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In Memoriam: Maurice G. Colomb (1935-2024)

25 Mar 2024 3:29 PM | Karen Gottlieb (Administrator)

Maurice G. Colomb (1935-2024)

Maurice Colomb passed away on 19 February 2024. He was professor of Immunology at the Grenoble Faculty of Medicine, creator and head of the Immunology Laboratory of the Grenoble Hospital from 1990 up to the early 2000s.

It is important to emphasize his strong implication in academic research. On his return from a stay in Professor Porter's MRC Immunochemistry Unit in Oxford, his work focused on deciphering the mechanisms of the classical complement pathway. In 1976, he set up an INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale)-labelled unit entitled "Immunochemistry and Complement System". Thanks to the quality of its human and technical environments, during the 80s and 90s this unit welcomed numerous scientists as well as physicians and pharmacists from the Grenoble University Hospital to carry out research in immunology.

He was a pioneer in the Complement field, particularly in characterizing the structure and activation mechanisms of the C1 complex, and received international recognition for his work. He also was among the first to show evidence that complement acts as a functional bridge between the innate and adaptive immune responses. Together with Pr Kenneth Reid (Oxford) and Pr Michael Loos (Mainz), Maurice Colomb co-organized six international workshops dedicated to C1 (1984, 1988, 1992) and later to C1 and the collectins (1997, 2001 and 2006). He also organized an international congress on Complement in Chamonix in 1987. He has been a member of the ECN board from 1997 to 2003.

Maurice Colomb was also deeply committed to teaching Immunology and sharing his knowledge with students, and supervised many university PhD theses.  Maurice Colomb always showed great rigor and care for others.

- Nicole Thielens, Gérard Arlaud and Chantal Dumestre-Pérard, former PhD students of Maurice Colomb


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