Pasteur Institute: Timeline of key events

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"Eugene Wollman put forward the theory that bacteriophages could transmit certain traits like lysis genetically to their descendents. E. Wollman, ‘Bacteriophage et processus similaire: Hérédité ou Infection?’ Bulletin Institute Pasteur, Paris, 26 (1928), 1-14. "1928-01-01T00:00:00+0000D’Herelle used the Parisian courts to force the editor of the Annals of the Pasteur Institute to publish his challenge to Bordet to a scientific duel. Most textbooks at the time sided with Bordet.1931-01-01T00:00:00+0000Calmette was a French physician and bacteriologist who is credited with the discovery that the virulence of bovine tubercle bacilli is weakened when cultured on bile-containing medium. Discovered in 1908, this laid paved the way to the development of the tuberculosis vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The vaccine was first used in newborn infants in Paris in 1921. Calmette also developed a diagnostic test for tuberculosis, known as Calmette's reaction.1933-10-29T00:00:00+0000Émile Roux was a French physician, bacteriologist and immunologist who made his name working on diphtheria, a once fatal disease. In 1883 he helped to show that the disease was caused by a toxin secreted by the diphtheria bacillus. Based on this discovery and subsequent work by others that animals produce antibodies against the diphtheria toxin, Roux managed to develop a serum therapy to combat the disease. The treatment was proven effective in a trial conducted at the Hopital des Enfants-Malades with 300 diseased children.1933-11-03T00:00:00+0000Barré-Sinoussi is a virologist who shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 for her contributions to identifying the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS. She carried out this work in the 1980s at the Pasteur Institute as part of her research into retroviruses. Barré-Sinoussi has been at the forefront of efforts to develop a vaccine against HIV and a cure for the disease. Serving as the president of the International AIDS Society between 2012 and 2016 and working with WHO, Barré-Sinoussi has collaborated closely with scientists from many resource-limited countries in Africa and Asia. 1947-07-30T00:00:00+0000Roger Vendrely, Colette Vendrely and Andre Boivin, French scientists, report that the DNA content of cells is directly related to the chromosomes they contain. Importantly they discover half as much DNA in the nuclei of sex cells as they find in body cells. This provides further evidence for the fact that DNA is genetic material. 1949-01-01T00:00:00+0000d'Herelle was a French Canadian microbiologist who co-discovered bacteriophages (phages), viruses that infect bacteria that are now major tools in biotechnology. He isolated the first phage from chicken faeces in 1919. Following this he successfully treated chicken affected by a plague of typhus with the phage and in August 1919 cured a patient with dysentery using the same method. This laid the basis for the development of phage therapy. 1949-02-22T00:00:00+0000A team of scientists showed that genes controlled the processes by which enzymes are produced in Escherichia coli, a single-celled bacteria. The work was published in Arthur B Pardee, Francois Jacob, Jaques Monod, 'The Genetic Control and Cytoplasmic Expression of Inducibility in the Synthesis of ?-galactosidase by E. coli', Journal Molecular Biology, 1 (1969). 165-78. 1959-03-16T00:00:00+0000Bordet was a Belgian physician, immunologist and microbiologist who won the 1919 Nobel Prize for his discovery of two components in the blood - antibodies and complement proteins. The two components help destroy invading bacteria by rupturing the cell walls of the bacteria, a process known as bacteriolysis. Bordet made the discovery in 1895. Three years later Bordet observed that red blood cells from one animal species injected into another get destroyed by haemolysis - a process analogous to bacteriolysis. His finding led to the development of diagnostic tests that hunt for antibodies in the blood to detect infectious agents. The first one was for typhoid, developed in 1896. 1961-04-06T00:00:00+00001975-01-01T00:00:00+0000Monod was a French biochemist who, together with Francois Jacob, worked out the genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis based on their experiments with Escherichia coli in the early 1960s. They proposed that a messenger molecule in cells carries codes from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the site of protein synthesis in the cell's cytoplasm. This molecule was later called messenger RNA. Based on his work Monrod was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1965. 