The Marie Curie Chair in Radiotherapy: the first joint professorial chair between PSL and Institut Curie


To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Marie Curie, PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres) and Institut Curie are joining forces to establish a professorial chair in oncological radiotherapy. The chair has been awarded to Prof. Philip Poortmans, an international leader in the field.

protonthérapie Eric Bouvet Institut Curie

The purpose of the Marie Curie Chair is to help train the talented professionals of the future – physicians, medical physicists and researchers, as well as biologists, operators, nurses and more. Firmly focused on innovation, research and the use of radiotherapy in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, the new chair is consistent with a strategy of international partnerships.

Institut Curie: the birthplace of radiation therapy and a major contributor to the field

Marie Curie was very quick to grasp the wide range of potential applications for radioactivity in physics, chemistry and even medicine, even though she was not a physician.
These days, external radiotherapy and brachytherapy are essential factors, alongside surgery and medication, in the treatment of numerous cancer patients. Radiation therapy continues to be a primary focus of Institut Curie, which is home to one of Europe’s largest collections of radiotherapy technology. In the future, radiotherapy will increasingly be combined with other treatments such as immunotherapy.

“The Institut Curie is ideally positioned to pursue these new treatments,” explains Prof. Philip Poortmans, chief of the radiotherapy department at Institut Curie. “The Orsay site is focused on developing new and especially innovative combinations of radiotherapy, immunotherapy and radiosensitizing therapy. There’s still much to be done, but the Marie Curie Chair in Oncological Radiotherapy, to which I’ve just been appointed, will help us raise awareness of the subject among future physicians and researchers and may even encourage further collaboration among specialists from different disciplines.”

“We’re celebrating the 150th anniversary of Marie Curie’s birth with a major scientific splash,” says PSL President Alain Fuchs. “This chair, a defining step forward for Institut Curie, is emblematic of PSL’s policy of enhancing its appeal.”

“This new Marie Curie Chair in Oncological Radiotherapy, awarded to Prof. Poortmans, recognizes Institut Curie’s role as a leading institution in this field, and represents a formidable opportunity to raise the institute’s profile worldwide,” adds Prof. Thierry Philip, President of Institut Curie.

In addition to research, teaching is central to Institut Curie’s mission. The institution is home to 742 doctoral and Master’s degree students, interns and medical students, and devotes a greater share of its attention each year to training future generations of professionals.

Recognition of an international leader

Prof. Poortmans has compiled extensive international expertise and is a member of numerous learned societies in Europe. Over the past 25 years, he has devoted much of his career to the various aspects of clinical trials for breast cancer, lymphomas, urology and rare tumors. Alongside his work in teaching, he has developed guidelines for the use of radiotherapy in cancer treatment. At the same time, he has constantly striven to facilitate and encourage closer ties between basic, translational and clinical research.

After serving as director of the radiation oncology department at the Radboud University Medical Center and professor at Radboud University in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, in March 2017 he was appointed to head the oncological radiotherapy department at Institut Curie and its staff of 200 professionals. They include 27 specialist physicians who administer more than 5000 radiotherapy treatments each year from one of the most comprehensive technical facilities in Europe.


¨Philip Poortmans leader international en radiiotherapire, professeur à l'Institut Curie