Raymond Jacques Adrien Sabouraud

Born 1864
Died 1938

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French dermatologist, born November 24, 1864, Nantes, Loire-Atlantique; died 1938.

Biography of Raymond Jacques Adrien Sabouraud

Raymond Jacques Adrien Sabouraud was the son of a painter. He attended secondary school in Nantes, Paris, and Angers. He began his medical studies in Nantes, but moved to Paris. In 1884 he trained in the servicwe of Benjamin Ball (1834-1893) at the Hôpital Laënnec, and in 1885 he did voluntary military service in Lille. In 1887 he entered the Hôpital Cochin in Paris to study with Georges Saintford Octave Dujardin-Beaumetz (1833-1895) who had established a laboratory for chemistry and microbiology in his service.

In 1889, whilst still a student, began specialising in dermatology. He worked with Jean Baptiste Emile Vidal (1825-1893) and Ernest Henri Besnier (1831-1909), and spent most of his internship – Interne des Hôpitaux de Paris – with Besnier at the Hôpital St. Louis in 1890, and worked under Edouard Francis Kirmisson (1848-1927) at the l'Hôpital des Enfants-Assistés. Following his internship he spent time at the Pasteur Institute learning the basics of bacteriology from Roux.

In 1891 he began working in the Hôpital Saint-Antoine. Here, encouraged by Pierre-Paul-Émile Roux (1853-1933) he set up his own modest bacteriological labortaory. In thos laboratory, among other things, he searched for the bacterium causing suphilis.

During 1892 to 1894 he worked with Besnier, and in 1894 he was conferred doctor of medicine with a thesis on his research. Enclosed with this work was a picture atlas that increased the general interest of his work to a high degree. From 1884 to 1897 he was chief of Jean Alfred Fournier's (1832-1914) laboratory at the Hôpital Saint-Louis in 1897.

Sabouraud conducted extensive investigations in the role of fungal infections as a cause of diseases of the skin. After some years he was able to present 50 species of fungi causing skin diseases, and developed agars for culturing and observing these fungi. Sabouraud was soon invited to lecture on fungi at the Pasteur Institute. Although he never held an official chair, students flocked to his lectures.

In 1897 he was assigned by the city council of Paris to head Ecole Lailler at he Hôpital Saint-Louis. This school was established to educate children susceptible to fungal infections. In his extensive studies of the role of fungi in skin diseases, Sabouraud revived and elaborated the discoveries of the Austrian-born French physician David Gruby (1810-1898).

Sabouraud developed an X-ray apparatus which could be used for removing hair from affected areas of the skin. This reduced the time for treatment considerably. He also developed a technique for monitoring the amount of radiation delivered. This enabled its safe use in epilation to treat ringworm of the scalp, and he introduced radiological treatment againgst ringworms in 1904.

Sabouraud became famous for his knowledge of scalp diseases and had a a "bald headed clinic" which attracted people from all over the world.

In addition to being a worlwide known mycologist, Sabouraud was a fine musician with a deep knowledge of the arts and acknowledged as a gifted sculptor by critics of his day. His debut as a sculptor was in 1889.

With Louis-Anne-Jean Brocq (1856-1928) and Ferdinand-Jean Darier (1856-1938) he is considered among the greatest of French dermatologists. Sabouraud retired in 1928.

    "It is said that Sabouraud can tell your moral character, the amount of your yearly income and what you have eaten for breakfast by looking at the root of one of your hairs."
    R. L. Thompson
    (Probably Ralph Leroy Thompson, born 1873)

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