Pierre Mercier (1910-1997)
French physician and microbiologist, born on Aug. 6, 1910, in Auxerre (Yonne) ; high school student in Auxerre.
1934-1936 Enrollment in medical training at the Medical School of Paris ; obtained medical internship at the Pasteur hospital in Paris.
1937 Thesis defense for medical doctorate from the Medical School of Paris : "L'anatoxine saphylococcique et le traitement des affections dues au staphylocoque" (staphylococcal anatoxin and treatment of diseases caused by staphylococci).
1937 Entered the Institut Pasteur (annex of Garches) as a research assistant, in the G. Ramon 's laboratory.
1938 Became a member of the French Society of microbiology (Société française de microbiologie) ; of the American Society of microbiology in 1959 ; of the Athenian Society of microbiology in 1962.
1941 Appointed as Head of laboratory at the Hospital Service in Paris ; with R. Kourilsky, conducted research on staphylococci (mechanisms of the staphylococcal infection in human ; development of a new virulence test for Staphylococcus aureus).
1944 Practised as a physician assistant in the Raymond-Poincaré hospital ; appointed as Head of laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Paris ; his aim in continuing research on staphylococci was to prepare a vaccine either from the staphylococcal anatoxin or from the killed germ, in order to overcome the limitations of current antibiotics for the treatment of the diseases (due to the occurrence of multiresistant staphylococcal strains).
1945-1951 Gave lectures at the microbiology course (cours de microbiologie) of the Institut Pasteur.
1951-1962 Appointed as Director of the Pasteur Institute in Athens (Greece) ; in parallel with his main research field in staphylococci (exotoxins, leucocidin), conducted epidemiological studies and recommended preventive measures for fighting against some diseases in Greece (toxoplasmosis, intestinal amoebiasis, poliomyelitis, encephalomyelitis, diphtheria).
1952-1962 Gave lectures in microbiology and pathology of infectious diseases at the Medical School and the College of Public Health in Athens.
1954 Reported data on certain possible vaccine adverse reactions (tuberculosis, smallpox, poliomyelitis).
1955 Appointed as a scientific advisor to the French Embassy in Greece ; was to be made a Knight of the Legion of Honour.
1960 Became a corresponding member of the French Academy of Medicine in Paris.
1962-1965 By returning to Paris, appointed as Deputy Secretary General at the Institut Pasteur ; performed administrative and diplomatic functions, at the expense of his scientific activities.
1962 At French Ministry of Public Health's request, gave a lecture about the opportunities offered to France of promoting culture and expanding economy in Greece ; promoted the exhibition "French sciences and medicine" in Athens ; was to be made a Commander of the Greek Phenix Royal Order.
1964 Became a member of the France's High Council for Public Health ; became a member of the French Medical History Society.
1965-1966 Appointed as Secretary General at the Institut Pasteur.
1966-1971 Named Director of the Institut Pasteur in Paris ; implemented the Institut Pasteur's statute reform, being effective on 22th April 1967 (reorganizing and planning the geographic integration for its production subsidiaries into an "Application Center" ; signing an agreement with the Laboratoire Roger Bellon among other private companies).
1970 Published a paper about the tetanus prevention and the responsability of physicians.
1971 When J. Monod succeeded him as Director, the board of trustees of the Institut Pasteur appointed him to the position of Delegate ; elected member of the French Academy of Medicine ; provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Insurance ; served as an administrator for the management of various national agencies (Military Health Care Advisory Committee, Scientific Advisory Board of the INSERM medical research, Board of Trustees of the Curie Foundation...).
1997 Died on Sept. 25 ; funeral at Vence (Alpes Maritimes).
Collaborators : A. Bocage, A. Boivin, L. Corre, E. Crimbithis, H. Darre, G. Defosse, M. Defrance, G. Holstein, S. Isbir, R. Kourilsky, R. Martin, P. Mollaret, G. Pangalos, J. Papandonaki, R. Pery, A. Peyron, J. Pillet, E. Pouli-Pateraki, G. Poumeau-Delille, L. Nicol, G. Ramon, R. Richou, Y. Tanguin, M. Tissier, G. Tsatsas, N. Tzamouranis, P. Vassiliadis, E. Voyatzis.
Biographical reference tools :
- Mercier (Pierre), "Exposé des Titres et Travaux de Pierre Mercier", 20 p., 1970 (Archives Pasteur, TRE/D.S.(84) ; Bio.M2).
Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur