Michel Pierson passed away on August 13, 2015.
Most pediatric nephrologists are aware of the ‘Pierson syndrome’ (combination of congenital nephrotic syndrome and ocular abnormalities with microcoria due to mutations in the LAMB2 gene) but, very few knew Michel Pierson himself because he was not a fluent English speaker and could seldom travelled because of severe disability due to poliomyelitis sequellae.
He was born in 1925 and attended medical School in Nancy (France); he became professor of pediatrics and genetics at the University of Lorraine in 1953. He always had a major involvement in both the clinic and research, mainly in the field of endocrinology and development. His first description of congenital nephrotic syndrome and ocular anomalies with microcoria was an outstanding phenotypic report. When Martin Zenker (Guericke University Magdeburg , Germany) showed that human laminin beta-2 deficiency caused congenital nephrosis with mesangial sclerosis and distinct eye abnormalities (1), Michel Pierson was 79 years old but still very active. Therefore he tried to contact all living members of the family reported 50 years earlier (2) and succeeded, allowing Martin Zenker could confirm the genotype... Michel and Martin first met in Lyon, France, in 2009 (Figure 1) and this was a unforgettable moment for both of them.
Michel Pierson ha been recognized as a major contributor by most French pediatricians and had served as president of the Société Française de Pédiatrie, president of the Association des Pédiatres de Langue Française and finally president of the French branch of UNICEF.
He loved both Humanity and humanity, and dedicated his energy to sick children and disadvantaged individuals during his entire lifetime Michel touched the lives of many people in many places and will be missed by all, but primarily by his three children and seven grand-children.
Université Claude-Bernard Lyon 1,