Tuesday, January 17, 2012Portraits

Robert Barouki, in the heart of endocrine disruptors

©Inserm

Bisphenol A, phthalates, parabens … every day, we are in contact with these scary endocrine disruptors. What do our politicians do to protect us? Bills, which are not endorsed … What do researchers do to make them take action at long last? CosmeticOBS-L’Observatoire des Cosmétiques went to ask one of them, among the most renowned in this area: Robert Barouki.

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Robert Barouki is the Director of the French UMR-S 747 Department (Toxicology, Pharmacology and Cell Signals) in the Inserm (National Institute of Health and Medical Research). From his small office in the University, in Saints-Pères street, in Paris, he has an acute knowledge of the problems due to endocrine disruptors. Not only because, as everyone,  he is daily exposed to them. In fact, he makes studies on them, has a thorough look at how they work, looks at the involved mechanisms in his laboratory … Endocrine disruptors are the focus of his research and his daily work.

Who are you, Mr. Barouki?

Robert Barouki was not born as a researcher … but he became one quite soon. When 7, he read the newspapers that his father, a civil servant in a Central Administration, brought back home: this "amused" him, as he likes to say now. He has always been fond of History (he thought about becoming a history teacher, when 14), politics … but even before University, he looks for research, “A teacher, a researcher … some people say this is a way for those who do not want to grow. I do not agree. I was already curious, eager to be involved …

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