Michel PIERRES, a world-renowned physician and immunologist, died on June 14, 2019
His work on the characterization of molecules associated with T lymphocyte activation using monoclonal antibodies helped to position the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) on the map of global immunology during the 1980s to 2000s..
Photo : Jean-Marie Huron, ©CIML
Born in 1946 in St Denis, Michel Pierres was a graduate of the faculties of Medicine and Sciences of Paris. He began his research career in the laboratory of Jean Dausset, then with Baruch Benacerraf at Harvard where, with Ron Germain and Martin Dorf, he studied the serological specificities of MHC molecules and model antigens using monoclonal antibodies, a nascent technology at that time.
Arriving at the CIML in 1979, he developed unique expertise in the generation of monoclonal antibodies, which he generously provided to most of the teams present there in the 1980s. Using these antibodies and T cell clones, he contributed significantly to the study of alloreactive and antigen-specific T cells and the functional description of many surface molecules they express during their development and activation, such as CD4, CD8, LFA-1, CD45, Thy-1 and CD26. Author of more than 150 publications, he contributed to the training of several generations of scientists who today animate the community of immunologists in Marseille and internationally.
He was Director of the CIML from 1990 to 1995 before joining Lyon for a short period. On his return to Marseille and later, as Research Director Emeritus of INSERM, he was responsible for a monoclonal antibody technology platform that was made available to the campus scientific community before being integrated into the MiMabs structure.
Michel Pierres will be remembered for his sense of ethics, methodological rigor, incomparable energy, generosity towards fellow researchers around the world and his profound scientific and general culture (literary and musical in particular). He was a colleague and friend highly esteemed by his peers.
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