Biography & awards


I was born on December 1st, 1943 in Cairo (Egypt). I went to the Collége des frères in Cairo and then to Nahalal agricultural high school in Israel. Afterwards, I pursued graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and at Paris VI University (1971) in France. After various post-doctorates from 1973 to 1980 at Cambridge University, Oslo University and finally the McGill University in Montreal , I settled down in France. In 1986, I took over from Alexandre Minkowski as director of INSERM unit U29 ” Neurobiology and Pathophysiology of development” at Cochin hospital in Port Royal.

photo1_parcoursIn 1999, I founded and headed the Neurobiology Institute of the Mediterranean (Inmed) in Marseille. I currently lead a research group and two biotech companies: Neurochlore that aims to understand and treat autism and B&A Therapeutics that aims to understand and treat Parkinson’s disease.

L’Institut de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée

Inmed building in Marseille, built on the architectural blueprint of the Snøhetta firm, Oslo (Norway) – Architect: Kjetil Thorsen

The architectural blueprint of the Inmed Building, built by INSERM, were performed by the Norwegian Snohetta architectural group which is also behind the construction of the library of Alexandria and the Oslo Opera. The institute hosts more than 130 researchers and technicians, and many postdocs from over the world. The institute also houses a business incubator for drug development and therapeutic approaches, an association which aim is dissiminating science (Tous Chercheurs) and a collection of sculptures and paintings I acquired and collected throughout my career.


  • 2000 Grand Prix Milken de la fondation Américaine de l’épilepsie
  • 2002 Grand prix de la Santé de l’EDF
  • 2006 prix de la fondation Rotary de France
  • 2009 Grand Prix de l’INSERM
  • 2009 Docteur Honoraire de l’Université de Liège (Belgique)
  • 2010 Grand prix de la société Européenne de l’épilepsie
  • 2012 Grand prix du FNRS de Belgique