The succession of Didier Raoult is launched: the IHU Méditerranée Infection launches recruitment

This time the process is official. In a joint press release issued on Friday, September 17, the six founding members of the Mediterranean Infection University Hospital Institute (IHU) announced the establishment of an international call for tenders to find a replacement for Professor Didier Raoult, director of IHU since the start of the project in 2011.

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On November 23, the members of the board of directors of the foundation that steers the institute will vote on the precise details of the process. It is up to the president of the foundation, Yolande Obadia, a close friend of Didier Raoult, to define them. But the six founding structures – Aix-Marseille University (AMU), Marseille University Hospitals (AP-HM), Institut Mérieux, Army Health Service, French Blood Establishment and Research and Development Institute – have already announced that a commission Specific recruitment will be created and agree on the schedule. “The process will lead to the designation of the new director no later than June 30, 2022 for taking up a position no later than September 30, 2022. », They write in their joint press release.

This decision puts an end to a few weeks of strong tensions around the IHU. Mid August, The world had revealed the intention of some of the founding members of the institute, foremost among which the AP-HM and AMU, to close the cycle Raoult at the head of the Marseille center. Become a world famous personality since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 69-year-old microbiologist, promoter of a treatment combining hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, the effectiveness of which has since been questioned by numerous studies, was moreover and more controversial within the scientific community.

Explanations: Didier Raoult pushed to exit by the partners of the Marseille University Hospital Institute

The shocking statements of the summer

During the summer, his repeated statements casting doubt on the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign in the fight against Covid-19, while the Bouches-du-Rhône was grappling with a severe fourth wave, have deeply shocked the medical establishment commission (CME) of the AP-HM and many practitioners. “Staggering remarks out of step with the realities we are living », Denounced, in an open letter, his colleague Professor Jouve, president of the CME.

“Whether it is deliberate or not, the institute has become the scientific validation of the anti-vaccine, anti-pass discourse [sanitaire] and feeds the conspiracy sphere. It is a difficulty that must be put an end to ”, explained then the Director General of the Hospitals of Marseille, François Crémieux.

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