Marc Humbert, Winner of the 2018 European Respiratory Society Prize

The ERS (European Respiratory Society) has just awarded its ERS 2018 Prize to Marc Humbert, Professor of Pneumology at Paris-Sud University for his work in the field of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This prize is funded by the company Actelion. This prize will be awarded at the next ERS International Congress to be held in Paris in September 2018.

Marc Humbert is Professor of Pneumology at Paris-Sud University. He is Head of the Pneumology Department of the Bicêtre Hospital, Reference Centre for Pulmonary Hypertension (AP-HP). He heads the Joint Research Unit Inserm/University Paris-Sud "Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Innovation" and the Hospital-University Thorax Innovation Department (DHU TORINO).

A recognition for rare lung diseases

For years, Marc Humbert has dedicated much of his work to the study of pulmonary arterial hypertension. "PAH", as it is nicknamed, is a serious disease treated by three major families of drugs that improve survival, without definitively curing patients.

Every year in France, there are a few hundred new people affected by this rare condition. PAH is characterized by an increase in tension in the pulmonary arteries that go from the heart to the lungs. Over time, small pulmonary arteries become clogged - a process called vascular remodelling - due to uncontrolled vascular cell production. This hinders blood flow and causes higher pulmonary arterial pressure. The patients' shortness of breath becomes chronic upon the least effort, and sometimes even at rest. The right heart is faced with increasing resistance to the ejection of blood to the lungs, and eventually fails.

Marc Humbert and his team, having brought together researchers and specialized clinicians on the same site, have achieved important results such as the validation of new screening approaches, the development of an artificial nose capable of detecting compounds that "indicate" PAH in exhaled air, the description of the genetic bases of inheritable PAH, or even more recently, the discovery of new therapeutic molecules..

From 2010 to 2014, Marc Humbert was Vice President of the Management Board of AP-HP in charge of Research. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor 10.6) from 2013 to 2017. He has published more than 700 scientific articles and was cited as among the most influential scientists in the medical field by Thomson Reuters in 2014. He presented the Cournand Lecture of the European Society of Pneumology in 2006 and he received the Descartes-Huygens Prize from the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and the Eliane and Gérard Pauthier Prize for research on rare diseases (Rare diseases Foundation under the auspices of the Fondation de France) in 2016.