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Roger Guillemin

Roger GuilleminAKA Roger Charles Louis Guillemin

Born: 11-Jan-1924
Birthplace: Dijon, France

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor, Artist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Hypothalamic hormones (brain peptides)

Roger Guillemin shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1977 with Andrew V. Schally, for their separate and often hotly competed research into brain hormones, and with Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, for her development of radioimmunoassays of peptid hormones. Guillemin proved the hypothesis that the pituitary gland is regulated by hypothalamus releases, and discovered endorphins (proteins involved in the perception of pain), somatocrinin (the growth-hormone releasing factor hormone, also called GHR or GHRF, which is used to treat growth deficiencies in children); and somatostatin (the growth-hormone-inhibiting hormone, also called GHIH, which is used to inhibit internal bleeding during surgery). He also studied activins and inhibins (peptides that help regulates the menstrual cycle) and fibroblast growth factors receptors (FGFs, now used in treatment for eye diseases and diabetic blindness).

During World War II, Guillemin's French homeland was occupied by German forces, and he interrupted his studies to become active in the French resistance, serving in an underground network that helped refugees escape to Switzerland over the Jura Mountains. In the early 1950s, he nearly died of tubercular meningitis, but recovered and married his nurse, Lucienne Jeanne Billard. They became American citizens in 1963, and she became a professional harpsichord player. Following his retirement in 1989, Guillemin became an accomplished creator of abstract impressionist art, using his Macintosh computer to create his images that are then transferred to either canvas or paper, via lithography or inkjet processes. His works have been exhibited in major American and European galleries.

Father: Raymond Guillemin (toolmaker)
Mother: Blanche Rigollot Guillemin
Wife: Lucienne Jeanne Billard Guillemin (harpsichordist)
Daughter: Chantal
Daughter: Claire
Daughter: Helene
Daughter: Elizabeth
Daughter: Cecile
Son: François

    University: BS, University of Burgundy (1942)
    University: MS, University of Burgundy (1944)
    Medical School: University of Burgundy
    Medical School: MD, University of Lyon (1949)
    Teacher: General Anatomy, University of Lyon (1949-51)
    University: PhD Physiology, Université de Montréal (1953)
    Teacher: Physiology, Baylor College of Medicine (1953-62)
    Professor: Physiology, Baylor College of Medicine (1962-70)
    Professor: Endocrinology, Collège de France (1960-63)
    Professor: Neuroendocrinology, Salk Institute of Biological Studies (1970-89)

    French Legion of Honor 1973
    Lasker Award 1975
    Dickson Prize 1976
    National Medal of Science 1976
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1977 (with Andrew V. Schally and Rosalyn Sussman Yalow)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    Dean for America
    French Academy of Sciences
    National Academy of Sciences
    Naturalized US Citizen 1963

Author of books:
Pharmacological Control of Release of Hormones including Anti-Diabetic Drugs (1962)
The Hormones of the Hypothalamus (1972, with Roger Burgus)
The Brain as an Endocrine Organ (1978)
Neural Modulation of Immunity (1984)
Hypothalamic Control of Pituitary Functions:The Growth Hormone Releasing Factor (1986)


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