Paul Durand (1886-1960)
French physician and biologist, born on March 17, 1886, in Saint-Siméon-de-Bressieux (Isère, France) ; his father was a watchmaker.
1906-1907 Natural sciences graduate.
1909 Non-residential medical student, in Lyon.
1911 Obtained medical internship at the hospitals in Lyon.
1911-1916 Appointed as assistant researcher at the serum laboratory in the Institute of bacteriology (Lyon), where he initiated into bacteriology, under J. Courmont.
1912 Advanced degree in hygien and bacteriology, from the University of Lyon.
1912-1913 Appointed as assistant professor in hygien, at the Medical School of Lyon.
1914-1918 During First World War, served as an assistant physician on the Alsace's, Vosges's and Artois's fronts : from 1916, served as a First class Aide-Major physician at the central laboratory of bacteriology, Lyon, 14th district.
1916-1923 Appointed as head of the serum laboratory, at the Institute of bacteriology, in Lyon.
1919-1920 Sent to the Rockefeller Institute by the University of Lyon.
1921 Thesis defense for medical doctorate, the dissertation topic of which concerned the types of diphtheria bacilli and the therapeutic effectiveness of the antimicrobial antitoxin.
1921-1923 Appointed as senior hospital lecturer at the Medical School of Lyon.
1922 Received the Clothilde Liard prize from the French Academy of Medicine.
1923-1934 Appointed as head of laboratory at the Pasteur Institute in Tunis.
1925 Participated, as a physician, in the residential mission led by Colonel Courtot, going through Tunisia, Chad, Dahomey, by tracked vehicle.
1926 Led the fight against an epidemic outbreak of bubonic plague in Southern-Central Tunisia.
1927-1934 Appointed as chief of the contagious diseases division, at the Rabta hospital, where he continued research on pneumonic plague ; in collaboration with E. Conseil, observed that the Yersin's bacillus was remaining in the body for a very long time (sometimes more than one year) ; therefore, they assumed that such persisting pathogen might be related to the sudden outbreak of pneumonic plague epidemic, since its virulence could be restored by some subsequent diseases creating a state of "anergy" (i.e. : inadequate body's defense mechanisms, lowering the resistance to an infectious agent though this one had been encountered previously).
1930 Promoted to be a knight of Légion d'Honneur.
1931 Colombian government assigned P. Durand, R. Latarjet and Tavernier, a mission to Bogota, aiming at a plan proposal for a Medical Education reform there.
1933 Received the Montyon prize from the French Academy of Medicine.
1934 Elected member of French Society of Exotic Pathology (Société de Pathologie Exotique, SPE).
1935-1936 Succeeded G. Blanc as director of the Pasteur Institute in Athen ; conducted research on swineherd's disease and provided evidence that it was not transmitted by lice but by droppings of infected animals.
1936-1949 Returned to Tunis and resumed his work as head of laboratory, at the Pasteur Institute :
- conducted research on spotted fever ; with Et. Burnet and Olmer, demonstrated that the so-called "Marseille fever" was not transmitted by lice and in that respect differed from epidemic-typhus ; with E. Conseil, showed that spotted fever was transmitted to dogs by the dog tick Rhipicephalus ; provided immunological evidence that the Marseille's and Tunisian diseases did not differ from each other and observed that the dog disease, affected humans by chance ;
- with Ch. Nicolle, developed methods for isolating and cultivating the Ducrey's streptobacillus and used them to demonstrate the involvement of the germ in the chancroid clinical symptoms ; that work resulted in the development of a curative vaccine ;
- with E. Conseil, developed a diagnosis test, based on allergic reactions, allowing to distinguish smallpox (and cowpox vaccine) from chickenpox ;
- with Ch. Nicolle, E. Conseil, Cuénod and Lumbroso, conducted research on a curative vaccine against acute conjunctivitis caused by the Weeks bacillus ; trachomatous children were vaccinated in the public schools of Tunis.
- described some cases of human rabies, that appeared as acute meningitis.
1940 With P. Giroud, worked out a vaccine against epidemic-typhus, which were prepared by using the lungs of intranasally infected rodents as a "culture-tube" for growing rickettsiae.
1949-1954 Appointed as director of the Pasteur Institute in Tunis ; implemented the construction of a new building, intended for accomodating the vaccines production services, the Brucellosis laboratory and the library.
1960 Died in Charbonnières-les-Bains (Rhône), on April 29.
Collaborators : Ch. Anderson, S. Arloing, L. Balozet, E. Bériel, Bonnamour, Bouchut, Et. Burnet, E. Caillou, E. Conseil, P. Courmont, R. Deleuil, Devic, P. Dufourt, Genet, P. Giroud, J. Guérin, J. Laigret, E. Larrive, L. Lavauden, Ch. Lesieur, U. Lumbroso, Malespine, A. Mestrallet, Ch. Nicolle, M. Péhu, A. Pic, P. Porte, Rochaix, Rollet, Y. Rollin, Santy, Sédallian, H. Sparrow, Mme Villain, Voron.
Biographical reference tools :
- Durand (Paul), "Exposé des titres et travaux scientifiques de M. Durand", 4 p. dac., 1933 (archives Institut Pasteur, Bio.D1).
- Durand (Paul), titres et travaux, 24 p. imp., 1937.
- Renoux (G.), "Paul Durand", Archives de l'Institut Pasteur de Tunis, t. XXXVII, 3 p., 1960.
Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur