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Academic medicine in francophone Africa

A conversation with Hugues Abriel

Published onJun 30, 2022
Academic medicine in francophone Africa

In 2020/21, Hugues Abriel took a sabbatical to visit some of his colleagues in francophone Africa. He shares with us his experiences and what led to that journey in the first place. What motivates him is the question, of how we as scholars in Europe can reduce the barriers and obstacles that still remain for many of our colleagues who work at African universities and research institutions to fully participate in what we like to call “the global scientific community”.
Hugues recorded 12 episodes for his podcast show “Sabbatique en Afrique” and will share a few insights from the conversations he had in Congo and Morocco.

To see all our podcast episodes go to

Hugues Abriel

ORCID: 0000-0003-0465-5138
Twitter: @SwissIonChannel
Linkedin: /in/huguesabriel/
Instagram: hugues.abriel 
Podcast: sabbatique-en-afrique

I find myself to be extremely privileged to be able to work as a scientist/researcher and I find it very unfair that an unbelievable number of young persons on Earth with the same aspirations are not able to be part of our communities. We like to say that “Science has no borders” – this is often not the reality experienced by an academic scientist from RD Congo.

Hugues Abriel

Hugues Abriel, MD PhD, is a biologist (ETH Zurich, 1989) and physician (University of Lausanne, 1994). He completed his PhD in medicine and life sciences (specializing in medical physiology) at the University of Lausanne in 1995. Since 2009, Hugues Abriel has been a Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Bern. He is since 2022 one of the members (vice-rector for research) of the executive board of the University of Bern. Hugues Abriel is particularly interested in the molecular and genetic aspects of medicine. He has been in close contact with young doctors and researchers from French-speaking African universities for several years. He has just finished an academic sabbatical spent at the Universities of Kinshasa (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Fez (Morocco).

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