Communiqué de presse
Published 3 February 2023

Professor Christian BOITARD elected Perpetual Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine

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Member of the third division “Biological and pharmaceutical sciences”, biological sciences section, Professor Christian BOITARD was elected Perpetual secretary of the French National Academy of Medicine on December 6, 2022, for four years, succeeding Jean François ALLILAIRE.

About Christian BOITARD
Christian BOITARD, MD, is a Clinical Immunology specialist. He was head of the Clinical Immunology and Diabetology departments of Necker-Enfants Malades, Hôtel Dieu and Cochin hospitals in Paris. He also led the Graduate School of Genetics, Immunology, Infectiology, Development (G2iD) of the Paris-Descartes University and the INSERM unit U-561 “Immunology, genetics and treatment of metabolic diseases and diabetes” of Cochin/St Vincent de Paul hospital. He was commissioned by the French Minister of Solidarity and Health to  revise the 2020 University hospital workforce. He chaired the evaluation board of the Future Leader projects of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. Trained at the Faculty of Medicine of Caen and the Faculty of Sciences of Jussieu (Paris), he became resident in the Rouen then Paris hospitals, head of the Clinical Immunology department and Professor of Clinical immunology at the Necker-Enfants Malades hospital. Elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2017, he became a full member of the third division in 2020 and succeeded Jean François ALLILAIRE in January 2023 as perpetual secretary.


Scientific commitment

His research work has focused on the study of the interaction of lymphocytes with pancreas insulin-secreting cells and the mechanisms that lead to their destruction during type 1 diabetes. Christian BOITARD demonstrated that mice predisposed to diabetes become refractory to the disease when some co-activating molecules of the T-ICOS lymphocytes – and their ligands – are invalidated in these mice which, instead, develop autoimmune myopathy and peripheral neuropathy. He has recently developed a “humanized mouse” which is a new model of diabetes replicating human disease. In parallel to these studies, his various works have focused on the development of type 1 diabetes biological markers. Christian BOITARD was vice-president of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and has been involved for more than 10 years in the organization of national research in physiology and pathophysiology, excluding neuroscience, cancer and infectiology, as director of the INSERM Physiopathology-Metabolism-Nutrition thematic Institute and the AVIESAN life sciences alliance.

Christian Boitard, perpetual secretary from 2023
Just after the announcement of his election, the elected perpetual secretary  already mentioned some lines of his project for the French National Academy of Medicine from 2023:

– Strengthen interventions and reflections of the Academy on public health policies in tune with the political and parliamentary news

– Open the Academy even more to society

– Develop international relationships for a greater visibility

– Integrate more often in the Academy work young physicians and scientists, builders of tomorrow’s medicine.

About the Perpetual Secretary of the French National Academy of Medicine
The Perpetual Secretary is elected by and among the full members and emeritus members of the Academy for a period of four years,  renewable once. He or she is head of the operation of the Academy. His/her election is approved by the President of the French Republic. The Perpetual Secretary implements the policy of the Academy and signs off all the acts, contracts and agreements committing the Academy. He/she plans the work program of the assembly and its organization, ensures the rules are followed, and is responsible for all publications of the Academy.