It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Mrs. Elisabeth Burzawa-Gérard, on September 19, at the age of 85.
Elisabeth Burzawa-Gérard, Director of Research at the CNRS, did her doctoral thesis and her career at the Laboratory of General and Comparative Physiology of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, then directed by Professor Maurice Fontaine. There she developed pioneering work, of international renown, on the biochemistry of pituitary glycoprotein hormones.
In collaboration with Prof. Yves-Alain Fontaine, Elisabeth Burzawa-Gérard carried out the first purification of a gonadotropic hormone in fish, from carp hypophyses. This work, published in 1971, opened the way to a vast field of research, for the international community, on the control of reproduction in fish, both from the fundamental point of view and as applied in aquaculture. In 1975, she purified the sturgeon gonadotropic hormone in collaboration with Prof. Boris Goncharov. She also carried out the purification of subunits of gonadotropic hormones and developed in collaboration with Dr. Bernard Kerdelhué highly specific radioimmunoassays for fish hormones.
Her work has also focused on the biochemical characterization and study of the biosynthesis and regulation of lipoproteins, including vitellogenin, an essential reserve phospho-lipo-calcium protein for the egg in oviparous animals. For the last phase of her career, she joined the team of Prof Yves Valotaire at the University of Rennes.
Elisabeth was a very active member of the national and international community of reproductive physiologists and endocrinologists, and welcomed and trained in her team at the Muséum in Paris many French and international trainees and researchers.
Elisabeth is survived by her three children, Sophie, Stéphane et Jean-Baptiste and seven grandchildren, to whom we extend our condolences.