Award winner

2021 Edition


Professor Jean-Laurent Casanova is a researcher at Rockefeller University Hospital in New York and Head of Laboratory at St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases. He is also professor at the University of Paris and Head of Laboratory at Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Necker Branch – Imagine Institute.

Currently, he develops his scientific work as collaborator of the French National Institute of Health and is a member of the international consortium COVID Human Genetic Effort. Researcher at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, he owns a brilliant professional career of more than 30 years and has been chosen the winner of’ Abarca Prize, the International Award for Medical Sciences Doctor Juan Abarca.

Jean Laurent Casanova’s research has been a revolution in the study of human infections and the genetic variations that affect a person’s ability to fight infections, which has made it possible to solve the so-called “infection enigma”.

Jury Decision

The jury of the Abarca Prize, in its first edition, agrees to award Professor Jean-Laurent Casanova for his research aimed at the characterization of immunological alterations responsible for the susceptibility and aggressiveness of infectious diseases, investigating how the mutation of certain genes or the generation of auto-antibodies determine the clinical manifestations of the result of virus infections, bacteria, fungi or parasites.

Professor Casanova’s work has been pioneering and essential for a paradigm shift in the knowledge of the development of infectious diseases, having described the decisive role of

specific mutations in the interindividual variability of the response to infections by various microorganisms.

The discovery of monogenic inborn errors of the immune system linked to the response of infections has contributed to solving the so-called “infection enigma” in Medicine, while having created a new vision of research from the point of view of the knowledge of pathogenesis, as well as the treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis, viral encephalitis or Covid-19, among others, with wide practical application in the world population

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