Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1938
Corneille Heymans

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Corneille Heymans - Facts

Corneille Jean François Heymans

Corneille Jean François Heymans

Born: 28 March 1892, Ghent, Belgium

Died: 18 July 1968, Knokke, Belgium

Affiliation at the time of the award: Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of the role played by the sinus and aortic mechanisms in the regulation of respiration"

Field: cardiovascular physiology, respiratory physiology

Corneille Heymans received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1939.

Prize share: 1/1


Without conscious thought on our part, our breathing is regulated by a respiratory center in the medulla oblongata. Corneille Heymans, his father and colleagues researched how breathing is regulated by muscular reflexes and the blood's chemical composition. Through work with dogs, they showed how impulses are conveyed via the vagus nerves between the respiratory center and respiratory muscles. In 1931 Corneille Heymans demonstrated that the glomus, a small globular body made up of small blood vessels from the carotid artery, has an important role in this context through readings of the blood's chemical composition.

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