Francois Magendie, French physiologist

Francois Magendie, French physiologist

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Caption: Francois Magendie (1783-1855), French physiologist. Magendie graduated in medicine at Paris in 1808. In 1809, he described his experiments on plant-derived poisons. He used animals to determine the physiological effect of the toxin, then tried the compounds on himself. As a result, many medicinal compounds were introduced which had been derived from plant toxins, notably alkaloids, including strychnine, morphine, codeine and quinine. His wide-ranging research included the importance of proteins, emetic action, the absorption of drugs and white blood cells. He was an enthusiastic vivisectionist who avoided theory, and championed experimental physiology in France.

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