Professor Richard Morimoto awarded Les Palmes Académiques
On August 28, Consul General Graham Paul presented Richard I. Morimoto, the Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology in the department of molecular biosciences at Northwestern University, with the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques for the energy and expertise he has devoted to expanding Franco-American cooperation in the sciences.
Founded by Napoleon in 1808 to honor educators and scholars, this distinction recognizes eminent personalities who have made significant contributions to the development of French culture, science and education.
"This award recognizes Professor Morimoto’s exceptional merits, impressive achievements and outstanding contributions in the development of new academic ties between the U.S. and France," said Consul General Graham Paul.
Mr. Morimoto, who also is director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, in 2007 developed a joint doctoral program in the biological and physical sciences with the École Normale Supérieure in Paris that involves student exchanges, a series of meetings, workshops and lectures, and faculty sabbaticals taken at the two institutions. Each year he also offers a series of lectures in molecular and cell biology to masters and doctoral students at the École Normale Supérieure.
Morimoto also has worked with the Consulate General of France in Chicago to establish the annual French-American Science Festival, which has been held the last two years on Northwestern’s Chicago campus.
The event features hands-on science activities for students attending French academies in Chicago or who are in French immersion programs. The festival brings together scientists from Northwestern, Argonne National Laboratory and throughout France.
"As a bridge builder between French and American scientific communities, Professor Morimoto has been a point of reference and valuable supporter for many projects initiated by the French Consulate," said the Consul General.