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Ceremony in memory of Pr. Vincent DEUBEL and Dr. Jean-Louis SARTHOU

On Tuesday September 5, 2023, The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) organized a ceremony of commemoration for its two former directors, Pr Vincent DEUBEL and Dr Jean-Louis SARTHOU, who both passed away at the end of August 2023.


These two important figures from the IPC and the Pasteur Network have just disappeared in less than three days. They will both leave behind the memory of their Pasteurian commitment and their great human qualities.


The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge presents its sincere condolences to their family and loved ones.


Vincent DEUBEL was born in 1948. He graduated in Biophysics in Orleans and presented his MSc on biophysics in 1973. He worked for 4 years on sexually transmitted diseases, and beginning in 1979 he went to Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal, to head the laboratory of viruses and to study molecular virology of yellow fever viruses and other viruses causing epidemics, under the guidance of Pr. Marc Girard at the Institut Pasteur de Paris; he obtained his Doctorate in Sciences (PhD) in virology from the University of Paris VII in 1985.

He went to the Centers for Disease Control in Colorado, USA, for 2 years to develop researches on dengue virus and came back to Institut Pasteur de Paris where he headed the Unit of Arboviruses and Hemorrhagic fevers from 1987 to 2000. He became the Director of the Merieux-Pasteur Research Center in Lyon and the scientific director of the BSL-4 laboratory Jean Merieux from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, Vincent Deubel went to Shanghai to create an Institut Pasteur through the joint agreement between Institut Pasteur and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was Director General of Institut Pasteur de Shanghai until July 2009. Then, he was Director of Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (2009-2014) where he promoted and managed new strategies of medical research on infectious diseases in cooperation with the Ministry of Health in Cambodia and several regional and international organizations. It has also initiated the construction of a regional building for cross-disciplinary research into transmissible infectious diseases and emerging pathogens (PR-ASIE).


Jean-Louis SARTHOU was born in Bayonne on December 12, 1943. A pharmacist-biologist, he has had a dual career in the French Armed Forces Health Service (obtaining the rank of General Pharmacist-Chemist in 2003) and in the International Network of Pasteur Institutes. After holding positions as head of laboratory at the Institut Pasteur de Côte d’Ivoire (1979-1984) and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar (1984-1995), he was appointed director of the Institut Pasteur de Guyane from 1995 to 2001 and of the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge from 2001 to 2009, before ending his Pasteurian career as chargé de mission until September 2011.

A renowned scientist in the field of malaria research, Jean-Louis SARTHOU left his mark on the various institutes he headed. He was deeply rooted in the Pasteurian values of solidarity and dedication to advancing research into the infectious diseases that afflict tropical countries. Jean-Louis SARTHOU was a Director who was much appreciated by his colleagues, demonstrating extreme kindness and courtesy in the performance of his duties, but knowing how to make important decisions when the best interests of his Institute required it.

His achievements include strengthening the retrovirology laboratory and setting up immunological and virological monitoring of HIV at the Institut Pasteur de Guyane, as well as building a P3-level regional biosafety laboratory at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, following the emergence of viruses responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and H5N1 avian influenza.

Jean-Louis SARTHOU was the author of almost 90 scientific publications in specialist journals.
He was Knight of the Legion of Honor and Commander of the National Order of Merit.