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In tribute to Pr Pierre Boulanger

In tribute to Pr Pierre Boulanger
Pr Pierre Boulanger, virologist and emeritus professor of the Lyon 1 university, died in Lyon on March 30th 2020

Pr Pierre Boulanger, emeritus professor of the Lyon 1 university (January 26th 1940- Marche 30th 2020) was a renowned virologist with over 30 years of experience in molecular virology and imaging, especially on adenoviruses and HIV. With his medical degree obtained at the Faculty of Medicine of Lille, Pierre Boulanger started his career in the department of Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine of Lille and headed the INSERM "Molecular Virology" unit U233 from 1978 to 1988. In 1988, he moved to Montpellier, and became head of the virology department at the Montpellier faculty of medicine and director of the CNRS UMR 5812 "Molecular virology" unit. Pierre arrived in Lyon in 1999 at the head of the virology department at the Laennec faculty of medicine of the Lyon 1 University (1998-2006) and headed the "Molecular Virology and Viral Pathogenesis" CNRS unit UMR5537 up to 2005. Professor Emeritus of Claude Bernard University, he has joined our research unit UMR754 "Viral infections and comparative pathology" unit.

During all his career, Pierre’s research focused mainly on the structure-function relationship of viral proteins, virus assembly and virus assembly inhibitors. He identified and characterized some of the cellular receptors of adenoviruses and developed effective capsid modification systems. He is the co-inventor of thirteen patents relating to adenoviral receptors, adenovirus vectors and baculoviruses. Pr Boulanger was the co-author of more than 140 articles and reviews in international journals, as well as chapters on basic and medical virology and human gene therapy.

Professor Boulanger was president of two scientific committees of ANRS, the French National Agency for AIDS Research, and vice-president of the scientific committee of INSERM. He was a member of the VLM (Vaincre la Mucoviscidose) strategic committee and of the INRA scientific committee. He was also a member of the scientific committee of "GIANT", a European consortium of laboratories involved in prostate cancer treatment using gene therapy.

We will keep the memory of an elegant, affable man, who liked to discuss of science as of many other subjects. In these terrible times of the COVID19 crisis which is shaking the world, he would have certainly participated in the fight and follow this pandemy as the talented virologist he has been all his life.

Our warmest thoughts go to his wife and our dear colleague Dr Saw-See Hong, his lifelong scientific partner, and to his 3 children and grandchildren.

Read "The three lives of Pierre Boulanger" in Retrovirology and the tribute of the Société Française de Virologie