De Duve, Christian Rene, (1917-) a British-born Belgian biochemist, shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with American cell biologists Albert Claude and George Emil Palade. The three won for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell.

De Duve was born in Thames-Ditton, near London. His parents, Belgian citizens, had taken refuge in England during World War I (1914-1918). The family returned to Belgium in 1920, and de Duve grew up in Antwerp. He entered the Catholic University of Louvain in 1934. As a medical student, he worked in a laboratory and researched insulin and glucose uptake. After receiving his degree in 1941, he decided to continue researching insulin.

During World War II (1939-1945), de Duve joined the army and was taken prisoner. He escaped and went back to his studies. He earned his doctorate in 1945 and a licentiate in chemistry in 1946. He then attended the Medical Nobel Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, on fellowships. He returned to Louvain in 1947 to teach physiological chemistry and became full professor in 1951. He then started his own research laboratory.

Insulin continued as one of de Duve's main interests. During his investigations, he discovered the lysosome —an organelle, specialized cell part—that contains the enzymes of the cell. He and his team also discovered another organelle, the peroxisome. For this work, he received the Nobel Prize.

In 1962, de Duve joined the Rockefeller Institute, now Rockefeller University, in New York. He retained his position at Louvain. During the 1970's, he founded the institute that is now the Christian de Duve Institute of Cellular Pathology.

De Duve became professor emeritus at Rockefeller in 1988 and at Louvain in 1985.