Anne-Marie Staub (1914-2012)
French biochemist, born in Pont-Audemer (Eure), on Nov. 13, 1914. Her father A. Staub was a researcher at the Institut Pasteur.
She learnt reading and writing with her mother.
Primary and secondary studies at the Ecole Normale Catholique , in Paris.
1926 Taking piano lessons since she was 4 years old, she hesitated to go on with music studies at the conservatoire.
1930 Got high school degree (baccalauréat ) then prepared Math-Elem (math class). Registered at the Sorbonne, where she obtained certificates in general mathematics, general chemistry and physics, physiology and biochemistry.
1932 Planed to leave as nun to cure lepers.
1935-1936 Attended the cours de microbiologie at the Institut Pasteur.
1936-1939 Entered the Institut Pasteur to prepare a PhD in the service of therapeutic chemistry headed by E. Fourneau, under the supervision of D. Bovet, who was at that time a young pharmacologist. She worked to demonstrate the antihistaminic properties of some synthetic molecules among which the phenolic ethers.
07/03/1939 Defended her PhD thesis in pharmacology on: Recherches sur quelques bases synthétiques antagonistes de l'histamine .
09/1939 Left the laboratory of therapeutic chemistry since D. Bovet was mobilized in his native Switzerland and because of E. Fourneau's decision to leave further researches on anti-histaminics with Rhône-Poulenc firm.
1940 Joined the service of veterinary vaccines to assist her father, A. Staub, in preparation and study of the vaccine against anthrax.
1941-1946 Still at the Institut Pasteur, she joined P. Grabar who initiated her to immunochemistry. Studied antigens of B. Anthracis (anthrax), mainly those which are present in the liquid of oedema elicited in the guinea pig following inoculation of this bacteria. Identification of a glycoprotein found in the oedema of a sheep vaccinated against anthrax and able to confer immunity against the disease.
1941-1946 Gave voluntarily French, German and first-aid lessons within a social team.
08/1944 Death of her brother, Roger, member of the Résistance and killed by the occupying forces during the Liberation .
1946 Thanks to the help of a scientific adviser at the France ambassy, she went to London in the laboratory of C. Rimington, a specialist of glycoproteins, in order to learn how to purify and analyse them.
01/1947-11/1948 Obtained a grant from the Medical Research Council to work at the Lister Institut in the laboratory of P. Fildes and Gladstone who wanted to develop a vaccine against anthrax. She pursued her studies initiated in the laboratory of P. Grabar on anthrax.
1949-1960 Assistant (1949) then head of laboratory (1953) in the service of vaccines headed by A. Bonnefoy at the Institut Pasteur. Her work mainly focused on the polyosidic components of the O-antigens which are specific to various salmonella, their chemical composition and their changes in the course of mutations. With L. Le Minor, she studied the lysogenic conversion of salmonella through the use of prophages; contributed to the serologic classification of Salmonellae.
1952 Spend two months in the laboratory of Otto Beer in Sao Paulo (Brasil). Attended the congress of microbiology in Roma where she met Otto Lüderitz who wished to establish a scientific collaboration with her.
1954 Victim of a viral meningitis she stopped any activity for one year.
1955-1975 In collaboration with O. Lüderitz and O. Wespthal, both researchers at the Max Planck Institute, she conducted researches on antigenic determinants of salmonella and on the characterization of epitopes which were recognized by the antibodies. Those proved to be short oligosides located on polysaccharidic chains that bacteriologists attributed to seric factors 4, 5, 9, 12 and others.
1960-1977 At the Institut Pasteur, she headed the new laboratory so-called of bacterial antigens which further became service in 1967. She demonstrated that a tiny modification of chemical structure corresponded to a complete change of specificity (as example, an acetyl that was linked to the sugar specific for factor 4 was sufficient to make it disappear and to give birth to factor 5). Description of new sugars.
1960-1974 Co-directed the course of immunology with M. Raynaud at the Institut Pasteur.
1960-2003 Performed regular retreats at the spirituality center La-Part-Dieu in Poissy.
1969 Laureate for prize Paul-Erlich-Darmstaedter.
1971-1979 Member of the editorial board of the Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur .
1973 Honoured chevalier de la Légion d'honneur .
1977-1989 With the consent of J. Monod, she stopped sciences to devote herself to her evangelical ideal. She left Paris to live in her house in Orgeval. She entered the Christian movement of retired persons Vie Montante , performed reading for blind people, visited elderly and sick persons at the hospital of Poissy.
1990 Retired at Les Augustines in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where she actively participated to the spiritual and cultural animation of the retirement home.
1993 Elected honorary member of the International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society.
2012 Death in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines).
Publications in collaboration with: J. Alouf, G. Bagdian, C. Bona, M. Bourdet, D. Bovet, J.-M. Cavaillon, R. Cetrangolo, L. Chambon, R. Combes, C. Coynault, M. Dagorn, C. Davarpanah, D. Davies, E. Duflot, F. Egami, T. Eiguer, M. Etievant, N. Forest, I. Fromme, C. Fouquet, M. Fukuda, N. Fuller, R. Girard, W. Goebel, I. Goldstein, P. Grabar, G. Hämmerling, H. Jouin, Y. Joyeux, B. Kopacka, K. Kotelko, Ed. Lederer, B. Leluc, L. Le Minor,J. Levaditi, O. Lüderitz, H. Mayer, H. Nghiem, H. Nikaido, C. Nivet, J. Polonsky, G. Pon, R. Prudhomme, M. Raynaud, C. Remington, M. Rouyer, A. Simon, M. Siquiera, K. Stellner, S. Stirm, B. Stocker, R. Tinelli, B. Virat, O. Westphal, J. Wiart.
- Staub (Anne-Marie), scientific autobiography, 6 p. dact. polycop., 1993.
- Staub (Anne-Marie), autobiography : A la recherche du temps retrouvé pendant 90 années d'une longue vie , 131 p.
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