Anitschkow Prize 2024

2024 Anitschkow Award recognises Professor Bart Staels PhD
UFR3S Sciences de Santé et du Sport, University of Lille, France

The European Atherosclerosis Society is delighted to announce Professor Bart Staels as the recipient of the 2024 Anitschkow Award. The Award recognises his outstanding contributions to the fields of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, in particular his research into the role of nuclear receptors in the control of inflammation and lipid and glucose homeostasis.

Among his achievements, Professor Staels was one of the first to elucidate the crucial role of the nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) in the control of lipid and glucose metabolism, as well as cardiovascular function in humans. He worked on the mechanism of the fibrate class of drugs used in the treatment of lipid disorders; the glitazones, a class of anti-diabetic drugs; and the bile acid sequestrants. His research identified PPAR transcription factors as potential drug targets for the treatment of diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as primary biliary cholangitis. This has been instrumental to the development of several novel therapeutic compounds, two of which (elafibranor and pemafibrate) are currently in clinical development.

Professor Staels is Director of the Inserm Unit UMR1011 with laboratories on the campus of the Institut Pasteur de Lille and the Health Faculty of the University of Lille, Lille, France. He gained his doctorate at the Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium, and then undertook post-doctoral research fellowships at the Metabolic Research Unit, University of California, San Francisco, USA and the BioAvenir Project, Paris, France. In 2009, he co-founded and is now board member of the European Genomic Institute for Diabetes (EGID, Lille). He held Senior Membership of the Institut Universitaire de France (2011-16) and was the International Francqui Professor Chair (2013). He is currently a member of the French National Academy of Pharmacy and the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. Professor Staels is also co-founder of Genfit SA, and President of its Scientific Advisory Board.

Professor Staels is the recipient of numerous awards including the Young Investigator Award of the European Atherosclerosis Society, the Bronze Medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Atherosclerosis Society, the Pharmaceutical “Barré” prize from the Faculté de Pharmacie of Montreal (2007), the French “JP Binet” prize from the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (2011), the “Distinguished Leader in Insulin Resistance” award from the International Committee for Insulin Resistance (ICIR; 2012) and the Laurens van Deenen lecture award at the International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids (ICBL; 2017).

Professor Staels’ research into inter-organ cross-talk in cardiometabolic diseases continues to influence atherosclerosis societies at national and international levels. He is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award from the European Atherosclerosis Society.