Biography of Gilbert Breschet
Following his medical studies at the University of Paris, Gilbert Breschet was conferred doctor of medicine at the University of Paris in 1812, with a dissertation based on some of the thoughts of François Joseph Victor Broussais (1772-1838), but worked over in a highly original way by Breschet. After receiving his doctorate he settled in Paris. From 1818 he was chief of anatomical works at the Paris faculty. In 1836 he was appointed professor of anatomy at the Faculté de médecine de Paris, succeeding Léon Jean Baptiste Cruveilhier (1791-1874) to that position.
Breschet participated in important research on zoonoses. For centuries the saliva of the mad dog was considered the source of the infection, but it was not until 1804 that a German scientist, Georg Gottfried Zinke (1771-1849), succeeded in transmitting rabies from the saliva of a rabid dog to rabbits and roosters. In 1913, Breschet and Fançois Magendie (1783-1855) reversed this process, infecting dogs with saliva obtained from a human patient suffering from rabies.