Born Aug. 26, 1850, in Paris; died there Dec. 4, 1935. French physiologist and bacteriologist. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1914); vice president (1932); president (1933). Member of the National Academy of Medicine (1898).
Richet became a professor of physiology at the University of Paris in 1887. His works dealt with the physiology of digestion (he discovered the hydrochloric-acid base of gastric juice) and with respiration, thermoregulation, and neuromuscular sensitivity. In 1888 he formulated the concept of passive immunity. In 1902 he described the body’s reaction to a foreign protein, calling this reaction anaphylaxis (Nobel Prize, 1913). Richet also studied immunity, serotherapy, and the treatment of epilepsy and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was known for his work in psychology and was a specialist in the field of medical statistics. Richet was a staunch advocate of peace.