Authorised form of nameDuve; Christian Rene Marie Joseph de (1917 - 2013); Viscount
Other forms of nameChristian Rene Marie Joseph
Other forms of surnamede Duve
Dates1917 - 2013
Place of birthThames-Ditton, Surrey, England
Date of birth02/10/1917
Place of deathNethen, Belgium
Date of death04/05/2013
Grew up in Antwerp, enrolled at the Jesuit Catholic University of Louvain to study ancient humanities before moving to medicine, graduating in 1941. On returning from war he pursued an advanced chemistry degree, earning the equivalent of a doctorate in 1945 and an MSc in chemistry in 1946
Served as medic in Belgian army in Second World War, posted to southern France where he was captured and spent time in prisoner of war camp before escaping and returning to Louvain to complete his studies. Worked at the Nobel Institute in Stockholm with Hugo Theorell and Carl and Gerty Cori at Washington University in St Louis; returned to University of Louvain Medical School as professor of chemistry (1951). Professor at the Rockefeller University (1962), dividing his time between the two institutions. Founded the International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology in Brussels (1974). Retired as President of the Institute in 1991.
His work on the internal mechanisms and structure of cells led to a better understanding of genetic disorders and developed a new area of cell research, leading to his joint 1974 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. They were largely responsible for the birth of modern cell biology, with de Duve's work on lysosomes and peroxismes specifically cited as important by the Nobel Committee.
Medals and prizes:
Nobel Prize (Physiology or Medicine) 1974
Membership categoryForeign Member
Date of election30/06/1988
Age at election70
RelationshipsParents fled their homeland at beginning of First World War, returning in 1920. Married 1943 Janine Herman [died 2008]; four children
Published works'Genetics of Original Sin', Yale University Press, 2010.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8342
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1988/42Duve, Christian Rene Marie Joseph de, Viscount: certificate of election to the Royal Society1982
IM/001110De Duve, Christian Rene Marie Joseph, Viscountcirca 2001
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