In 1922 he becomes Lecturer in Pharmacodynamics at the University of Ghent. 

Corneille Heymans receives the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1938, "for the discovery of the role played by the sinus and aortic mechanisms in the regulation of respiration". He has shown how blood pressure and oxygen content of the blood are measured by the body and transmitted to the brain. Heymans cannot be present at the Nobel ceremony because Belgium is occupied at the start of World War II; he is presented with the prize one year later.

He has his medical education at the University of Ghent, where he obtains his doctor's degree in 1920. 

In 1930 he succeeds his father as Professor of Pharmacology and becomes Director of the J. F. Heymans Institute. The scientific investigations there lead to the discovery of the chemoreceptors that regulate respiration, which are situated in the cardio-aortic and carotid sinus areas. He also contributes to the understanding of arterial blood pressure and hypertension. He becomes Professor Emeritus in 1963.

He receives his secondary education at the St. Lievenscollege (Ghent), St. Jozefscollege (Turnhout), and St. Barbaracollege (Ghent).

He dies in Knokke from a stroke.

Heymans marries Berthe May, M. D. They have four children and 18 grandchildren. 

Corneille Jean François Heymans is born in Ghent, Belgium. His father is J. F. Heymans, formerly Professor of Pharmacology and Rector of the University of Ghent, who founded the Institute of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the same university.

After his graduation he works at the Collège de France, Paris, University of Lausanne, University of Vienna, University College of London and Western Reserve Medical School.