Maurice Javillier (1875-1955)
French pharmacist and biochemist born on Feb. 5, 1875 in Nevers (Nièvre). His father, coming from a wine-grower's family of Burgundy was a pharmacist in the central dispensary at Nevers.
1892 High School degree at Nevers ; enrollment in pharmaceutical training in his father's dispensary, aiming to qualify as a pharmacist as well.
1895-1899 Obtained pharmaceutical internship at the Hospital Service in Paris (Hôtel Dieu hospital).
1895-1898 Graduated in Natural Sciences from the University of Sciences in Paris : zoology (1897), general and biological chemistry (1898), botany (1905).
1898 Graduated as a pharmacist first class from the School of Pharmacy in Paris (Ecole supérieure de pharmacie).
1899-1900 Met G. Bertrand, who was working on pectase and laccase, under Arnaud, at the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle.
1899-1914 Appointed as a sub-editor at the review Bulletin des Sciences pharmacologiques.
1900 At the French chemical Society (Société chimique de France) : became a member, a member of the advisory board (in 1923 and 1929), a deputy chairman (1924-1926), successively.
1900-1901 At the Medical and Pharmaceutical School of Tours (Ecole préparatoire de médecine et de pharmacie de Tours), appointed as an assistant in physics and chemistry, then as a lecturer in analytical chemistry.
1900-1903 Became a member of the Public Health Committee at the district of Indre-et-Loire.
1901 Married Anna Champenois ; set up on his own, having purchased a dispensary in Tours (Indre-et-Loire).
1901-1909 At the Medical and Pharmaceutical School of Tours : appointed as a sub professor in zoology ; from 1905, appointed as a full professor in pharmacy and medicine.
1903 Became a corresponding member of the French Society of pharmacy, then a resident member from 1914.
1903-1907 Named as a secretary at the Health Care Commission in Tours.
1904 Thesis defense for pharmaceutical doctorate ("Pharmacien Supérieur"), the dissertation topic of which was about rennet in plants.
1907 Left Tours and moved to Paris.
1908 Became a member of the Commission on reform in the pharmaceutical education.
1908-1914 Entered the Institut Pasteur in Paris, as a grant-holder then as a research assistant, in the G. Bertrand's laboratory of biological chemistry ; in collaboration with G. Bertrand, conducted research on plant juice and vegetable rennet ; research on elements such as zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and their biological activities in the phenomenon of catalysis ; research on diastases and vitamins : one of his major contribution was the demonstration of the biochemical role of vitamin A, the link between vitamin A and carotene and the development of an assay for the determination of its activity under physiological conditions.
1908 Thesis defense for doctorate in sciences, the dissertation topic of which was about the presence and the role of zinc in plant physiology.
1909 Thesis defense for PhD at the School of Pharmacy in Paris, the dissertation topic of which was about the proteolytic ferments and the drugs derived from the proteolytic activity.
1909-1922 Appointed as a lecturer for the practical work at the School of Pharmacy in Paris.
1914 Was awarded the Longchamp prize by the French Academy of Sciences, the Montyon prize (1925), the Longchamp prize (1928), successively.
1914 At the French Society of biological chemistry (Société de chimie biologique) : became a member, then a member of the advisory board (1925-1927), a deputy chairman (1928-1929), successively.
1914-1918 During First World War, served as a pharmacist ("aide-major") in the Army's laboratory of chemistry at Dunkirk (1914-1917), where he interested in poison gas and designed a breathing apparatus called 'respirateur Cadroy-Javillier" ; transferred to the Navy Ministry (Commission for the accumulators of submarines) in 1917, then to the Ministry of Armaments (Inspection of war's chemical experiments and investigations) in 1918.
Decorated with the War Cross ; was to be made a Knight of the Legion of Honour, an Officer (1936), a Commander (1946), successively.
1919-1946 At the University of Sciences in Paris, appointed as an associate professor, then from1937, as a full professor in biological chemistry.
1921 Became a member of the national Committee for chemical research.
1922-1931 Appointed as Director of the laboratory of physiological chemistry ("Société scientifique d'hygiène alimentaire") at the Agronomic Research Institute in Paris ; conducted research in biochemistry of agricultural interest (chemical components in food such as wheat, flours, bread, olive oil ; magnesium and zinc-based fertilizers ; preparation and use of vitamin-containing products) ; among other researches in pharmaceutical chemistry : development of isolation methods and titration assays for a large variety of substances, such as cola extract, alkaloids, antipyrin and pyramidon ; characterization of picric acid icterus ; analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in nervous syphilitis.
1924 Became a member of the interministerial Committee for medicinal and essence-producing plants.
1927 Became a member of the Committee on cereals and bread ; ceased to hold a chair for one year at the University of Sciences in Paris.
1928 Conducted lectures and seminars in Canada, at the French-Canadian Scientific Institute.
1931-1945 Appointed as a professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris.
1936 Elected member of the French Academy of Sciences (rural economy section).
1936-1937 In Romania, elected as an honorary member of the Society of pharmacy ; as a corresponding member of the Academy of Medicine and as an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences in Bucharest.
1942 Elected as an associated member of the French Society of biology ( Société de biologie ).
1943 Became a member of the Committee for Public Health and Health Care at the district of Paris (département de la Seine).
1945-1952 Became a member of the Education Board at the National School of Agriculture in Grignon.
1946 Retired from his university professor's chair.
1950 Elected member of the French Academy of Medicine.
1951 President of the French Academy of Sciences ; published a large number of orbituaries (E. Choay, H. Lagatu, C. Poulenc, M. Nicloux, A. Boivin, L. Cuénot, A. Cotton, E. Cartan, E. Schribaux).
1951-1953 At the meetings of academic and citizen's groups, declared himself in favour of peace and peaceful solutions to the wars in Vietnam and Korea.
1955 Died on June 15 in Paris.
Collaborators : H. Allaire, L. Babonneix, P. Baude, G. Bertrand, Bockeroot, Brulé, A. Crémieu, M. Croc, Djélatides, L. Emerique, B. Guérithault, H. Hinglais, S. Imas, S. Lévy-Lajeunesse, S. Rousseau, L. de Saint-Rat, B. Sauton, B. Sullivan, H. Tchernoroutzky.
Biographical reference tools :
- Javillier (Maurice), "Notice des titres et travaux scientifiques de Maurice Javillier", Paris, Imp. de la Cour d'Appel, 76 p., 1929.
Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur