Dr Mirdad Kazanji was appointed by Presidential Decree No. 2021/588 of October 7, 2021.
The Centre Pasteur du Cameroun (CPC) is pleased to welcome Dr Mirdad Kazanji as its new Director General. The physician from France replaces his compatriot, Professor Elizabeth Carniel, who spent four years at the institution. The new Director General obtained a PhD in virology from the University of Paris XII, in 1993 and since October 1, 2021, have been the Director of Research at Centre Pasteur of Cameroon (CPC).
In 1999, Dr Mirdad Kazanji, joined the scientific executives of the Institut Pasteur to develop a vaccine against the HTLV-1 virus. For five years, he directed the retrovirology laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Guyana, where several experimental vaccines were developed and tested in an animal model. From 2003 to 2004, he did a scientific stay at Ohio State University in the USA as a Visiting Professor and continues to work on HTLV-1 vaccines.
From 2005 to 2009, he headed the retrovirology unit of the International Centre for Medical Research in Franceville, Gabon, where the main activity was focused on host-retrovirus interactions in primates and the virological surveillance in Gabon.
Dr Kazanji has also directed the Institut Pasteur de Bangui (IPB) in the Central African Republic, CAR, from December 2009 to August 2014. The IPB has existed in CAR for over 50 years. It employs a hundred people. He is a member of the Institut Pasteur International Network. Given the geographical location of the IPB, the virologist oriented research towards emerging viruses and zoonoses, viral co-infection and retroviruses and the genetic variability and resistance. During these seven years, he strengthened the interactions between the different research teams of the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane as well as the different research organizations and built an ambitious strategic plan with the reinforcement of the infrastructure and research teams in Virology and Entomology.
Dr Mirdad Kazanji is an elected member of several assemblies, scientific councils and boards of directors. He has received numerous scientific and civil distinctions. He is laureate of the JANSEN Prize of the National Academy of Medicine, laureate of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, Knight of the National Order of Merit and Knight of the Legion of Honour, Officer and Commander of the Order of Central African Recognition. He is the author of more than one hundred publications in scientific and medical journals on the natural history of viruses, their origins and transmissions, as well as on public health issues related to the surveillance and emergence of viral epidemics. His recent appointment is a plus in the fight against the Coronvirus in Cameroon and the world at large.