French entrepreneur and industrialist Jean Leducq, together with his wife Sylviane, created the Fondation Leducq in 1996 in Paris, France using the proceeds from the sale of the family’s international linen and uniform services businesses. A Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) was assembled, and charged with responsibility for the scientific oversight of Fondation Leducq programs, and in particular for the evaluation of all funding requests. From the outset the SAC has been composed equally of 7 North American and 7 European members who are experts in cardiovascular and neurovascular sciences. The foundation awarded its first grants in cardiovascular research in 1999 under an individual investigator program.
In 2003 the Fondation Leducq introduced the Transatlantic Networks of Excellence, a program designed to promote collaborative research among investigators in North America and Europe in the areas of cardiovascular and neurovascular disease. The Fondation Leducq has recently opened this program to investigators worldwide. As of 2015, the foundation has made 47 network awards, each for $6 million over five years, supporting hundreds of investigators at 123 institutions in 18 countries.
Jean Leducq passed away in 2002. Sylviane took over as President of the Board of Directors until her death in 2013. She oversaw the implementation of the Transatlantic Networks Program, and the creation of the venture philanthropy fund Broadview Ventures, Inc. She also worked to assure that the foundation would be able to continue its activities in cardiovascular and neurovascular research for generations to come. In 2009, she was awarded the French Legion of Honor in recognition of her generosity and leadership.