History of the
Institut Curie

Institut Curie was born out of the determination of one woman, Marie Curie.

Institut Curie is a leading center in the fight against cancer. Institut Curie combines an internationally renowned research facility with a cutting-edge hospital group, treating all types of cancer, including the rarest forms.

For decades, Institut Curie has served as the reference center for breast cancer, pediatric cancer, eye tumor and sarcomas (tumors that occur in the bones and soft tissues).

Institut Curie was known as "Institut du Radium"

On December 12, 1909, the University of Paris and Institut Pasteur decided to build the Institut du Radium for Marie Curie, who won the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics along with her husband Pierre Curie and their colleague Henri Becquerel, for their work on radioactivity. This laboratory was set up just a few streets away from the “hangar” at the school of industrial chemistry and physics, where Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radioactivity along with polonium and radium in 1898.

When Marie Curie discovered radium, she very quickly had the revolutionary idea of applying radioactivity and its properties to medicine. The goal was to study radioactivity and its applications in physics, chemistry, biology and medicine. The set-up was very original for its time: the Institut du Radium featured the Curie laboratory, directed by Marie Curie and entirely devoted to physics and chemistry research, and the Pasteur laboratory, directed by Dr. Claudius Regaud and devoted to studying the biological effects and medical applications of radioactivity.

Once the World War I ended and they settled into their respective laboratories, Curie and Regaud proposed a general development project for the Institut du Radium, where research and therapeutic applications would be closely linked. This well-known research-care continuum, developed by Curie and Regaud, is still the hallmark of Institut Curie a century later. Institut Curie’s innovations are based on this fundamental pillar.

Construction was completed in 1914. 

Institut Curie through time

1903
1903 Nobel Prize
1909 Creation of the Institut du Radium
1911 Nobel Prize in chemistry
1920 Curie Foundation
1921 One gram of radium
1935 Nobel Prize in chemistry
1948 First recovery from breast cancer
1970 Merger of Institut du Radium
1977 First pediatric cancer service
1992 Protontherapy
1998 Therapy on prostatic cancer
2000 Digitalization of patient files
2002 Discovery of the DBAIT molecules
2007 Inauguration of Nikkon Center
2010 Merger of Institut Curie and Hôpital René Huguenin
2012 Launch of Shiva trial
2013 Creation of the AJA
2018 Launch of the first Center of Cancer Immunotherapy
2019 Upgrade of surgery services
2020
2019 Extension construction of the hospital

Celebrate 100 Years of the Curie Foundation

Continuing Marie Curie’s legacy