Albert Claude bigraphy, stories - biologist

Albert Claude : biography

24 August 1899 - 22 May 1983

Albert Claude (24 August 1898 – 22 May 1983) was a Belgian biologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 with Christian de Duve and George Emil Palade. He studied medicine at the University of Liège, Belgium. During the winter of 1928-29 he worked in Berlin, first at the Institut für Krebsforschung, and then at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology, Dahlem, in the laboratory of tissues culture of Prof. Albert Fischer. In the summer of 1929 he joined the Rockefeller Institute. While working at Rockefeller University in the 1930s and 1940s, he used the electron microscope to make images of cells which deepened the scientific understanding of cellular structure and function. He discovered the chloroplasts in the cell. In 1930, Claude discovered the process of cell fractionation, which was groundbreaking in his time. The process consists of grinding up cells to break the membrane and release the cell's contents. Claude then filtered out the cell membranes and placed the remaining cell contents in a centrifuge to separate them according to mass. He divided the centrifuged contents into fractions, each of a specific mass, and discovered that particular fractions were responsible for particular cell functions.

In 1949, he became Director of the Jules Bordet Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Institut Jules Bordet) and Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles), where he was Emeritus in 1971. With the support of his colleague and friend Christian de Duve, he became in 1972 Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain (Université catholique de Louvain) and Director of the "Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire et Cancérologie" in Louvain-la-Neuve. In the same time he became Professor at the Rockefeller University, an institution with which he had remained connected, in different degrees, since 1929.

In 1970, together with George Palade and Keith Porter he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. In 1971 he got the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize. Claude received together with George Palade and Christian de Duve the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of cells.

He is the father of the neuroscientist Philippa Claude, who married Antony Stretton.

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