Speaking at a packed press conference, Christian Brechot, President of the Institut Pasteur, explained that “The world is currently facing unprecedented health concerns with infectious diseases that are spreading fast. The 2020 Pasteur Global Health Initiative strives to find treatments of diseases, to increase the surveillance of emerging infections, and to pursue cutting-edge training for tomorrow’s brightest minds in the medical field, expanding further scientific knowledge”.
The target of this campaign is to raise US$ 120 million by 2020 from the private sector. The funds will be used to conduct collaborative research through the Institut Pasteur International Network of 33 institutes present in 5 continents, in order to respond to these challenges and improve understanding of major global health challenges through research and public health actions.
In this context, the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Pasteur International Network have established the Center for Global Health Research and Education that aims to improve the health of populations worldwide, reinforce scientific knowledge and technical skills in the five continents, and provide a comprehensive educational program that will train and equip the next generation of researchers and global health leaders.
Acclaimed French actress, screenwriter and director Ms Sophie Marceau was the Ambassador of this event and joined the press conference alongside with Hong Kong actor, director and producer Mr Michael Wong, and painter and sculptor Mr Georges-Pascal Ricordeau, who presented a sculpture work especially conceived for this event, using his famed ‘tresse’ process which references viruses and anti-viruses.
“Institut Pasteur’s belief in the power of scientific teamwork and international collaboration to curing life-threatening viruses fast and efficiently is an inspiration,” said Ms Marceau. The three creative individuals from the world of art and entertainment will help bring the urgent and critical medical researches to the attention of the global public.
Roberto Bruzzone, Co-Director, HKU-Pasteur Research Pole emphasized the collaboration with the University of Hong Kong and the pivotal role of HKU-Pasteur as the Asian hub of the 2020 Pasteur Global Health Initiative. “Building on the strengths of the 33 institutes of the Institut Pasteur International Network, the Center for Global Health Research and Education of the Institut Pasteur will be in a unique position in the field of public health and biomedical science to lead ambitious research projects encompassing human, animal health, and environmental concerns” he added.
The grand launch of the 2020 Pasteur Global Health Initiative was closed with a gala dinner at the Asia Society, with the Honorable Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong Government and Mr. Arnaud Barthelemy, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, as Guests of Honor.