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Isabelle Saves receives the CNRS Crystal Medal 2020

As head of international cooperation, Isabelle Saves develops and implements the strategy of opening up, outreach and international attractiveness of the Centre for Integrative Biology (CBI-Toulouse) and the IPBS-Toulouse.

After more than 15 years of experience in research on infectious diseases in Toulouse, she turned to international cooperation in 2007. She was seconded to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, firstly to set up and develop the training programme for pharmacists at the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) and then as Attaché for Scientific and Academic Affairs at the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao (China) for 4 years.
In September 2016, she returned to the CNRS as Head of International Cooperation at the Centre for Integrative Biology (CBI-Toulouse) and the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology (IPBS-Toulouse), representing 6 joint research units of the CNRS and the University Toulouse III- Paul Sabatier (University of Toulouse), representing more than 600 people, nearly 40% of the biological sciences workforce in Toulouse.


She puts her multidisciplinary expertise, both scientific and administrative, her perfect knowledge of the world of public and private research, the local and international stakes of cooperation and her large national and international network of knowledge to the benefit of the attractiveness and visibility of the IPBS-Toulouse and the CBI-Toulouse.

One of the most striking facts reflecting Isabelle Saves' talent and professionalism is the success of Toulouse's bid for France to host the 6th Global Forum on Tuberculosis Vaccines in 2021. For this very competitive and demanding bid (the last editions were held in Geneva, Tallinn, Cape Town, Shanghai and New Delhi), Isabelle Saves was able to bring together all the French players (University, CNRS, Inserm, Institut Pasteur, Toulouse Métropole, Occitanie Region). Thanks to her networks in French diplomacy, she succeeded in obtaining for the Forum the high patronage of the President of the Republic, the patronage of the Minister of Solidarity and Health, and the official support of the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. She is now fully committed, with the stakeholders concerned, to the organization of the Forum, which will make a major contribution to the international influence of Toulouse, France and the CNRS.


The Crystal Medal is awarded to men and women research support staff who, through their creativity, technical mastery and sense of innovation, contribute, alongside researchers, to the advancement of knowledge and the excellence of French research.