The 7th Scientific Council took office on January 1st 2013 for a term of three years. Of the 84 researchers solicited by the AFM-Telethon’s Board of Directors, 35 of them are newcomers. “We have integrated more international experts (44% of the 84 members) and more women (26%), the objective being to bring together all available talents,” explained Naomi Taylor, renewed as President for a second term.
The Scientific Council assesses the scientific research programs proposed to the AFM-Telethon and gives an advisory opinion to the Board, which make a final decision. Over the period 2010-2012, it has evaluated more than 1,600 projects through its thematic commissions. It has also suggested research topics to explore. Another way to achieve scientific excellence: the projects are externally submitted to a global network of 5,000 experts.
When the project is strategic, it is followed by a strategic and therapeutic steering committee. In 2013, 14 committees will ensure the success of the 14 ongoing projects.
“We are still open to collaborations with international teams as curing the sick requires the gathering of all efforts,” said Naomi Taylor. This opening already existed and is reinforced with the 7th Scientific Council. An eighth thematic committee dedicated to stem cells has therefore been launched. “This is very important because stem cells, including iPS cells – “rejuvenated” adult cells that behave like embryonic stem cells - show tremendous potential," emphasised Naomi Taylor.
The Standing Committee of the Scientific Council is reinforced. It now hosts the presidents of the thematic and steering committees. “This allows us to have an overview of all supported projects and to harmonise the research.” This organisation also guarantees that commitments made to donors are kept. “Researchers are aware of the considerable efforts made by donors and know how much they owe to their admirable generosity, support and solidarity.”