Jean Brachet

Scientist, Author

1909 – 1988


Who was Jean Brachet?

Jean Louis Auguste Brachet ForMemRS was a Belgian biochemist who made a key contribution in understanding the role of RNA.

Brachet was born in Etterbeek and he studied medicine at the Université Libre de Bruxelles graduating in 1934. He then worked at the University of Cambridge and at Princeton University and at several institutes of marine biological research. Brachet was appointed Professor of Animal Morphology and General Biology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Research Director of the International Laboratory for Genetics and Biophysics in Naples.

In 1933 Brachet was able to show that DNA was found in chromosomes and that RNA was present in the cytoplasm of all cells. His work with Torbjörn Caspersson showed that RNA plays an active role in protein synthesis. Brachet also carried out pioneering work in the field of cell differentiation. Brachet later demonstrated papers that differentiation is preceded by the formation of new ribosomes and accompanied by the release from the nucleus of a wave of new messenger RNA.

He published many articles and four books. In 1948 Jean Brachet was awarded the Francqui Prize for Biological and Medical Sciences.

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Mar 19, 1909
Also known as
  • J. Brachet
  • Belgium
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
Aug 10, 1988

on July 23, 2013


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