Hervé Chneiweiss

Research Director
French National Centre for Scientific Research

Dr. Hervé Chneiweiss (MD, PhD) is a neurologist and neuroscientist, studying molecular mechanisms involved in glial plasticity and underlying brain tumor development. First trained as a neurologist (gait and movement disorders, Parkinson), he was involved in the neurogenetics of human diseases such as cerebellar ataxias. For the last 15 years his scientific work was dedicated to the biology of astrocytes and their roles in brain tumor progression.

He is currently head of the Glial Plasticity group within the Neuroscience Paris Seine laboratory (CNRS/INSERM/Pierre and Marie Curie University), and is a Research Director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). From April 2000 to April 2002, Dr. Chneiweiss was the adviser for life sciences and bioethics to the French minister for research and technology. His involvement in bioethics led him to publish chronicles in Medicine/Sciences where he has been the chief editor since 2006. He is member of the Ethic Committee of Inserm (ERMES) and published several books for the lay public including Neurosciences et Neuroéthique (Alvik 2006) and L’Homme Réparé (Plon 2012).

Primary Recipient Awards

French Scholars Lecture Series, Hervé Chneiweis, 2013

Hervé Chneiweiss

Lecture Topic: “Better Prevent Than Cure: Ethical Perspective in Neurodegenerative Diseases.”
Diseases affecting the central nervous system are among the main problems of our countries. Modern life stresses on one hand, and ageing on the other, make them an increasing burden. They already represent one third of health costs with a continuous increase. Furthermore very few treatments exist to help patients, and even less for cure. Progress in neuroscience and in genetics opens new avenues for diagnosis and hopefully for prevention.

The department of Neuroscience of the New Institute of Biology Paris Seine at UPMC Paris (headed by Dr. Chneiweiss) is developing basic and preclinical research on psychiatric and neurological diseases. These research endeavours reveal genetic risk factors and new biomarkers that may help an early diagnosis or define a human population that may need more surveillance. They are also raising critical ethical questions such as who will have to be under scrutiny, what is the risk of stigma in the school or workplace, who will have to be treated, and how will associated costs of such a prevention be sustainable?