Environment and Health: The Awards celebrate Research

For the 2018 Awards Ceremony, the Air Liquide Foundation honored two research projects that align with our environment and health missions. The first project, led by Doctor Cyril Marchand, a geochemist at the French Institute for Research on Development (IRD), studies the CO2 sequestration capabilities of mangroves. The second, overseen by Professor Dinh-Xuan from the Université Paris Descartes, is on the topic of a rare disease that results in pulmonary inflammation. Let’s take a closer look at these Foundation-funded projects.

The Environment Award recognizes work on mangroves

The IRD has developed an international observatory for preserving these ecosystems. “We chose three countries – New Zealand, New Caledonia and Vietnam – to access three different climates and three forms of biodiversity,” Cyril Marchand explains. The researcher said that “mangrove soil can capture 10 to 20 times more carbon – and thus CO2 in the form of organic matter – than a traditional forest, as the soil is saturated with water.”

The project conducted in Vietnam, which was awarded the prize by the Foundation’s jury, aimed to develop evolutionary scenarios for the Can Gio mangrove forest to better anticipate the effects of climate change. It involved local participants trained by Cyril Marchand to analyze CO2 flows and concentrations in different mangrove strata. Funded by the Air Liquide Foundation, measuring devices were installed in the mangrove forest to assess CO2 exchanges between the atmosphere and the ecosystem on an ongoing basis.

The word from the sponsor

Support from the Foundation made it possible to train Vietnamese students and to lay the groundwork for scientific databases that will provide insight into this ecosystem.

Tracey Jacksier

Tracey Jacksier

Global Technology Director,
Air Liquide’s Delaware Research and Technology Center,
USA


The Health Award goes to research on a rare disease

The Université Paris Descartes is working to prevent systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease characterized by progressive fibrosis of the skin and internal organs, including the lungs. “There is no cure,” explains Professor Dinh-Xuan, who is leading the research project at Cochin Hospital and who sees this project as an important challenge. “The goal of our work is to detect lung damage at the first signs of fibrosis, when it can still be reversed. The existence of traces of nitrogen monoxide in the air exhaled by a patient is an indication of pulmonary inflammation,” Professor Dinh-Xuan notes. Early detection can help patients with systemic scleroderma get treatment as soon as possible. The Air Liquide Foundation funded the purchase of a device that measures exhaled nitrogen monoxide concentrations and the molecules needed for the research.

The word from the sponsor

The research team has conducted innovative work on a rare and debilitating disease.

Marc Lemaire

Marc Lemaire

International Senior Expert,
Air Liquide Santé International R&D,
Paris-Saclay Research Center