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Franck Zal

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Franck Zal
Franck Zal, Hemarina.jpg Franck Zal, Hemarina.jpg
Franck Zal
🏳️ NationalityFrance
🎓 Alma materUniversité de Paris VI
💼 Occupation
Work on the respiratory pigments and hemoglobin of marine invertebrates
🏅 AwardsCNRS bronze medal (2001) ; Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite (2020)[1]

Franck Zal is a French marine biologist and scientific researcher. Founder of Hemarina, he first built his scientific recognition on his expertise in the field of respiratory pigments for invertebrates before specializing on hemoglobin in marine invertebrates and their transport of oxygen. His work earned him the CNRS bronze medal in 2001. He has since received numerous awards for his work and has been made knight of the Ordre national du Mérite (2020). He was President of Bretagne Biosciences for many years and is currently Vice-President of ID2Santé and Antlanpôle Biothérapie.

With his company, he is working on developing blood substitutes, products for tissue preservation, products for wound healing, and protein production systems based on marine invertebrates.[2]



He obtained his PhD in 1996 from the University of Paris VI, in which he studied the structure-function relationships of extracellular hemoglobins of marine ringed worms. He then did 3 years of postdoctoral work, first at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for 2 years, then for 1 year at the University of Antwerp in Belgium.[3]


Franck Zal first worked at the CNRS at the Station biologique de Roscoff (University Paris-VI) before co-founding a biotechnology company, Hemarina, in 2007 in Morlaix, France.[4]

He created, with his company, a breeding and breeding farm of marine worms of the species Arenicola marina on the island of Noirmoutier. The hemoglobin extracted from these worms carries a high amount of oxygen, which in particular makes it possible to increase the shelf life of grafts of human organs.[5]


Franck Zal, throught his laboratory Hemarina, has four core lines of research based on his studies of marine invertebrates:[6][7][8]

  • Products for organ transplantation and tissue conservation,
  • Blood substitutes
  • Infections and wound healing (throught oxigenating dressing)
  • Bio-production

In January 2018, the product Hemo2life, based on the arenicole hemoglobin molecule, was used for the preservation of the graft by Professor Lantieri during a facial transplant.[9] This product is also being tested for the preservation of the graft in kidney transplants.[10]

See also[edit]

External link[edit]

Scientific litterature[edit]


  1. https://www.ouest-france.fr/bretagne/morlaix-29600/morlaix-franck-zal-est-nomme-chevalier-dans-l-ordre-national-du-merite-maritime-6683956 Ouest France, January 2020 (French)
  2. Besançon, Raphaëlle (July 18, 2018). "Prix de l'entrepreneur EY. Avec les vers marins, Hemarina révolutionne la médecine". Ouest France (in français).
  3. "Hemarina - Français - Management". Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  4. Moreau, Nora (September 9, 2016). "Le ver marin, produit médical miracle?". Le Parisien (in français).
  5. Gaubert, Camille https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/sante/systeme-sanguin/reportage-hemarina-inaugure-sa-ferme-de-vers-marins_129745 REPORTAGE. Guided tour of the marine worm farm, Sciences et Avenirs, december 1, 2018 (french)
  6. "HEMARINA Expands Its Operations To Boston | The Stevens Group".
  7. "EY Contractor Award. With marine worms, Hemarina revolutionizes medicine | tellerreport.com". www.tellerreport.com.
  8. https://www.notretemps.com/sante/actualites-sante/franck-zal-biologiste-soigne-avec-vers-marins,i189986 (French)
  9. https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/sante/os-et-muscles/le-premier-homme-a-se-faire-greffer-un-deuxieme-visage-a-beneficie-de-l-hemoglobine-de-ver-marin_123163 Sciences et avenir, april 17, 2018 (french)
  10. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov./ct2/show/NCT02652520 on Clinical trials, retrieved January 11, 2020

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Category:1966 births Category:French biologists Category:Pierre and Marie Curie University alumni Category:Year of birth missing (living people) Category:Living people

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