Aged 56, Thierry Damerval graduated in Natural Sciences from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud and has a PhD in microbiology from Paris-Diderot University.
He began his career in the microbial physiology unit at the Pasteur Institute from 1983 to 1990, then as Deputy Editor on Biofutur magazine. In 1992, he joined the CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) where he was the Assistant to the Director of Life Sciences and responsible for the “Cellular organisation and functions” programme before taking up a post in 1996 as technical adviser for biological and medical research in the office of the Secretary of State for Research, François d'Aubert.
He returned to the CEA in 1997, where he was Deputy Director of Life Sciences from 1997 to 2000, then Director of Strategy and Evaluation from 2001 to 2003, and Director of the Fontenay-aux-Roses Research Centre as well as Deputy Director of the CEA’s “technological research” unit until 2005.
He was then appointed technical adviser for research and innovation in the office of the Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, then Director of the office of François Goulard, the Minister for Higher Education and Research, in 2006.
In 2007, Thierry Damerval joined Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), firstly as Assistant Managing Director for Strategy and, since 2011, as Assistant Managing Director. From 1984 to 1990 he lectured at the UPMC (Pierre and Marie Curie University), from 1991 to 1999 at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and from 1998 to 2002 at the University of Evry-Val d'Essonne.
Thierry Damerval holds the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour), Officier de l'Ordre national du mérite (Officer of the National Order of Merit) and Chevalier de l'Ordre des palmes académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms).
The Decree appointing the Chairman of the French National Research Agency can be consulted here: www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do
Photo Credit: @Inserm, L Prat