Go to content Go to the menu Go to the search

The 2016 DHC

Quick access, personalized services


Advanced search

UPMC Facts and Figures

  • 31,000 students of which 20 percent are international
  • 3,000 doctoral candidates
  • 9,600 in staff, of which 3,750 are professor-researchers
  • 100 research laboratories
  • 8 main teaching hospitals
  • 8,500 publications per year (approx. 11% of the publication in France)
  • Ranked the top university in France and 6th in Europe by both Shanghai and Taiwan.
  • 4th in the world for mathematics
  • Member of three of the five the European innovation networks, in: Climate, ICT, and Health


Communications Department

+ 33 (0)1 44 27 90 54

Secretariat of the President

+ 33 (0)1 44 27 33 49

The 2016 Docteur Honoris Causa Ceremony

For the first time, UPMC and Paris-Sorbonne have jointly awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa title. They pay tribute to these men and women, who have each advanced their field and contributed to the evolution of our knowledge and our society. In this way, UPMC and Paris-Sorbonne support cooperation across borders and among researchers worldwide.

The Ceremony for the honorary doctors was held on October 11, 2016.



Birgit Arabin – Director Academic Board Pre-and Perinatal Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, Founder of the Clara Angela Foundation, Lecturer at Witten/Herdecke University and Humboldt University Berlin

With an early dedication to perinatal medicine from the start of her medical training, Birgit Arabin has conducted research in preterm birth prevention, fetal growth, twin pregnancies and more recently pregnancy health as a precursor for future health. She is a member of the WAPM, SMFM, ISUOG, DGPM, DGPGM and IAPM (perinatal organizations) and has received numerous reviewer awards, including the WCPM, and the Pfannenstiel, Haackert and the Pschyrembel Medals. Professor Arabin has set up the Dr. Arabin company, whose proceeds go to the Clara Angela Foundation, which in turn is dedicated to R&D in perinatal medicine, particularly to support students and residents to set up creative projects.


George Ellis – Professor emeritus of Mathematics, Cape Town University

As one of the world's leading theorists in cosmology, George Ellis co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973. From 1989 to 1992, he served as President of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. Professor Ellis is also a former President of the International Society for Science and Religion and won the Templeton Prize in 2004. He was also awarded the Order of the Star of South Africa by Nelson Mandela in 1999 and in 2007, he was elected a Fellow of the British Royal Society.

Alice P. Gast – President of Imperial College London

Prior to her appointment at Imperial in September 2014, Alice Gast was President of Lehigh University, Pennsylvania (2006-2014). She has also been Vice-President for Research, Associate Provost and Robert T. Haslam Chair in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001-2006). Professor Gast’s academic interest is in the behavior of complex fluids. She has co-authored numerous scientific publications and a classic textbook on colloid and surface phenomena. Professor Gast is a member of (among others) the Academic Research Council for the Singapore Ministry of Education; and the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. She is a United States Science Envoy to the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Michael O. Hengartner – President of the University of Zurich

Prior to being appointed president of the University in 2014, Michael Hengartner was the Dean of its Faculty of Science for five years and appointed to the Ernst Hadorn Chair at the University’s Institute of Molecular Life Sciences in 2001. He headed a research group at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (US) from 1994-2001. Prof. Hengartner holds a PhD from MIT, an Executive MBA from IMD Lausanne and is the recipient of awards for his research on the molecular basis of apoptosis, among them the Swiss National Latsis Prize. In 2010 he was awarded the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at UZH.

Dusa McDuff - Helen Lyttle Kimmel Chair and professor of mathematics at Barnard College, Columbia University, professor emerita at Stony Brook University.

A specialist in symplectic geometry and topology, she has written more than 100 research papers and is co-author with mathematician Dietmar Salamon of two textbooks that are classic references in her field: Introduction to Symplectic Topology and J-Holomorphic Curves and Symplectic Topology. Among her many awards, she was the first to be awarded the Satter Prize from the American Mathematics Society, is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society.

Cynthia Rosenzweig - Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia Earth Institute, and Professor at Barnard College.

Professor Rosenzweig joins impact models with climate models to project future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions. She heads the Climate Impacts Group at the Goddard Institute, was a Coordinating Lead Author of the United Nations IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, and is Co-Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and Co-Editor of the Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3). Rosenzweig is the founder of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), which is significantly improving the ability to assess climate impacts on world food supply. She was named one of "Nature's 10: Ten People Who Mattered in 2012" by the science journal Nature.

