French Honour for Glasgow Emeritus Professor

Published: 14 December 2009

Peter Holmes awarded the Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques.

Peter Holmes, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Physiology and Senior International Development Advisor at Glasgow, has been awarded the prestigious French honour of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques for his work in promoting scientific collaboration between Scotland and France.

Prof Holmes, a former Vice-Principal of the University, was presented with the academic accolade by the French Consul General.

The Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques goes to individuals who have made major contributions to the French education system.

Prof Holmes received the honour for work undertaken while serving as Vice-Principal for Research and Territorial Vice-Principal for Biomedicine at Glasgow. During this time, he fostered and drove a number of important collaborative projects between Glasgow and French universities, including the relocation of the INSERM Unit of Parasitology from France to Scotland.

Prof Holmes also played a crucial role in establishing a programme of joint PhDs between Glasgow and universities in France - the first of its kind in the UK.

The INSERM Unit of Parasitology was moved to Glasgow in 2002 and remains an integral part of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology based at the University.

Prof Holmes paid tribute to Dr Jacques Chevalier, deputy scientific counsellor and representative of INSERM at the UK Science & Technology Department in the French Embassy, London, for all his work.“I would like to thank Dr Chevalier for all his magnificent support in fostering our links with France.”

Of the joint PhD programme Prof Holmes continued: “I would like to pay particular thanks to Dr Carol Clugston and others in my office who worked steadfastly with colleagues in the University’s Senate Office to find a path through the labyrinth of regulations and which successfully enabled the University of Glasgow to become the first UK University to achieve joint PhDs with French universities,” said Prof Holmes.

“Both these developments provide outstanding examples of what can be achieved through team efforts in international collaboration. I very much hope that the links between Scottish and French universities can continue to grow and strengthen over coming years. International collaboration is vital if Glasgow is going to maintain its very strong reputation in research.”

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First published: 14 December 2009