Jacques Samarut is world-renowned for his research on cancer-causing retroviruses and on the mechanisms of action of hormone receptors in embryonic development and cancer. He is the president of the new École normale supérieure de Lyon, and held leading positions with ENS prior to its reorganization. He is also president of the scientific council of the Institut national de la recherche agronomique in Paris. Jacques Samarut founded and chaired the Rhône-Alpes génopôle genomic research centre (2000-2005) and the Institut de génomique fonctionnelle de Lyon (2007-2009). He is responsible for 160 peer-reviewed writings, and has served on numerous national and international evaluation committees and juries. He continues to teach molecular biology at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, and has been a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization since 1996.