Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Dr Marc Devocelle at RCSI Receives Second Servier Award for Medical Research at the French Embassy

26 October 2006

The Ireland Fund of France in conjunction with French pharmaceutical group L’ Institut Servier and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), has today announced the awarding of the second annual Servier award of €10,000 to Dr Marc Devocelle, lecturer in pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry at the RCSI and researcher with the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology.

Dr Devocelle received the award for his efforts and success in supporting RCSI research collaborations with France and for his breakthrough research into therapeutic agents for cardiovascular disease.


Dr Devocelle receiving the award from Mr Christian Bazantay, Secretary General Servier Laboratories.

Named after Dr Jacques Servier, the founding President of the Servier Research Group, this scholarship aims to promote and encourage scientific exchange between the medical community, health care industry, universities and research organisations particularly in the field of therapeutic research. It also represents another initiative in furtherance of the Ireland Fund of France’s mission to enhance Franco-Irish relations.

In receiving this prestigious award it was the decision of the panel that the Dr Devocelle had distinguished himself in research both at home and abroad, that his research of new anti-thrombotic agents for treating and preventing cardiovascular diseases and his projects on novel anti-infective and anti-cancer agents carried out in collaboration with French Laboratories perfectly suited the scholarship ideal of Franco-Irish exchange.


Mr Pierre Joannon, President, Ireland Fund of France;  Professor Brian Harvey, Professor of Molecular Medicine & Director of Research RCSI; Dr Marc Devocelle, recipient of the Jacques Servier award; His Excellency Mr. Frederic Grasset, French Ambassador to Ireland and Mr Christian Bazantay, Secretary General, Servier Laboratories

Named after Dr Jacques Servier, the founding President of the Servier Research Group, this scholarship aims to promote and encourage scientific exchange between the medical community, health care industry, universities and research organisations particularly in the field of therapeutic research. It also represents another initiative in furtherance of the Ireland Fund of France’s mission to enhance Franco-Irish relations.

In receiving this prestigious award it was the decision of the panel that the Dr Devocelle had distinguished himself in research both at home and abroad, that his research of new anti-thrombotic agents for treating and preventing cardiovascular diseases and his projects on novel anti-infective and anti-cancer agents carried out in collaboration with French Laboratories perfectly suited the scholarship ideal of Franco-Irish exchange.


Mr Pierre Joannon, President, Ireland Fund of France;  Professor Brian Harvey, Professor of Molecular Medicine & Director of Research RCSI; Dr Marc Devocelle, recipient of the Jacques Servier award; His Excellency Mr. Frederic Grasset, French Ambassador to Ireland and Mr Christian Bazantay, Secretary General, Servier Laboratories

Cardiovascular disease is one of the biggest killers in Ireland, accounting for 42 per cent of all deaths. In cardiovascular diseases arteries can become blocked by thrombosis, which is the formation of blood clots. Oxygen free radicals play a role in the induction of thrombosis. A greater understanding of the biochemical reactions of these oxygen free radicals could lead to the development of improved therapeutic agents for treating and preventing cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Devocelle in collaboration with Professor Kevin Nolan (Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry at RCSI) and Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, (Vice-President for Research at UCD) has identified some derivatives of anthranilic hydroxamic acid (AHA) which have the potential to be developed as therapeutic agents for inhibiting the free radical activity of an enzyme called prostaglandin H2 synthase (PGHS) that can contribute to cardiovascular diseases.

Mr. Christian Bazantay, Secretary General Servier Laboratories, who presented the award, said “We are delighted to recognise Dr Devocelle for his contribution to the scientific and medical community both here in Ireland and in France. His own research projects and his collaborations with the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Angers, France make him a worthy recipient.”

Dr. Devocelle obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Lille (France) in 1997, where he worked for Sanofi in the Laboratory of Professor André Mortreux on a synthetic route for a new drug candidate. During subsequent postdoctoral research as a HEA fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, under the supervision of Professor Kevin Nolan, he developed novel hydroxamate-based inhibitors of the enzyme cyclooxygenase. In 2000, he became Manager of the HEA-funded Peptide Synthesis Laboratory at the RCSI and in 2004, he was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry, RCSI.

Dr Devocelle was presented with his award at a special ceremony held in the French Embassy which was presided over by His Excellency Mr. Frederic Grasset, French Ambassador to Ireland and attended by Mr Pierre Joannon, President, Ireland Fund of France.


Dr Marc Devocelle pictured with his wife Dr Edwina Barry and His Excellency Mr. Frederic Grasset, French Ambassador to Ireland.


Professor Brian Harvey, Professor of Molecular Medicine& Director of Research RCSI; Dr Marc Devocelle and Prof Kevin Nolan, Professor and Head of Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry and Head of School of Postgraduate Studies, RCSI.


Dr Rory O’Hanlon, TD, Ceann Comhairle, Dáil Éireann addresses the gathering at the French Embassy.