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Vol. 4 No 1 (2024): MTSI-Revue

Hommage au Professeur Pierre Pène (1924 - 2023)



Tribute to Professor Pierre Pène (1924 - 2023)

Pierre Pène died on July 6, 2023 at the age of 98. Born in Bordeaux on November 10, 1924, he had a dual medical and political career.

Pierre Pène began his medical career as resident at the Hôpitaux de Bordeaux before becoming director of the clinic. In 1952, he was seconded to the Faculty of Medicine in Dakar, Senegal, as an associate professor of medicine and hospital assistant in the department of Professor Payet, then director of the Faculty of Medicine.

In 1958, he was appointed Professor of General Medicine, full Professor of Medical Pathology at the Dakar Faculty of Medicine (1961), then director of the Abidjan School of Medicine in Côte d'Ivoire, before being elected dean of the new Abidjan Faculty of Medicine in 1967. While in Dakar, he played a key role in the creation of the Société Médicale d'Afrique de l'Ouest and the journal Médecine d'Afrique noire.

He was appointed Professor of Tropical Diseases at the Faculty of Medicine in Marseille (1971) and Director of the Department of General and Tropical Medicine at the Michel-Levy Hospital. He directed the UER in Tropical Medicine and Health at the University of Aix-Marseille (1973-1983) before becoming Director of the Tropical Medicine and Health Training and Research Center from 1983 to 1993. He was Head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the University Hospital of Marseille, Hôpital Houphouët-Boigny (1978-1991), while continuing to direct the teaching of infectious and tropical diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Marseille.

A passionate educator and WHO expert on medical education, he introduced objective-based teaching and student-led teaching in small groups to medical studies.

After retiring from the university in 1993, Professor Pène was elected Mayor of Carry-le-Rouet, a coastal town in the western part of the Bay of Marseille, from 1989 to 2013, and then 1st Vice-President of the Urban Community of Marseille from 2000 to 2012.

Pierre Pène was elected corresponding member of the 4th section of the Académie des sciences d'outre-mer in 1981 and full member of the 4th section, medicine and society, of the Académie nationale de médecine in 1988. A long-time member of the Société de pathologie exotique, he was its president from 1991 to 1994.

He was awarded, as commandeur, the Légion d'Honneur, Ordre du Mérite and Palmes académiques, as well as numerous foreign medals.

Pierre Pène was the author of numerous publications on tropical medicine and health, several medical books and a book about his experiences as a local councilor.

He was buried in Carry-le-Rouët on July 12, 2023. Before the religious ceremony and the funeral, he was honored in the public square of the town for his history as a member of the Resistance during the Second World War and his term as mayor of the city. Several associations were present: "Amicale Santé Navale et d'Outre-Mer", "Anciens et Amis du Pharo" and "Amis du Patrimoine médical de Marseille".