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First Permanent French Science Lab in U.S. to be at UCR

First Permanent French Science Lab in U.S. to be at UCR

(October 10, 2001)

In the first partnership of its kind, French scientists paid by their own government will work permanently on the campus of a U.S. university, creating a joint research laboratory in chemistry at the University of California, Riverside.

Geneviève Berger, chief executive of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, (CNRS), France’s elite body of scientists, signed an agreement on.Thursday, Oct. 11, creating a UCR-CNRS Joint Research Chemistry Laboratory.

The director of the new laboratory is Dr. Guy Bertrand, 49, an internationally recognized chemist from the Université Paul Sabatier, and a distinguished professor at UCR.

Bertrand, the youngest chemist elected to the prestigious French national science academy in recent times, has been a CNRS researcher since 1975. He became a principal scientist in 1988 and director of the Laboratory of Fundamental and Applied Heteroatom Chemistry in 1999.

UCR Chancellor Raymond L. Orbach also signed the agreement, in a patio decorated with flags from both countries and a permanent French street sign that advises, “Place du CNRS.”

“It is a great honor and achievement to have such a significant scientific partnership present on our campus,' said Orbach. “We shall work with the CNRS to promote scientific exchange between UCR and France, and to nourish scientific collaboration with the goal of outstanding research accomplishments. Our agreement will stress practical applications with positive environmental impacts.'

The visiting delegation from France’s scientific community toured UCR’s laboratories and facilities, as well as discussed with the Chancellor and other UCR scientists ways of cooperating on joint Ph.D. programs, shared research projects and other exchanges.

As part of the signing ceremony, UCR opened the new Chemical Sciences building, a $14 million addition to Pierce Hall. This state-of-the-art research facility provides more than 16,000 square feet of useable space. It houses seven research groups, including those of Professor Bertrand, Christopher Reed and Robert Haddon, the three internationally prominent chemists who have recently moved to UCR.

Bio of Dr. Bertrand

Guy Bertrand, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Director of the UCR-CNRS Joint Research Chemistry Lab 102 Pierce Addition, (909) 787-2719,

Dr. Bertrand has authored more than 200 scholarly papers and holds 19 patents. His research field is new materials, for instance biodegradable polymers as possible drug delivery systems. In 1988, he and his collaborators were the first to describe a stable carbene, a neutral compound with important impacts across the field, particularly in the production of pharmaceuticals and polymers. Recent developments in this area were published in Science (June 8 issue). Dr. Bertrand is a member of the editorial board of Heteroatom Chemistry, Chemical Reviews, Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, and Topics in Stereochemistry. He is vice chairman of the European Chemical Society and a member of the board of the International Council on Main Group Element and the French Committee for the Evaluation of the National Research. His honors include election in 2000 to the French Academy of Technology, a 1999 Japanese Society for Promotion of Science Award, a 1998 Médaille d’Argent du CNRS, election in 1996 to the French Academy of Sciences, and a 1994 French-German Humboldt Award. He received his undergraduate degree from the Université de Montpellier in 1975 and his doctoral degree in 1979 from the Université Paul Sabatier.

The CNRS delegation included Jean-Claude Bernier (director of Chemistry), Michel Lacroix, (deputy director, Chemistry) Jean-Luc Clément (director of International Relations), Claire Giraud (program manager, International Relations) and Dominique Martin-Rovet (CNRS representative in Washington D.C.) Also attending will be Stephane Raud, attaché for Science and Technology, San Francisco.

UCR is located off Highway 60 in Riverside, between University Ave. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Parking permits are available to media at no charge at kiosks on campus. Pierce Hall is on a map available on the World Wide Web at

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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