Camille Delezenne (1868-1932)
French physician and biologist, born on Oct.6, 1868, in Genech (Nord, France), to a well-off country family ; his father was the mayor of Genech.
Primary school in Genech and Haubourdin, then secondary school in Armentières ; enrollment in medical training at the medical school of Lille.
1890 Obtained medical internship in the Lille's hospitals.
1891 Obtained the Cazeneuve prize from the medical school of Lille.
1892 Thesis defense for medical doctorate, the dissertation topic of which concerned parapneumonic pleurisy.
1893-1895 Entered the Wertheimer's laboratory of physiology at the medical school of Lille ; conducted research on the circulation of blood (vasodilator effects of strychnine, variations in blood pressure).
1893-1895 Elected mayor of Genech.
1895-1900 Appointed as associated professor in physiology at the medical school of Montpellier ; at the Hédon's laboratory, conducted systematic research on blood coagulation in vertebrates ; showed that antithrombin is produced by the liver and described the blood coagulation system in birds ; that work led him to prepare a pure, stable bird plasma, which was readily used by other researchers (such as Morawitz, J. Bordet, C. Gessard, L. Loeb, Falloise, Hewlett, A. Staub ), for finely studying the coagulation system, as well as the origin and the distribution of antibodies.
1897-1928 Obtained the Montyon prize from the French Academy of Sciences ; other prizes obtained from the Academy : Philippeaux, 1900 ; La Caze, 1909.
1899 Natural sciences graduate ; obtained the Tempié prize from the University of Sciences in Montpellier.
1900 Appointed as reader in physiology at the chair of physiological chemistry, in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes (Paris) ; at the E. Duclaux and E. Metchnikoff 's request, who both noticed the high quality of his work, he was appointed as head of the laboratory of physiology in the Institut Pasteur ; there, he conducted research on diastases, venoms, toxins.
1902-1904 Resumed the Pawlow's experiments concerning the pancreatic digestion : in 1902, demonstrated that the pancreatic juice is unable to digest coagulated egg albumin (...) essentially, it requires the addition of an activating diastase, called enterokinase, the properties of which he accurately described ; the involvement of enterokinase in activating pancreatic digestive enzymes had never been reported before ; then, he established a link between this phenomenon and that of hemolysis ; a number of bacterial cultures, plants, toadstools, snake venoms were shown to possess diastases which could act the same way as enterokinase did on the pancreatic juice ; moreover, he highlighted the activating effect of calcium and lime salts on the pancreatic juice ; performed further work by studying a gut hormone (secretin).
1902 Became a permanent member of the French Society of Biology ( Société de biologie ).
1903 Co-founded the Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur, along with A. Besredka, G. Bertrand, A. Borrel, A. Marie, F. Mesnil ; became a member of the editorial board of the Archives internationales de Physiologie. 1910 Appointed as professor at the Institut Pasteur.
1912 Elected member of the French Academy of Medicine in Paris.
1914-1918 During First World War, at the Institut Pasteur, prepared antivenoms for the use of Africa's, Egypt's and Palestine's armies.
1919 Thesis defense for doctorate in natural sciences, the dissertation topic of which was inspired by G. Bertrand's work : "Zinc as a cellular component in animal organisms : presence and role into snake venoms" (Le zinc constituant cellulaire de l'organisme animal. Sa présence et son rôle dans les venins des serpents).
1929 Became a member of the general assembly of the Institut Pasteur, along with V. Morax, R. Sabouraud and M. Caullery ; promoted to Officer of the Légion d'Honneur.
1932 Died in Paris, on July 7.
Collaborators : F. Bosc, A. Frouin, E. Fourneau, Gayet, L. Hallion, E. Hedon, M. Lambert, S. Ledebt, M. Lisbonne, H. Morel, H. Mouton, E. Pozerski, G. de Rouville, E. Wertheimer.
Biographical reference tools :
- Calmette (Albert), " C. Delezenne (1868-1932)", La Presse Médicale, n° 58, 20/07/1932, 7 p.
- Delezenne (Camille), "Titres et travaux scientifiques de C. Delezenne", Paris, Imp. de la Cour d'Appel, 1912, 85 p.
- Delezenne (Alain), "Camille Delezenne", Pays de Pevele, n° 36, 1994, pp. 25-30 (archives Institut Pasteur).
- Hallion (L.), "C. Delezenne (1868-1932)", Annales de Pysiologie, t. VIII, n° 5, 1932, pp. 786-805.
Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur