Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 42 | Jun. 24, 2002

Scientists Parlay Youth into Top French Jobs

Sluggish reform in France's rigid tenure systems assuages some young researchers | By Clare Kittredge

Image: Getty Images

Dana Philpott enjoys rare success among scientists in their thirties in France. Many French postdoctoral trainees leave the country to do research and return home only to work in someone else's laboratory. But only six years after obtaining her PhD from the University of Toronto, Philpott, 35, directs her own lab at the Pasteur Institute in the posh 15th arrondissement of Paris. There, she researches Nod1, a protein found in humans, plants, and fish, which recognizes bacteria and lets its host respond and clear infection.

Philpott is among a handful of researchers in France taking advantage of innovations in that country's pyramidal scientific research system. In the United States, postdocs can...

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