Francesc Duran i Reynals
Francesc Duran i Reynals (1899-1958), M.D., University of Barcelona, Spain, was a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology at the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Duran i Reynals was known for research regarding the viral etiology of cancer and the mechanisms of spread of infectious diseases and cancer.
Duran i Reynals was born on 05 December 1899 in Barcelona, Spain, and attended the University of Barcelona for his undergraduate and graduate studies, working with Ramon Turro. Duran i Reynals became the first Spanish scientist to culture bacterial viruses. In 1926, he moved to Paris, France, to work with Alexandre Besredka (1870-1940) and Élie Wollman (1917-2008) in the laboratory at the Institut Pasteur. From 1926 to 1928, Duran i Reynals relocated to New York, New York, to work with Dr. James B. Murphy (1884-1950) at the Rockefeller Institute in the Department of Cancer Research. He was named an Assistant in that department in 1928, and held that position until 1934, when he returned to Spain to start a new laboratory of cancer research at the University of Madrid. However, the Spanish Revolution brought development to a halt, Dr. Murphy rehired Duran i Reynals at the Rockefeller Institute, where he remained until 1938. At that time, he became a Research Assistant, and later a Research Associate and lecturer, in the Department of Microbiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. He spent summers from 1938 to 1957 working as a Scientific Associate at the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. He died on 28 March 1958 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Duran i Reynals’s experiments related to the viral etiology of cancer, looking at the responses of the ground substances of tissues and necrotizing and tumor-producing cancers. He demonstrated the capacity of the Rous virus to adapt to different types of bird by the infection of embryos or recently hatched birds. These experiments led to the idea of the increased sensitivity of very young animals to tumor-producing animals, which in turn has led to the detection of viruses causing leukemia and other tumor diseases in mammals. These experiments opened the field of virus-tumor research, and led to progress in the understanding of cancer and the mechanisms of spread for infectious agents in the body.
Beyond his duties as a laboratory research scientist and lecturer, Duran i Reynals was also a Consultant for the Division of Bacteriology of the United States Public Health Service and for the National Research Council’s Panel on Viruses, Committee on Growth. He was a member of the Scientific Review Committee of the American Cancer Society, and from 1947 to 1953, he was part of the Editorial Board of the periodical Cancer Research. For his research, he was awarded medals from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France; the University of Liege, Belgium; and the University of Brussels, Belgium. He won the Claude Bernard Medal of the University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and the 1952 Anna Fuller Memorial Prize, Yale University, for his research. He was posthumously given the Public Health Cancer Association of America award in 1958.
The items below display his research and related writings exploring the relationship between viruses and cancer, often through inter-species viral or tumor transplantations.