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LOURS, Tiphaine

PhD Candidate, Sciences Po Paris, Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po. Co-direction with SPHere UMR 7219


- Thesis
- Research interests
- Cursus
- Publications
- Communications


Title : History of tissue grafts and organ transplantation in France, 1820-1920

Director : Paul-André Rosental and Nathalie Sage Pranchère

Thesis project: My thesis examines the development of medical knowledge and operative practices related to tissue grafts and organ transplants in France between 1820 and 1920. Based on a large corpus of sources, it will shed light on the production, evaluation and circulation of skin, bone, dental, eye, thyroid, ovarian, testicular, fat, tendon, cartilage, and vascular grafts, as well as whole organ transplants. This work aims to analyse the progressive formation in the 19th century French context of the modern idea of organ transplantation, according to which a defective body part can be replaced by one taken from another person. Because of its transversal nature, transplants’ history involves many medical specialties. Without identifying the phenomenon of immune rejection, autografts, allografts, and xenografts coexist during this period, to the point of questioning boundaries between mankind and animal species. From an epistemological perspective, this thesis will also identify the controversies that this new scientific knowledge stimulated between physicians, surgeons, and physiologists. Linked to the history of institutions and society as well as body history, the history of transplantations, through the reconstruction of biographical trajectories of operated patients, also sheds light on the question of disability in the wider history of 19th century public health. Finally, this work will have the First World War as its horizon, since it will link the experience accumulated on transplants during the 19th century to the treatment of serious injuries caused by the conflict.


• History of medicine
• History of surgical practices
• History of science
• Disability studies
• History of the body
• 19th century social history


- Since 2022: PhD Candidate at Sciences Po, Center for History (CHSP), Paris, France. Co-direction with SPHère.
- 2019-2022: Master degree in contemporary history at Sciences Po. Summa Cum Laude.
- 2018-2019: Erasmus year at University College Cork.
- 2016-2019: Bachelor Dual Degree in social sciences and History - Sciences Po, Sorbonne Université Faculté des Lettres.



• Lours, T. ‘The Logic of Xenografts: A Historical Study of Animal Tissue Grafts in Human Patients in 1870s France’. Ethics, Medicine and Public Health 28 (1 June 2023): 100899.


(Translated title) « History of tissue grafts in 19th century France: understanding grafting without conceiving rejection », seminar Initiative des Humanités Biomédicales, Paris, Sorbonne Université, June 28, 2023.

(Translated title) « History of vesico-vaginal fistulas gynecological surgery: Antoine-Joseph Jobert de Lamballe with his patients in the 1830s », international conference Genre & Gynécologie. Savoirs, pratiques & mobilisations, Aubervilliers (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme), April 18-20, 2023.


• Honorary graduate of the Sciences Po School of Research, 2022.

• Laureate 2020 of the Committee for the History of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM).