Marie Curie
Legacy Initiative

Celebrating 100 years of innovation in the fight against cancer with the creation of a unique research center in the heart of Paris

The Marie Curie Legacy Initiative celebrates the Curie Foundation, Institut Curie’s innovative research and accomplishments in the fight against cancer and the important friendship Institut Curie has with the US. The Legacy Initiative supports the creation of a Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center, the next phase in Institut Curie’s fight against cancer. 

The Curie Foundation

The Curie Foundation was created in 1920 under the dual patronage of the Institut du Radium and the Institut Pasteur with financial backing from Henri de Rothschild. On May 27, 1921, the Curie Foundation was given the status of a “private non-profit foundation for the public good”, enabling it to receive donations to finance the activities of the Radium Institute and contribute to the development of medical projects.

The Curie Foundation financed the research activities of the Institut du Radium and enabled applied medical treatments to be offered patients with the highest standards. Among its accomplishments, the Curie Foundation supported the development of innovative treatments combining surgery and brand-new radiotherapy methods to treat cancer. This pioneering center for radiotherapy immediately became a model for new cancer centers in France and abroad. The Curie laboratory was internationally renowned for research in physics and chemistry; researchers from all around the world came to be trained by Marie Curie.

Today, the Curie Foundation is proud to fund cutting-edge cancer research and innovative patient care, renewing its commitment for the next 100 years.

Creation of an Innovative Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center

The first in Europe specializing in addressing fundamental questions in cancer cell plasticity and its link to metastatic spread and cancer treatment.

Institut Curie is playing a major role in international chemical biology research thanks to the work of Dr. Raphaël Rodriguez and his team and their recent ground-breaking discovery on the role of iron in the metastatic dissemination. This discovery won Dr. Rodriguez the prestigious Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award for Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry in 2019.

To support Dr. Rodriguez’s work and build on his expertise by recruiting international research teams and launching new multidisciplinary approaches, Institut Curie will build the first chemical biology of Cancer research center in Europe focused on cancer cell plasticity mechanisms and its impact on metastasis.  

The Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center will support research to:

  • Study cancer cell activity in a biological and chemical level, discover new biological features underlying cancer progression.
  • Identify and develop small molecules to be used for new treatment aiming to target cancer cell plasticity and block cancer cells from spreading.
  • Discover new druggable targets, design new therapeutic angles and pathways to cure cancer.

Chemical biology is one of the fastest growing areas of cancer research today. This field of research has the potential to uncover the underlying causes of cancer progression and find out how to stop cancers from spreading to different parts of the body, also called metastasizing.

Today, metastasis causes 90% of cancer deaths. Finding the key to block metastatic spread will have a tremendous impact on cancer survival and discovering pathways to a cure.

Chemical biology uses of chemical principles and tools to solve pressing problems in biomedical research that are challenging to address using classical methods, such as those routinely used in cell biology, genetics, and biochemistry. The discipline involves chemists and biologists to work together on small molecules that have the potential to impact patient care one day if turned into drugs.

Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center Timeline

5-story building construction

In 2021 construction of a new 5-story building will begin across from Marie Curie’s historical laboratory on Institut Curie’s campus on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, in Paris the 5th arrondissement of Paris.

This new building will host house the new Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center

Recruitment of an international research team

Between 2021 and 2025, Institut Curie will recruit new, international research teams working on different approaches in the field of chemical biology around the first existing team led by Dr. Rodriguez with the goal of establishing up to 12 teams. 

Your contribution to the Marie Curie Legacy Initiative supports the construction of the Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center and celebrates 100 years of innovation in the fight against cancer.

The Marie Curie Legacy Initiative supports the construction of the
Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center

By 2025, Institut Curie aims to raise $15 million to:

  • Build and outfit the new Chemical Biology of Cancer Research Center 
  • Purchase high level scientific equipment
  • Recruit new international research teams

As Marie Curie did in 1921, Institut Curie needs help to move one step forward once again in the international effort to beat cancer. We are facing an extraordinary opportunity and with your help, we will rise to the challenge and make our mark on the development of international chemical biology, in cooperation with American and multinational research teams.

Budget Breakdown

$ 15 Million
  • $10 million
    Construct and outfit Chemical Biology Research Center
  • $3.5 million
    Purchase high-level equipment
  • $1.5 million
    Recruit 2 international teams