Prof Jacques Grosset

Prof Jacques Grosset has been conducting research on tuberculosis and mycobacterial infections for the past 60 years.  His contributions have helped shape the modern treatment of tuberculosis, leprosy, M. avium-complex disease, Buruli ulcer (M. ulcerans), M. xenopii and other infections.  He has developed the animal models to evaluate new drugs and regimens for all of these conditions, and has been involved in evaluating almost every new drug for mycobacterial infections in the past 50 years. Along with Denis Mitchison and Wallace Fox, he is substantially responsible for the modern chemotherapy of tuberculosis. Because of his work, treatment is shorter, safer, and new drugs and drug combinations have entered the marketplace.  

In addition, Prof Grosset has translated the scientific output of his laboratory and of others by shaping policy for the control of TB and leprosy, most notably by leading the World Health Organization committees overseeing global leprosy and TB control for more than a dozen years. 

Prof Grosset is himself a TB survivor, and he has lived several lives.  After a long career in Paris with the Pasteur Institute, instead of retiring, he moved to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. When asked to help start the KRITH program in Durban, he again moved his life and started over in South Africa. 

The author of more than 300 published papers, Prof Grosset has remained active in his 80s, having recently received an NIH grant to study clofazimine for the treatment of drug-susceptible TB.  He also continues to mentor young investigators in South Africa and the United States.

Prof Grosset is an indefatigable opponent of TB, leprosy and stigmatising diseases of the poor, who has devoted his long and productive professional life to reducing the burden of mycobacterial diseases.  The combination of his scientific contributions and his policy achievements make him the ideal candidate to receive The Union Medal in 2014, shortly following his 85th birthday.



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