Chairman of Institut Mérieux
Born in Lyon in 1938, Alain Mérieux followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were eminent researchers in the health sciences. His education in both pharmacology and business gave him the unique ability to understand the importance of higher education and research while effectively managing a range of successful foundations and companies in France and abroad.
In 1963, he founded a company specializing in biodiagnostics and continued his father’s work as Chair of Institut Mérieux, a world leader in human and animal vaccines. Grouped around three companies, namely bioMérieux, Transgène and Mérieux NutriSciences, this research institute on the cutting edge of medicine and pharmacology employs nearly 15,000 people in more than 40 countries. When he served as Vice-President of the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, where he was responsible for international relations, economic development, research and higher education, Alain Mérieux bridged the gap between local and international development.
Alain Mérieux has also demonstrated this openness on the world by forging links between universities, including those within the Francophonie, and was a key ally in creating research partnerships between l’Université de Lyon and the University of Ottawa to study catalysis, green chemistry and energy from renewable resources, as well as agreements to cooperate on research in law, political science, public policy and medicine. He is also invested in solving the concrete problems that developing countries face: his foundations, which aim to combat infectious diseases in these countries, advance knowledge and alleviate the suffering of millions of patients around the world. Such humanitarian actions and investments in health and education contribute greatly to the world and to the Francophonie.
A Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, Alain Mérieux is the recipient of many international awards.