Never conclude with a negative result, explore all possibilities before changing your hypothesis. An interview with Dr. Catherine Figarella, former Director Groupe de Recherche sur les Glandes Exocrines, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France; Active Member of the Board of the French Cystic Fibrosis Association: 'Vaincre la Mucoviscidose'. Interview by Martín E. Fernández-Zapico

Pancreatology. 2010;10(2-3):109-11. doi: 10.1159/000236898. Epub 2010 May 12.


Dr. Catherine Figarella is a world expert in the isolation and characterization of human exocrine pancreatic proteins (enzymatic and non-enzymatic ones). She was a pioneer in the identification and characterization of the numerous zymogens present in pancreatic juice. In particular, her discovery of a peculiar behavior of one of the main proteolytic zymogens: human trypsinogen 1, which was more readily activated into active trypsin than human trypsinogen 2 and trypsinogens of other species led her to propose that a premature intracellular activation of this zymogen may play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis. She demonstrated that a similar phenomenon may occur in cystic fibrosis (CF) and has applied this knowledge of pancreatic zymogens to follow the evolution of the pancreatic disease in CF. With this brief but keen biographical article Dr. Figarella shares her life experience as an innovative medical and biochemical investigator of human exocrine pancreatic function.

Publication types

  • Interview

MeSH terms

  • Gastroenterology* / education
  • Humans
  • Mentors
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Pancreas / physiopathology
  • Pancreatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Trypsinogen / metabolism*


  • Trypsinogen