Christian Rene de Duve
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1974 (October 2nd, 1917).Christian René de Duve was born in 1917 to Belgian refugees in England. The family returned to Belgium in 1920 and he went to school in Antwerp, then studied biochemistry at Leuven University, following his doctorate with research, and being appointed Professor of Biochemistry aged only 30 in 1947. He discovered peroxisomes, lysomes and cell organelles and became an expert on the distribution of enzymes in rat livers. He made a major contribution to the understanding of how cell structures work with his work on cell fractionation. He was awarded the €150,000 Franqui Prize in 1960 and shared the 1974 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Albert Claude and George Palade for describing the structure and function of cell organelles. More recently, he has specialised in origin-of-life studies, in particular endosymbiotic theory. In 2007, he signed an open letter to the negotiators trying to form a federal Belgian government opposing a proposal to give responsibility for science policy to the regional governments, and his 90th birthday was celebrated at a gala dinner attended by Princess Astrid.