Science for the wounded
The work of Dr. Armand Frappier
Biography Dr Armand Frappier
Armand Frappier was born in 1904 in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. He chose medical studies after the death of his mother to tuberculosis. She was only 40. His medical studies completed, he specialized in bacteriology (from which microbiology would evolve). Thanks to grants such as one from the Rockerfeller Foundation, and because no such training is available in the Province of Québec, Dr. Frappier began graduate studies abroad.
Young Dr. Frappier trained in prestigious American institutions, such as the Trudeau School of Tuberculosis (University of Rochester). But above all, he studied at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. It is there he will rub shoulders with Dr. Albert Calmette, Camille Guérin and Léopold Nègre, the famous discoverers of the BCG tuberculosis vaccine. It is an attenuated strain of this vaccine that Dr. Frappier brings home with him.
Upon his return, the career of Dr. Frappier begins auspiciously. He is the founder of the diagnosis laboratory of St-Luc Hospital in Montreal. He also became assistant professor in the Bacteriology Department, a part of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal.
Drawing on his training abroad, Dr. Frappier offers bacteriology courses to medical students that rival those of the best institutions of the time. Also, he becomes head of University of Montreal’s BCG laboratory.
With the support of Dr. Télesphore Parizeau, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, he leads the first BCG laboratory in North America (founded in 1926) in order to experiment and prepare the vaccine against tuberculosis. Dr. Armand Frappier will be among the first scientifics in North America to prove the safety and effectiveness of the BCG vaccine to his colleagues.