Marguerite Lwoff (1905-1979)
French biologist born Bourdaleix, in 1905.
Studies in natural sciences at the faculté des sciences of Paris.
1926 Graduated in Sciences.
1927 Entered the Institut Pasteur as grant holder in the service of protozoology headed by F. Mesnil. In collaboration with A. Lwoff and Ed. Chatton, she worked on morphology, organisation, life cycle and taxonomy of free and parasitic unicellular ciliate protozoa. Her own research focused on the feeding of some particular flagellate trypanosomids. She thus showed that hematin, a chemical substance, could substitute to blood for nutrition of Crithidia fasciculata . This observation has played an important role in the development of A. and M. Lwoff works on nature and role of growth factors. With A. Wolff, she determined the quantitative need of a microorganism for a given growth factor, the chemical specificity of the required substance, the complementary concepts of essential metabolite and loss of synthesis power. They also determined the nature of several vitamins of group B as constitutive elements of coenzymes, and the theory of physiological evolution with, as an example, the loss of some functions in parasitic and saprophytic microorganisms.
1933 Training with A. Lwoff at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institut (now Max Planck Institut) in the laboratory of O. Meyerhof, in Heidelberg (Germany).
1936 Training with A. Lwoff in the laboratory of D. Keilin, in Cambridge (United Kingdom).
1939-1953 Secretary at the editorial board of the Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur .
1940 Defended her PhD thesis in sciences: Recherches sur le pouvoir de synthèse des flagellés trypanosomides . M. Caullery was the president of the thesis jury.
1944 Named head of laboratory at the Institut Pasteur, she pursued her researches more particularly with P. Nicolle, on the feeding of Hematophogous reduviidae .
1954-1955 Stay in the United States with A. Lwoff, in several laboratories, more particularly in the ones of R. Dulbecco (Pasadena).
1955-1970 Back in the Institut Pasteur, A. and M. Lwoff decided to move their researches towards the study of animal viruses. To this purpose, a section of the service of microbial physiology was transformed into a service of modern virology. Responsible for cell cultures she highlighted the effect of temperature on the different steps of the development cycle of the Poliomyelitis virus. She performed isolation of hot and cold mutants, and expressed reflections about the role of fever in viral infection and about the nature of attenuated viral strains.
1970 Named honorary head of laboratory and retired.
1979 Died on Oct. 31.
Publications in collaboration with : D. Bovet, F. Cathatla, J. Ceccaldi, Ed. Chatton, V. Chorine, R. Dulbecco, A. Funke, N. Groman, A. Koch, A. Lwoff, J. Monod, P. Nicolle, Y. Pérol-Vauchez, B. Roizman, L. Tellier, P. Tournier, M. Vogt.
P. M., Marguerite Lwoff (1905-1979), Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur , vol. 78, nÝ 1, 1980, 3 p.
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