Étienne-Émile Baulieu is a physician and biochemist. Born in Strasbourg, France, he studied medicine and physico-chemistry in Paris and earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. He headed the unit at INSERM ((French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) for the study of molecular metabolism of steroids, from 1963 to 1997. He was a professor of biochemistry at the University of Paris from 1970 to 1993, and then elected professor at the Collège de France, as the Chair of Human Reproduction. He was nominated an adjunct professor at the Scripps Institute in May 2006 in California.
He has been a member of the National Advisory Committee on Ethics for Life Sciences and Health, and he chairs the "Equilibre et Population" Scientific Committee. Professor Baulieu has focused most of his research on steroid hormones and their antagonists, in reproduction, aging, cancer, and the nervous system. He discovered the dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate secretion (DHEA-S) through adrenal glands, and he has described the synthesis of steroids in the brain ("neurosteroids").
Professor Baulieu invented RU-486 , the mifepristone pill for ending early pregnancy. He is the former President of the French Academy of Sciences, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, a member of the French Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Academy of Sciences, and is Grand Officier de la Lègion d'Honneur.
Professor Baulieu is author of numerous publications and has been honored with prizes that include the Grand Prix Scientifique from the Medical Research Foundation (Paris, 1995) and the Lasker Award (1989, U.S.).