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Albert Claude

Albert Claude
Born August 24, 1899
Died May 22, 1983
Nationality Belgian
Fields cellular biology
Alma mater University of Liege
Known for cell fractionation
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974

Albert Claude (August 24, 1899 – May 22, 1983) was a Belgian biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974. He studied medicine at the University of Liege (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 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 Institut Jules Bordet, Centre des Tumeurs de l'Université Libre de Bruxelles of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels where he would stay until 1970.

In 1970, together with George Palade and Keith Porter he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. For his discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of cells, Claude received the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with his student George Palade and Christian de Duve.


  • Gompel, Cl (2006). "[Albert Claude, an exceptional man]". Bull. Mem. Acad. R. Med. Belg. 161 (10-12): 543–55. PMID 17503730.  
  • Raju, T N (October 1999). "The Nobel chronicles. 1974: Albert Claude (1899-1983), George Emil Palade (b 1912), and Christian Réne de Duve (b 1917)". Lancet 354 (9185): 1219. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)75433-7. PMID 10513750.  
  • Rheinberger, H J (1997). "Cytoplasmic particles in Brussels (Jean Brachet, Hubert Chantrenne, Raymond Jeener) and at Rockefeller (Albert Claude), 1935-1955". History and philosophy of the life sciences 19 (1): 47–67. PMID 9284642.  
  • Frühling, J (1994). "[Eulogy of Professor Albert Claude, Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1974]". Bull. Mem. Acad. R. Med. Belg. 149 (12): 466–9. PMID 8563685.  
  • de Duve, C (1987). "[Albert Claude and the beginnings of modern cell biology]". La Cellule 74: 11–9. PMID 3079269.  
  • Henry, J (1984). "[Eulogy to Professor Albert Claude, honorary member of the Royal Academy]". Bull. Mem. Acad. R. Med. Belg. 139 (3): 197–202. PMID 6388698.  
  • de Duve, C; Palade G E (1983). "Albert Claude, 1899-1983". Nature 304 (5927): 588. doi:10.1038/304588a0. PMID 6308471.  
  • Tagnon, H (June 1983). "[In memoriam Prof. Albert Claude]". Revue médicale de Bruxelles 4 (6): 450–2. PMID 6348913.  
  • Olsen, B R; Lie S O (December 1974). "[Nobel prize in medicine 1974 (Albert Claude, George Palade, Christian de Duve)]". Tidsskr. Nor. Laegeforen. 94 (34-36): 2400–3. PMID 4614493.  
  • Florkin, M (October 1972). "[A salute to Albert Claude]". Arch. Int. Physiol. Biochim. 80 (4): 632–47. doi:10.3109/13813457209075254. PMID 4120117.  
  • Florkin, M (December 1974). "[Homage to Albert Claude and Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize laureates in medicine and physiology, 1974]". Arch. Int. Physiol. Biochim. 82 (5): 807–15. doi:10.3109/13813457409072328. PMID 4142698.  
  • Palade, G E (July 1971). "Albert Claude and the beginnings of biological electron microscopy". J. Cell Biol. 50 (1): 5d-19d. doi:10.1083/jcb.50.1.5d. PMID 4935221.  

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