Richard Stallman – Founder of the Free Software Foundation, developer of the GNU operating system

A lifelong activist for software freedom, Stallman launched the GNU Project in 1984 to offer an entirely free operating system. He pioneered the concept of copyleft and wrote the GNU General Public License (GPL), which is widely used to ensure end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify software. "Linux" is in fact the GNU operating system using the Linux kernel (therefore GNU/Linux) and tens of millions of computers run this operating system today. Stallman has received numerous awards, including the Grace Hopper and Software System Awards from ACM, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the EFF Pioneer award, the Takeda Techno-Entrepreneurship Award for Social/Economic Betterment, and has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan – Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, India

Prof. VijayRaghavan is also a Distinguished Professor and former Director of the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He was instrumental in the establishment and development of the NCBS. Prof. VijayRaghavan and collaborators’ research has deepened our understanding nervous system and muscle development and illuminated how they control movement. Prof. VijayRaghavan has received the Infosys Prize in 2009 and Padma Shri in 2013. He is a fellow of the Royal Society, and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Arts, Letters and Humanities

Roger Bagnall - Leon Levy Director emeritus and Professor of Ancient History, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University

Specialized in social and economic aspects of ancient history, Roger Bagnall was previously Professor of Greek, Latin and History at Columbia University for 33 years. He served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Chair of the Department of Classics. One of his many leadership positions is co-founder of a multi-university consortium for the Advanced Papyrological Information System. Bagnall also directs the joint NYU-Columbia excavation in Egypt. A member of several academies and societies, he is also one of the editors of the Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

Gro Harlem Brundtland -Prime Minister of Norway (three periods between 1981 and 1996), Special Envoy for the UN on Climate Change 2007-2010

A trained medical doctor, Gro Harlem Brudtland earned a degree in Public Health before moving into a career in public policy. Following three terms as Prime Minister of Norway, and Director General of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2003, she is now an international leader in sustainable development. Brudtland was named Policy Leader of the Year by Scientific American for coordinating a rapid, worldwide response to the SARS outbreak. Member of the Elders since its founding in 2007 and now its Deputy Chair, she is serving on the board of United Nations Foundation and has been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture and was the first recipient of the Tang Prize for Sustainable Development.

Dmitrij Dobrovol'skij, Professor of General Linguistics, Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Dmitrij Dobrovol'skij is a recognized authority in the field of phraseology. His research includes the theory of figurative language, German and Russian lexical semantics, lexicography, cognitive linguistics, and corpus linguistics. He has published monographs such as Kognitive Aspekte der Idiom-Semantik, Idiome im mentalen Lexikon, Figurative language: cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspectives with Elisabeth Piirainen), Studien zur deutschen Lexik, numerous papers in five languages, and mono- and bilingual dictionaries. He is the co-author and co-editor of Phraseology: An International Handbook of Contemporary Research. Professor Dobrovol'skij is the Vice-President of the European Society of Phraseology, a board member of the Society of Intercultural German Studies, a member of the American and the International Pragmatics Association, the Slavic Linguistics Society, and the Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of the Republic of Iceland (1980-1996), Unesco Goodwill Ambassador for Languages

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is the first woman in the world to be elected head of state in a national election, and finally serving four consecutive terms. Vigdís (as she is called in Iceland) studied literature and French at Sorbonne in the 1960s. She has taught French, drama and theatre history at the University of Iceland, and she directed the Reykjavík Theatre Company from 1972-80. Vigdís has been member of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Affairs in Nordic Countries, founding chair of the Council of Women World Leaders at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and appointed president of the Unesco World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. Since 2008, she has been World Ambassador of Theatre for the International Theater Institute.

Dany Laferrière, author and member of the French Academy

Forced into exile, at age 23, the young journalist hastily left Haiti for Canada. He moved to Montreal where he became a laborer until the release of his first novel in 1985 How to make love to a negro without getting tired which was a resounding success. His work (a score of novels, essays, chronicles) won numerous awards including the prestigious Prix Medicis, the Grand Prix of the city of Montreal and the Carbet Price of the Caribbean. The works of this prolific author have been translated into fifteen languages, including English, Japanese and German and adapted several times to the movies. More recently he was appointed an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, the Canada National Order and Commander of the Legion of Honor of France. Since December 2013, he has held the Montesquieu chair at the French Academy.


Anthony Lodge, Professor emeritus of French Linguistics, Saint Andrews University

An expert in Gallo-Romance historical sociolinguistics, Anthony Lodge has specialized in both the evolution of Parisian French since the 12th century and the Occitan dialects of the Middle Ages. Awarded the Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship, he edited part of the medieval archives of Montferrand (Puy-de-Dôme, France). The edition was published by the Ecole des Chartes, Paris. In historical linguistics, he has authored numerous works, including: Le Français, Histoire d’un dialecte devenu langue and A Sociolinguistic History of Parisian French. He is also a founding editor of the Journal of French Language Studies.