1976-05-31T00:00:00+0000F Galibert, E Mandart, F Fitoussi, P Tiollais, P Charnay, , 'Nucleotide sequence of the hepatitis B virus genome (subtype ayw) cloned in E. coli. Nature, 281/5733 (1979), 646-50; P. Charnay, C Pourcel, A Louise, A Fritsch, P Tiollais, 'Cloning in Escherichia coli and physical structure of hepatitis B virion DNA', PNAS USA, 76/5 (1979), 2222-26; P Charnay, E Mandart, A Hampe, F Fitoussi, P Tiollais, F Galibert, 'Localization on the viral genome and nucleotide sequence of the gene coding for the two major polypeptides of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag)', Nucleic Acids Research, 7/2 (1979), 335-46.1979-05-01T00:00:00+00001980-01-01T00:00:00+0000The vaccines were made with HBsAg purified from plasma of people with chronic hepatitis B. The vaccines were Hevac B Pasteur - made by Merieux and the Pasteur Institute and Hepatavax made by Maurice Hilleman at Merck.1982-01-01T00:00:00+00001989-05-01T00:00:00+0000Lwoff was a microbiologist. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis'. This was based on work he carried out in the early 1950s to understand lysogeny. This is the process by which some the genes of some viruses, bacteriophages (phage), get incorporated into the genetic material of a bacteria but remain latent until the formation of a new phage triggered by a particular event. He found that exposure to ultraviolet light was one factor that could spur on the development a new phage. Lwoff also discovered that vitamins help promote growth in microbes and can serve as co-enzymes. 1994-09-30T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1928Theory put forward about the contagious and hereditary nature of bacteriophagesWollmanPasteur InstitutePhage therapy
1931d’Herelle issued a public challenge to Bordet's theory about bacteriophagesBordet, d'HerellePasteur InstitutePhage therapy
29 Oct 1933Albert Calmette diedCalmetteInstitute PasteurVaccines
3 Nov 1933Pierre Paul Émile Roux diedEmile RouxPasteur InstituteBacteriology, Infectious diseases, Immunology
30 Jul 1947Francoise Barré-Sinoussi born in Paris, FranceBarre-SinoussiPasteur InstituteVirology
1949DNA content of a cells linked to a cell's number of chromosomesVendrely, BoivinPasteur Institute, Strasbourg School of MedicineDNA
22 Feb 1949Felix d'Herelle diedd'HerellePasteur InstituteAntibacterial agents, Bacteriophages, Bacteriology, Virology
16 Mar 1959Existence of gene regulation establishedPardee, Jacob, MonodPasteur Institute, University of California BerkleyDNA
6 Apr 1961Jules Bordet diedBordetPasteur InstituteAntibodies, Immunology, Diagnostics
1975Pasteur Institute scientists started to develop fractionation method to purify HBsAg from plasma to produce hepatitis B vaccineTiollaisPasteur InstituteVaccines
31 May 1976Jacques Monod diedMonodPasteur InstituteGenetics
May 1979 - Oct 1979Pasteur Institute scientists reported successful cloning of hepatitis B DNA in Escherichia coliGalibert, Mandart, Fitoussi, Tiollais, Charnay, HampePasteur InstituteRecombinant DNA, Vaccines, Infectious diseases
1980Pasteur Institute filed for US patent for fractionation method to purify HBsAg from plasma to produce hepatitis B vaccineTiollaisPasteur InstituteVaccines, Infectious diseases
1982First plasma vaccines against hepatitis B licensed for market in US and EuropeHillemanMerieux, Institute Pasteur, MerckVaccines, Infectious diseases
May 1989Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, GenHevac, approved in France Pasteur VaccinsVaccines, Recombinant DNA, Infectious diseases
30 Sep 1994Andre Michel Lwoff diedLwoffPasteur InstituteMicrobiology, Virology


Theory put forward about the contagious and hereditary nature of bacteriophages


d’Herelle issued a public challenge to Bordet's theory about bacteriophages

29 Oct 1933

Albert Calmette died

3 Nov 1933

Pierre Paul Émile Roux died

30 Jul 1947

Francoise Barré-Sinoussi born in Paris, France


DNA content of a cells linked to a cell's number of chromosomes

22 Feb 1949

Felix d'Herelle died

16 Mar 1959

Existence of gene regulation established

6 Apr 1961

Jules Bordet died


Pasteur Institute scientists started to develop fractionation method to purify HBsAg from plasma to produce hepatitis B vaccine

31 May 1976

Jacques Monod died

May 1979 - Oct 1979

Pasteur Institute scientists reported successful cloning of hepatitis B DNA in Escherichia coli


Pasteur Institute filed for US patent for fractionation method to purify HBsAg from plasma to produce hepatitis B vaccine


First plasma vaccines against hepatitis B licensed for market in US and Europe

May 1989

Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, GenHevac, approved in France

30 Sep 1994

Andre Michel Lwoff died

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