Philippe ASCHER (1936-2022)#

Philippe Ascher, former director of the Biology Department of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS Paris) and French neurobiologist, passed away earlier this week at the age of 86. Philippe Ascher was a member of the Physiology and Neuroscience section of Academia Europaea since 1989. Philippe Ascher was an immense researcher and teacher, who made essential contributions to our understanding of neurotransmission and the mechanisms underlying the plasticity of the nervous system.

Philippe Ascher
Professor Philippe Ascher


His work is a classic and is included in all modern neuroscience textbooks. Philippe Ascher has marked, influenced and inspired entire generations of students and colleagues from all horizons. He was a landmark, consulted for his outstanding erudition, his sharp intellect, his openness and his generosity. He had an exceptional ability to transmit his passion, especially to younger colleagues. Founder of the Laboratory of Neurobiology at the ENS in the 1970s and director of the Biology Department for two decades (1981 - 2001), Philippe Ascher profoundly transformed research and teaching in biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. In particular, he worked tirelessly to help young people develop their own research and to raise our laboratories and training to the highest level. He played a decisive role in the development and recognition of the French school of neurobiology and more generally of French scientific research. His aura went far beyond the borders of France and he was admired by all. We owe him a lot. Our community has lost a great scientist and a great humanist. All our thoughts go to his family and friends.

Professor Pierre Paoletti, Physiology and Neuroscience section of Academia Europaea
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