Laurent MEIJER obtained Doctorate degrees from the Universities of Lille (M. Durchon) and Paris VI (P. Guerrier). He went for a post-doctoral training at the Stanford University Hopkins Marine Laboratory (D. Epel) (1978-’79) and was appointed by the CNRS in October 1979. He went on sabbatical (1985-’86) at the University of Washington, Seattle (E. Krebs). He was a Visiting Professor (2001-2004) at the Rockefeller University, New York (P. Greengard). As a CNRS Research Director he was heading a team of 21 co-workers (‘Protein Phosphorylation & Human Disease’ group), at the ‘Station Biologique de Roscoff’, till June 2011.
He is now Chair and Chief Scientific Officer of ManRos Therapeutics and of Perha Pharma, two small biotech companies focused on the development of kinase inhibitors targeting cystic fibrosis (ManRos), cognitive disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome, and prevention of Hearing Loss induced by ototoxic products or acoustic trauma (Perha Pharma). Aged 70, he is author of >365 scientific articles, and co-inventor in 47 patents. He was the main editor of 6 books and has received numerous honours. He has participated to >210 conferences, and organized 8 conferences. He has directed many post-doctoral researchers, doctoral students and Master 2 students.
His major work is focused on pharmacological chemical inhibitors of disease-relevant protein kinases. Over 3 decades of work in this area has led to the discovery of numerous inhibitors (olomoucine, roscovitine, purvalanol, paullones, indirubins, hymenialdisine, aloisines, meriolins, leucettines, leucettinibs, etc...). One of them, roscovitine, has reached clinical trials against various diseases, and Leucettinib-21 is about to enter phase 1 clinical trial. The key kinase targets in the laboratory are namely cyclin-dependent kinases, cdc2-like kinases, dual specificity tyrosine phosphorylation activated kinases.