of lectures. Odile Eisenstein shares this award with Williams Evans from the University of California at Irvine and Ben Feringa (Nobel 2016) from the University of Groningen.

National Competition of advocacy in intellectual property (CN2PI)

The National Competition of advocacy in intellectual property (CN2PI), held this year in Paris on April 12-13-14, 2017, was a great edition. It was organized by the Jean-Monnet de Sceaux Faculty of Law (University of Paris-Sud). The program includes a practical case involving copyright exploitation contracts, on which the students had worked for two months, before pleading in front of a jury composed of specialist professionals (academics, judges, lawyers, industrial property attorneys and lawyers). This exercise makes it possible to perfect the students’ training to work in team, develop arguments and master the art of advocacy in conditions that are fairly close to reality. This event, which brings together students and legal practitioners, greatly promotes their professional integration.

The University of Montpellier can thus boast, this year again, of having trained the winners of the Competition  (Anadja Galli, Frédéric Herpin and Gaëlle Ptak), who are graduates of the Master’s program in Intellectual Property Law and ICT from the Faculty of Law. In the final they faced the team of the Faculty of Law of Toulouse. The competition could not be organized each year without the support of many partners, law firms (Vercken and Gaullier, NFA, Zorn, Laropoin, CVS), industrial property attorneys (Regimbeau), editors of specialized journals (Dalloz IP/IT, Intellectual Property, JCP, etc.), professional associations (Apram), professional orders or collective management societies (Sacem). They presented the winners’ team with numerous prizes to reward their performance.

The Montpellier team has therefore once again distinguished itself for the third time since the competition began (2009).

Young Entrepreneur Award in the “new services” category, organized by La Tribune and BNP Paribas

For the past four years, and with the support of its partners, La Tribune has, every year, awarded with prizes seven startups in Green business, Media & Culture, Health, Industry, New Services, Digital and Start. One watchword: to encourage young talents with exceptional entrepreneurial dynamism. At the beginning, 1000 startups across France are competing to pass the regional selection stage.

It was at the end of a month of calls for votes and the day of the Final Presentation, that Arthur Dupuy won the “new services” category against its six competitors: Decidendo, My tailor is free, Singa France, Location Eventis, We farm up and Elamp. She won €30,000 in advertising space purchases on La Tribune.

ARTHUR DUPUY® SAS was created on the basis of the skills and disciplinary knowledge of a solid team formed by its co-founders Arthur Dupuy, a graduate of the Paul Bocuse Institute in management and luxury hotel management & a graduate in oenology from the University of Wine of Suze-La-Rousse, and Dr. Isabelle Parrot, professor in perfume and flavor chemistry at the IBMM of the University of Montpellier.

Specialized in the creation of olfactory logos or LOGOLF, their job consists in translating a brand, a visual logo, into olfactory language by creating a unique identity perfume.

While the market mostly uses standard and stereotyped fragrances from mass marketing and therefore not very differentiating, their ambition is to become the national (or even European) reference for the creation of tailor-made olfactory signatures.

For more details, please contact 04 67 14 49 86 or visit www.arthurdupuy.com

Two students, winners of the 8th edition of the U’Cosmetics competition

U’Cosmetics is a student cosmetic formulation competition organized by UCO Bretagne Nord and TTDO Marketing in Guingamp. The special Coup de coeur prize of the 8th edition was awarded to DIAMOR, a project led by Ophélie VANDESANDE and Alexandra CALCAVECCHIA.

Anne-Caroline Genix, winner of the joint SFP/GFP award

Anne-Caroline Genix, Associate professor at the Charles Coulomb Laboratory (L2C, CNRS/University of Montpellier), is the winner of the joint SFP/GFP prize, awarded by the French Physical Society and the French Group for Polymer Studies and Applications in 2016, for her work in the field of polymer nanocomposites.

Through its results, it has contributed to a better understanding of the structural organization of polymer chains and nanoparticles in nanocomposites, whether they are “model” type or close to industrial application (here pneumatic), i. e. highly disordered and polydispersed. Her work, carried out within the L2C Soft Matter team, in collaboration with Julian Oberdisse, is based on the analysis of neutron or small angle X-ray scattering spectra and the implementation of several methodological developments using Monte Carlo type numerical simulations.


The joint SFP/GFP prize is awarded every 2 years “to researchers under 40 who have presented outstanding scientific or technical results in the field of polymers“.

Déborah Jones, named Fellow of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) class of 2015

Deborah Jones from the “Aggregates, Interfaces and Materials for Energy” (AIME) team of the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute (ICGM) has just been awarded the prestigious distinction of “Fellow”, class 2015, by the Electrochemical Society (ECS).

The Electrochemical Society has more than 9,000 researchers and engineers in 75 countries, as well as 100 institutions or companies. This prestigious award is given annually in recognition of an outstanding international scientific career in electrochemistry and solid state science; and outstanding service to the ECS. Throughout its history, the learned society has awarded this prestigious distinction to only 4 researchers in France. An official ceremony will take place during the plenary session of the 228th ECS conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2015.

Déborah Jones is Deputy Director of the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute, head of the Department of “Chemistry of Solid and Divided Material” since January 1, 2015. Prior to that, she was head of the Research Team “Aggregates, Interfaces and Materials for Energy” (AIME) of the ICGM for 5 years. She is also a member of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), the other major international electrochemistry company for which she served as President of the “Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage” Division, from 2011 to 2013.

The awarding of this highest honor undeniably underlines the quality of research at the Charles Gerhardt Montpellier Institute and thus contributes significantly to the image of excellence of research in Languedoc-Roussillon.