Jean Rivier, expert on stress hormones, dies at age 78

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jean Rivier, a chemist who led groundbreaking research on stress and helped discover drugs that treated endometriosis and prostate cancer, has died. He was 78.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Rivier died in San Diego Wednesday from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Rivier devoted his career to studying a stress hormone called corticotropin-releasing factors. His research showed how CRFs are responsible for many of the body’s reactions to stress, including disabling the immune system in irritable bowel syndrome.

His work resulted in eight drugs used to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases, including endometriosis, a painful uterine disorder; prostate cancer; and intractable pain.

Rivier studied chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he met his wife and scientific partner, Catherine. They moved to San Diego in 1970 to work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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