In memoriam - Xavier Leverve
© BioMed Central Ltd 2010
Published: 20 December 2010
It was with great sadness that we, and indeed the entire scientific community, heard of the death of Xavier Leverve last November 7th. Hundreds of colleagues, friends and family gathered for his funeral in Paris, to remember this exceptional man, one of the leading scientists in the field of metabolism and nutrition.
Xavier's interests were quite wide, covering cellular bioenergetics and substrate metabolism, as well as hypoxia/reoxygenation and acid base balance. This brought him naturally to his position as a worldwide opinion leader, acknowledged and highly respected by critical care physicians across the globe. His background as an intensivist helped him translate his comprehensive knowledge of nutrition and metabolism to the context of critical illness, but Xavier's knowledge went far beyond intensive care medicine boundaries. He understood much earlier than many others that the field of nutrition deserved a truly scientific appraisal. Xavier started, and stimulated, numerous research activities in the broad areas of nutrition and metabolism. He became the scientific director of the French National Institute for Agronomical Research and occupied a leading position in the French National Institute for Medical Research. Driven by an almost unbelievable energy, he seemed to combine these numerous tasks with ease and tackled all tasks with characteristic enthusiasm and optimism. Xavier was also a brilliant teacher and lecturer, and much appreciated as a mentor and guide. His passion for new and exciting ideas was catching and acted as an incentive for many of us, like his profound interest and understanding of epistemology, as well as of the process of building scientific thought.
We will remember Xavier not only for his important scientific contributions and irrepressible creativity in research, but also for his warmth, generosity, and zest for life. Xavier was a true epicurean, with an immense appetite for life, including every aspect of social and cultural activities. Our duty now, as his friends and colleagues, is to honor his memory by continuing to work for the advancement of science while enjoying the beauty of life!