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Past Collaborative Programs

Image of a lecture hall filled with students.

The research projects we have supported over the last two decades have achieved considerable successes, including three major Partner University Fund (PUF) grants, some two dozen dual PhD alumni who have gone to earn tenure-track positions and many long-term faculty exchanges. We have arranged other occasional events to improve US-French academic relations.

The French government has awarded our directors for their work in improving US-French academic relations. In the spring of 2015, Michael Loriaux, co-founder and former co-director of FIG was promoted to the rank of “Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques” in recognition of his indefatigable commitment to US-French intellectual relations over almost two decades. FIG director Marianne Hopman was named “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques” by the Prime Minister of France in recognition for her work spreading French culture and language.

Biomedical Sciences Project

This program between Northwestern and École Normale Supérieure (ENS Paris) was initiated in November 2010 with a joint workshop at Northwestern University. A second workshop was held at ENS Paris in June 2012.
Lead researcher at Northwestern, Richard Morimoto, Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Molecular Biosciences, held an invited professorship at the ENS in Paris. Each October Professor Morimoto taught an intensive one-week course to ENS Paris Master M1 students.

Five ENS Paris Master M1 students conducted research during five-month internships at Northwestern in the labs of Professor Morimoto, Professor Thomas Hope, Professor Laimonis Laimins, Professor Jay Gottfried and Professor Guillermo Ameer.

ENS Paris student Laetitia Chauve's PhD thesis was co-mentored by Professor Morimoto and Professor Jean Louis Bessereau (ENS Paris). Following an extended period of research conducted in Professor Morimoto's lab, Chauve successfully defended her thesis "Understanding the Role of Hsf-1 in the Development of C. elegans" at ENS Paris in September, 2013. She went on to take up a post-doctoral research position at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK.

Professor Sui Huang (Northwestern) was a visiting professor at ENS Paris twice. Professor Huang set up a collaboration with Professor Olivier Bensaude and Professor Xavier Darzacq at ENS Paris which resulted in a publication:

Pollock, C., Daily, K., Nguyen, V.T., Wang, C., Bensaude, O. & Huang, S. (2011). "Characterization of RNA-protein interactions within the perinucleolar compartmentMol. Biol. Cell, 22:858-67.

The PUF grant in biomedical sciences strengthen the ties with ENS Paris and has helped to cultivate partnerships in the humanities and social sciences.

In addition, the French Prime Minister recognized Rick Morimoto’s energy and expertise in expanding Franco-American cooperation in the sciences by conferring upon him the honor of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Palmes Académique.

Program of African Studies

The Program of African Studies at Northwestern established a collaborative interdisciplinary partnership with École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) centered around doctoral training towards the dual PhD.

Institutional coordinators Michael Loriaux (Northwestern) and Eloi Ficquet oversaw a number of faculty and graduate exchange between the US and France over the years. Graduate students who successfully researched and defended dissertations in this program include include Elise Dufief (Publish What You Pay, London), Natacha Lemasle (Post-conflict Research Unit, World Bank) and Romain Malejacq (Radboud University and Netherlands School of Management’s Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management).

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