Scholarship Sponsor Receives Top French Honor
By Lauren Highfill

  Jean-Marie and Nadia Giradot with Girardot Scholarship recipient, music major Brandon McDaniel.  

The Kennesaw State University College of the Arts is proud to announce that Dr. Nadia Girardot, supporter of the endowed scholarship program, has received “L’Ordre National du Mérite” from the French government. She received the award on Oct. 4, in Atlanta for her marked achievements in biosciences and her continued promotion of French culture in Atlanta. This honor is presented by the President of France to French nationals for distinguished civil or military achievements.

Girardot and her husband, Dr. Jean-Marie Girardot, are both biomedical specialists. Their research led to the creation of a heart valve replacement technology, termed the “Holy Grail,” that was federally approved in 1996.

The technolody is radical for more reasons than just its name. For patients, the product prevents life-threatening calcification in replacement heart valves that are derived from animal tissue. The technology also reduces the need to use mechanical valves, which can lead to blood clots.

To provide research for this scientific development, the Girardots founded and managed two life sciences firms:  BioMed Design in Dunwoody and Pegasus Biologics in San Franscisco. The heart valve technology then came to fruition through a collaboration with Medtronic, Inc. in the early 1990s.

Committed to the role of science as well as arts in education, Nadia and Jean-Marie Girardot, established an endowed scholarship shared between the KSU College of the Arts and the KSU College of Science & Mathematics in 2001 to support students who show excellence in the arts or sciences and who have a financial need.



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