Dr. Michael Schumacher
Born in 1958 in Verviers (Belgium), Michael Schumacher conducted his doctoral research under the supervision of Pr. J. Balthazart and received in 1985 his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Liège (Belgium). After postdoctoral trainings in the laboratories of Pr. J.B. Hutchison at the University of Cambridge (U.K.) and Pr. B.S. McEwen at the Rockefeller University (New York), he became in 1991 Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Paris-Sud. In 1993, he has been appointed Director of Research of Inserm, the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, and he pursued his research on neurosteroids in the laboratory of Pr. E.E. Baulieu. Since 1998, he is heading a research unit of Inserm and University Paris-Sud. In 2009, he also became the Dean of the Doctoral School “Signaling and Integrated Networks in Biology” (University Paris-Saclay).
His research unit “Neuroprotective, neuroregenerative and remyelinating small molecules” (U1195 Inserm and University Paris-Sud) is located in one of the suburbs of Paris. As indicated by its name, the research of the laboratory is focused on the effects of steroids and other small molecules on the nervous system, with particular emphasis on their role in neuroprotection and in the regeneration of axons and myelin. The concept of “neurosteroids” has been introduced in the laboratory by E.E. Baulieu in the eighties, and MS first demonstrated a key role of progesterone in the formation of myelin sheaths, which insulate and protect nerve fibers (Science 268, 1500-1503).
Major recent collaborative achievements of his laboratory are the demonstration of a key role of brain progesterone synthesis and progesterone receptors in endogenous neuroprotective responses, the observation of a central role of the CNS androgen receptor in the regeneration and sexual differentiation of myelin, the therapeutic efficacy of intranasally administered neuroactive steroids and the promotion of peripheral nerve regeneration by combining new microsurgical procedures with pharmacological treatments, in particular with neuroactive steroids and ligands of the translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO).
Since 2009 Director of Doctoral School “Biosigne” of University Paris-Sud
Since 2004 Senior Director of Research (DR1) at Inserm
Since 1998 Director of Inserm Research Units (successively U488, U788 and U1195)
1993-2004 Director of Research Inserm (French Institute for Health & Medical Research)
1991-1993 Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University Paris-Sud
1987-1991 Postdoctoral fellow in neuroendocrinology, Rockefeller University, New York
1985-1987 Postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry, University of Liège (Belgium)
1985-1987 6 months at the Medical Research Council, University of Cambridge, UK
1985 PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Liège (Belgium)
Honors and awards (selected)
2010 Scientific Excellence Award, French Institute for Health & Medical Research
2007-2012 Inserm Interface Contract with the Dpt. of Neurology of the Bicêtre Hospital
1998 Medal of the British Neuroendocrine Society
1995 Corresponding member of the “Royal Society of Science”, Belgium
1991 Award Eduard Van Beneden of the “Royal Society of Science”, Belgium
1991 Award of the Fondation L. Fredericq (University of Liège)
1989-1990 Fellowship from National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA
1987-1988 Fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
1985-1987 Travel awards from the British Council and the British Royal Society