In 1974, Christian de Duve was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. That year, he founded the International Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pathology (ICP), later renamed de Duve Institute.
Christian de Duve graduated in medicine from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in 1941 and in chemistry from UCL in 1946. He simultaneously pursued a career as a teacher and researcher at UCL and at the Rockefeller University in New York.
From 1950 onwards, he became firmly involved in sub cellular biochemistry, a new field in which he was one of the pioneers. He was particularly interested in afﬁnering cell fractionation processes, in order to isolate organelles and deﬁne their respective roles in the functioning of the living cell.
His work led to the discovery of lysosomes and peroxisomes. In 1974, he shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine with Albert Claude and George Emil Palade for their discoveries on the structural and functional organisation of the cell.
Christian de Duve was not only incredibly active in the scientific field and in promoting the De Duve Institute, he also devoted a great deal of his time, talent and enthusiasm to advancing scientific knowledge and fanning the sacred flame behind careers in research.This tireless humanist was also a talented music lover.
Until 2013, Christian de Duve remained a founding member of the De Duve Institute's Board of Directors. He passed away on 4 May 2013.