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Jean-François Borel

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Jean-François Borel (born July 4, 1933 in Antwerp, Belgium ) is a Belgian microbiologist and immunologist who is considered one of the discoverers of cyclosporin.

Early life

Borel studied at the University of Antwerp and the ETH Zurich, where he received his doctorate in immunological genetics in 1964. Afterwards he was at the Swiss Research Institute of Medicine. From 1970 he was in the research laboratories of Sandoz in Basel.[1]

Discovery of cyclosporin

In 1972, Borel was involved in the discovery of the immunosuppressive effects of cyclosporin (Sandoz called Sandimmun), which was isolated by Sandoz in 1971 from a fungus that a Sandoz employee brought back from vacation in Norway. The screening program at Sandoz was previously developed by K. Saameli (and Stähelin) and the immunological testing procedures of S. Lazary. Initially, use as an antibiotic was considered. When it was realized that the substance had only T-cells and therefore had potential in transplantation medicine, Borel aroused much attention in 1976 at a congress in London. In the practice of organ transplantation, the new drug was tested in 1977 by the British surgeon Roy Yorke Calne.[2][3]

In 1983, Borel became vice president of the pharmaceutical division of Sandoz (later Novartis). Since 1981 he was Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Bern.

Also involved in the discovery and development was Hartmann Stähelin, head of the Pharmacology Department at Sandoz, which included the Immunology Department, and later there was a dispute over their respective shares in the discovery.[4][5][6][7]


See also


  1. ^ "Jean-François BOREL". (in French). 20 June 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  2. ^ Wermuth, Camille Georges (2011-05-02). The Practice of Medicinal Chemistry. Academic Press. ISBN 9780080568775.
  3. ^ Thompson, Larry (1988-11-15). "JEAN-FRANCOIS BOREL'S TRANSPLANTED DREAM". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  4. ^ "Sandimmun-Streit: Novartis lässt Entdecker abklären". Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  5. ^ Heusler, Karl (2001). "The controversial early history of cyclosporin". Swiss Medical Weekly. 131: 299–302.
  6. ^ Sherman, Irwin W. (2016-11-03). Drugs That Changed the World: How Therapeutic Agents Shaped Our Lives. CRC Press. ISBN 9781315342641.
  7. ^ Steiner, Rudolf (2012-01-24). "Wundermittel gegen die Abstossungsreaktion | NZZ". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0376-6829. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  8. ^ "Cloëtta Prize | Max Cloëtta Stiftung". Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  9. ^ "Jean-Francois Borel - Gairdner Foundation". Gairdner Foundation. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  10. ^ "Goethe-Universität — Preisträger seit 1952". Retrieved 2018-07-08.

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Jean-François Borel
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