SCIENCE

Tribute to Claude Molina

claude molinaClaude Molina was born in Algiers in 1924. The early loss of his brother , 7 years younger, at the age of 17, affected him deeply, as did his parents’ demise and the early stages of a war in Algeria. He nevertheless completed brilliant studies and was appointed Pneumo-physiology professor as early as 1958, which was also the year of his marriage. He used to say: “All along my life, my wife’s love and the bond that kept us united kept me going”. Nelly Molina produced two sons who were his pride. Today, Jean-Michel Molina is at the head of the infectious disease ward of the Saint Louis hospital in Paris. He made his mark through his research on HIV. As to Thierry Molina, he is equally at the head of the anatomic pathology ward of the Necker hospital in Paris. Claude lavished his affection on his four grandchildren: David, Gabrielle, Mathieu and Noah.

In 1962, Algeria becoming independent, he left the country and was offered the pneumology chair at the Clermont Ferrand CHRU. He was soon recognized internationally as an expert in the field of pneumology and allergology through his research on inflammation in asthma and through his co-discovery (with Jack Pepys) of the farmer’s lung disease.

As president of the European academy of allergology and clinical immunology, from 1983 to 1986, he created the Post-graduate courses as well as the editorial and audio-visual committee. In 2013, he was awarded the EAACI D. Bovet prize for his action advocating and promoting allergology. Professor Emeritus, he retired in 1992 but did not cease to work.

As correspondent of the National Academy of Medicine, he strongly advocated and supported the creation of allergology as a specialty, while keeping his clinical acumen and pedagogical interests. He believed that the teaching of allergology had to be case-based and rooted in practical experience, as explained in his book , « L’Allergologie à l’aube du 3ème millénaire » (Allergology at the dawn of the 3rd millenium), which is a remarkable  synthesis of current knowledge, from fundamental sciences to day to day medical applications. In 2001, Claude Molina and Franz Marrache develop an on-line continuing medical education programme which will lead to the “Bibliography Update Abstracts” (BUA) published monthly by EAACI, which he will keep working on, until his demise.

Claude Molina died at the age of 95 on Thursday 27th, February 2020. We would like to express our admiration for his enthusiasm, for the relevance of his stand, for his action, for his youth that we deemed eternal. In our memory, he will remain delightful, intellectually curious and eager to let his students give their best. He belongs to the humanistic tradition and will be missed.

We would like to express our sympathy to his wife, his children, his whole family. Let our admiration, our friendship, our affection for Claude help soothe their sorrow. A beautiful human being, Claude will forever remain alive in our memory.

JG

Last updated 26 March 2020
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