Nobel Laureate J. Rothman To Receive French Legion Of Honor

Nobel Laureate J. Rothman To Receive French Legion Of Honor

NEW YORK, March 19, 2014 —Nobel laureate and Yale Professor James E. Rothman will be awarded Officer of the French Legion of Honor by French Ambassador to the U.S. François Delattre, on April 4, in New York. Rothman receives this insignia in recognition of his scientific achievements in the areas of cellular biology, its fundamental impact on medical advancements, and for his close collaboration with French laboratories over the course of his career.

James E. Rothman is the Fergus F. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Sciences, professor and chair of the Department of Cell Biology, and professor of chemistry at Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also founded the Department of Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and also served as Vice-Chairman of the Sloan-Kettering Institute and head of Columbia University’s Sulzberger Center for the genome research. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2013.

In 2011, Rothman received a three-year grant from the Partner University Fund (PUF), a joint program of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange). This award supports the work of Rothman’s team with Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and helps two laboratories, worldwide leaders in their respective fields, to collaborate on the topic of fusion in intracellular trafficking.

Established in 2007, the Partner University Fund supports innovative and long-lasting partnerships between French and US institutions of research and higher education. This unique funding program fosters multifaceted partnerships in education and research, in all disciplines, at the graduate and postdoctoral levels. The Partner University Fund nurtures comprehensive and ambitious transatlantic cooperation and supports up to three years exchanges of professors, students, post-doctoral fellows, the development of dual degrees and shared curricula, and collaborative research. Since the program’s inception, 71 projects have benefited from PUF’s support.

French Ambassador François Delattre stated: “It is an immense honor for the French Embassy to pay tribute to this exceptional scientist and treasured friend of France. With his PUF grant, he has created a strong French-American collaboration and tackles the most fundamental questions in science. Rothman’s work is inscribed in a long history of scientific partnerships between France and the US, from Benjamin Franklin, to André Frédéric Cournand, and more recently to Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. With our brainpower united, we continue to construct the future of science today.”

Adrien Meyer, Chairman of FACE, added: “We are delighted to celebrate Professor Rothman’s success and are thrilled to continue to offer PUF grants and to prepare our brightest young scholars to be world leaders in their respective fields. There are currently 43 American and 47 French universities participating in PUF, highlighting both the need and enthusiasm for meaningful academic cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The Legion of Honor was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, to reward spectacular accomplishments and great services rendered to France. It is awarded based on a decision by the President of the French Republic.

Note: Members of the media who wish to attend the ceremony should contact Emilie Cabouat-Peyrache – + 1 (212) 439-1417 –


The Cultural Services of the French Embassy provides a platform for exchange and innovation between French and American artists, intellectuals, educators, students, the tech community, and the general public. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the US, the Cultural Services develops the cultural economy by focusing on six principal fields of action: the arts, literature, cinema, the digital sphere, French language and higher education.

FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) is an American nonprofit organization, chartered by the state of New York and dedicated to nurturing French-American relations through innovative international projects in the arts, education, and cultural exchange. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE administers grant programs and projects in the performing and visual arts, cinema, publication and translation, secondary and higher education.

Media Contact

Emilie Cabouat-Peyrache – + 1 (212) 439-1417 – // @franceinnyc //