CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Dr. Albert Claude

(Aug 24, 1899 – May 22, 1983)

💠 Belgian-American Cytologist

💠 Founder of Modern Cell Biology

His contributions…

  • Albert Claude was born in a small village in Belgium. His father was a baker and he lost his mother at his young age of 7 years to breast cancer.
  • He studied in a small school in his place, which had only one class room and one teacher for all grades of students.
  • Due to a economic depression, his family shifted to Germany. There he joined a school but the situation forced him to discontinue his studies.
  • However, Claude got inspired by the zeal of Winston Churchill during First World War. Therefore, he volunteered himself for the British Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, he faced confinement in concentration camps a number of times.
  • After completion of the war, he was given a veteran status award for his contribution. At that time, there was a law that allowed veterans to go for higher studies without any formal education.
  • As a recognition of his war service, he was admitted to the University of Liege, where he earned his MD in 1928, even though he didn’t complete his formal secondary education.
  • After his studies, he immigrated to U.S and joined the Rockefeller Institute, where he began his research activities.
  • Subsequently, he was the first to isolate a cancer virus by chemical analysis and to characterize it as RNA virus, the causal agent of Rous sarcoma in 1938.
  • Thereupon, he was the first to introduce Electron Microscopes for the cellular study and also first to develop procedures for isolating and studying individual structures within a cell.
  • He further made a groundbreaking discovery of mitochondria structure – Power House of cells – and dozens of other key components of cells. Thereby he created a new field of Cellular Biology.
  • In 1945, Dr. Claude published his first actual images regarding the internal structure of a cell and then termed the image as “Birth Certificate of the field of cell biology.”
  • He also made a path breaking discovery of Cell Fractionation by differential centrifugation method.
  • Eventually, he was honoured with shared Nobel Prize of Physiology or Medicine with his student George Palade, and Christian de Duve during 1974 for their discoveries in cytology.

A Day to Commemorate…

One of the Greatest Scientists of 20th Century

Dr. Albert Claude 🙏🏼

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