Biography of François Magendie (1783-1855)

French physiologist and physician. He was born in Bordeaux and died in Sannois, Val-d´Oise, Paris. Son of surgeon. He studied medicine in Paris, and in 1830 he was appointed Professor at the Faculty of medicine in this same city. He devoted himself to the experimental Physiology, Anatomy, pathology, and pharmacology. In 1836 he obtained the Chair of general pathology and Physiology at the College of France and named Vice President of the Academy of Sciences.

He underwent the physiological effects that occurred in animals by injecting poison extracted from plants. Subsequently injected into its own body these poisons. In this way introduced in medicine across a range of compounds of plant origin now known as alkaloids, and containing one or more atoms of nitrogen in annular structures inside. Many of these substances have surprising pharmacological properties. Magendie explained the medicinal use of strychnine, extracted from the Indian Walnut from vomiting; morphine and codeine, opium derivatives; and the quinica, coming from the quinine. It showed that the proteins are essential elements in any balanced diet. It was the first which showed the difference between sensory and motor nerves, and noted the importance of the cerebellum as a central organ of equilibrium. He studied also the circulation, heart, and various aspects of the physiology of nerve. He strove for the result of the data, avoided everything theory and contributed significantly to the Foundation of the French school of experimental physiology.