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Biographical Sketch
Antoinette Ryter (1924-2008)
version française
 

Swiss biologist, born Boissonnas, on sept. 2, 1924 in Geneva. Her father was a photographer and died seven months before her birth. Her mother was a musician and gave singing lessons.
Primary and secondary school in Neuchâtel (Switzerland).
1945 Started medical studies in Neuchâtel then went to Geneva where she moved towards chemistry and biology.
1947 Got a degree in chemical sciences at the university of Geneva.
1948-1950 Technical assistant in the laboratory of the antineoplastic center Romand from Lausanne to study the effect of carcinogenic substances on tissue cultures.
1950 Married Charles Ryter who was an assistant at the university of Geneva where he prepared a thesis in physical sciences. They had got two chidren, François and Claude.
1951-1958 Assistant in the laboratory of biophysics headed by professor Kellenberg at the University of Geneva. There she acquired her training and knowledge in electronic microscopy, in microbiology and in molecular biology. She participated in improving technics of electronic microscopy by the development of a new fixing method so-called of Ryter-Kellenberg and a new inclusion medium: the vestopal. These technical innovations have allowed a better understanding of the bacterial nucleus organization as well as the study of bacteriophagous multiplication inside bacteria.
1958 Laureate for the prize Plantamour-Prévost from the University of Geneva.
1958-1960 Trainee in the laboratory of experimental medicine headed by Ch. Oberling at the Collège de France (Paris). She conducted researches on the effect of UV and X rays on the bacterial nucleus, then researches on carcinogenesis by studying the development of the Roux sarcoma virus.
1964 Defended her PhD thesis in biological sciences at the University of Geneva: Etude au microscope électronique du cycle sporal de Bacillus subtilis .
1964-1991 Invited by A. Lwoff, she entered the Institut Pasteur in Paris. She then concentrated on the ultra-structural study of various prokaryotic bacteria (of which the cell has no nucleus) and identified the relationships between cellular dynamic organization and cellular functions. These researches led to collaborations with F. Jacob on the process of nucleus partition during cell division, and with P. Schaeffer on bacterial sporulation. She also studied host-pathogen interactions not only for leishmania or mycobacteria in macrophages, but also for Shigella in HeLa cells (carcinogenic cell line used in medical research). Expanding her researches to the eukaryotic cell, she worked on amibia Dictyostelium discoideum with L. Pereira da Silva and Ph. Bracher, on nematods with F. Jacob and on post-synaptic membrane of the electrical fish with J.-P. Changeux.
1967 Senior researcher at CNRS.
1970 Laureate for the prize Rochat from the Académie des sciences .
1972-1977 Head of laboratory, responsible for the electronic microscopy unit in the department of molecular biology at the Institut Pasteur.
1977-1979 Head of the department of molecular biology at the Institut Pasteur.
1979 Scientific advisor with the general director of the Institut Pasteur F. Gros.
1979 Supervisor for the electronic microscopy course at the Institut Pasteur.
1981 Appointed professor at the Institut Pasteur. Promoted honorary professor in 1990.
1984 Entered the editorial board of the Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur .
1987-1992 Member of the Assemblée des Cents of the Institut Pasteur.
1989-1998 While retired, she provided school help to child in difficulty in Issy-Les-Moulineaux.
1990-2001 Amateur painter, she directed the Association Artistique de la Recherche (ASAR).
She performed, amongst others, several pieces inspired from her pictures of microbiology to highlight the decorative and didactic sides.
2008 Died on dec. 6.

Publications in collaboration with :
J.-P. Aubert, G. Balassa, C. Bayen, A. M. Beaufils, Ph. Benda, J.C. Bénichou, B. Bloom, P. Boquet, J.P. Bourgeois, B. Bowers, G. Buttin, M. Capponi, M. Cassier, P. Chaix, A. Chang, J.-P. Changeux, de Chastelier, D. Cousin, F. Cuzin, A. Dodin, P. Dupouey, B. Ferrandès, B. Fiocre, D. Fournier-Laflèche, C. Fréhel, P. Fromageot, R. Hellio, Y. Hirota, J. Hurwitz, H. Ionesco, F. Jacob, E. Kellenberger, M. Kohiyama, A. Kurdjian, O. Landmann, C. Lataste, P. Manigault, T. Nakai, M. Piéchaud, J. Pillot, I. Plesko, J.-L. Popot, A. Rambach, P. Schaeffer, B. Shapiro, W. Schwab, M. Schwartz, M. Sébald, J. Séchaud, J. Szulmajster.

Bibliography :
- Ryter (Antoinette), Titres et travaux scientifiques de Antoinette Ryter , 26 p. dac. ronéo, 1976 (Institut Pasteur's Archives, RYT.1).
- Madame Antoinette Ryter , Bulletin de l'Association des Anciens Elèves de l'Institut Pasteur , 51, nÝ 198, 2009.

Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur