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.
Copyright 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.