Luc Oursel pays homage to Maurice Tubiana


“It is with great sadness that the AREVA group learned of the death of Professor Maurice Tubiana, one of the fathers of modern radiation therapy,” said Luc Oursel, CEO of AREVA. The oncologist passed away on Tuesday, September 24, at the age of 93.

Maurice Tubiana, who was honorary chairman of AREVA’s Science and Ethics Commission, was an internationally recognized expert in radiobiology. He was the first to use radioactive isotopes in biology and medicine and pioneered the rise of modern radiation therapy and radiation protection in France and in Europe. During his career, he proposed a number of new treatment methods for thyroid cancer and Hodgkin's disease. His work helped improve cancer treatment in many ways.

He spent most of his career at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France. After joining the Resistance during World War II, he earned a doctorate in Physics and Medicine before becoming chief chemist in 1951 of the Institute’s isotope laboratory, where he expanded the use of isotopes in oncology. He became head of the radiation department in 1959, research director in 1978, and president from 1982 to 1989. Maurice Tubiana also directed the clinical radiobiology research institute of Inserm from 1966 to 1982.

A laboratory bearing his name is under construction at AREVA’s Bessines-sur-Gartempe site, where new cancer-fighting treatments using the radioactive lead-212 isotope will be developed. Maurice Tubiana was present at the laboratory’s ground-breaking ceremony on May 31, 2011.

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