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French medical researcher honored for contributions

TAIPEI -- The founder and president of the France-based Institute of Research Against Digestive Cancer (IRCAD) was honored by the government Tuesday for his role in the promotion of exchanges between Taiwan and France in the medical treatment sector.

Foreign Affairs Minister David Lin presented Jaques Marescaux, who is also a professor of surgery at the University of Strasbourg in France, with the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy in recognition of his contributions to mutual exchanges and cooperation.

The award “is in recognition of Marescaux's remarkable contributions to building ties and advancing cooperation between Taiwan and France in the field of medicine,” Lin said.

In response, Marescaux said he would like to express “gratitude for the great honor.”

The French expert in minimally invasive surgery is widely known for performing the world's first transcontinental laparoscopic surgery on a patient in Strasbourg in 2001, despite being in New York at the time.

In 2007, Marescaux was believed to be the first person in the world to operate upon a person without leaving a scar.

Since 2005, Marescaux has worked with Taiwan's Show Chwan Memorial Hospital in Changhua County, central Taiwan, to set up an IRCAD branch there.

IRCAD Taiwan, inaugurated in 2008, trains Asian surgeons in new minimally invasive surgical techniques. In addition to operating training facilities, it runs a research and development department in the fields of computer science and medical imaging.

Courses at the Taiwan institute have benefited nearly 4,000 surgeons from 49 countries, 59 percent of whom are local.

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Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂), right, toasts the founder and president of the France-based Institute of Research Against Digestive Cancer (IRCAD), Jacques Marescaux, left, in Taipei, yesterday. Marescaux was honored by the government yesterday for his role in the promotion of exchanges between Taiwan and France in the medical treatment sector. (CNA)

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