Constantin Levaditi (1874-1953)
Romanian-born French physician, cytologist and immunologist, born on Aug. 1st, 1874 in Galati (Romania). His father was a civil servant in a Black Sea port. Being an orphan at a young age, he was raised by his aunt, who worked as a laundry woman at the Brancovan hospital in Bucharest.
1892 Enrollment in medical training at the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest.
1897 Worked as a research assistant under Victor Babes, at the Bacteriological Institute, in Bucharest.
1898 Traveled to France and worked under Bouchard, at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital.
1899 Volunteered to train at the Collège de France, Paris, as a research assistant in A. Charrin's laboratory.
1899-1900 Worked with Paul Ehrlich, at the Institute of serotherapy in Frankfurt.
1900 Entered the Institut Pasteur in Paris, as a research assistant, in E. Metchnikoff 's laboratory ; his multilateral experimental work was about microbiology, pathogenesis, chemical and antibiotic therapy of various diseases, in human and animal, caused by microbial agents (syphilis, tuberculosis) or virus such as epidemic encephalitis ("ectodermose neurotrope"), herpes, chickenpox, jennerian vaccine preventing smallpox, poliomyelitis, neuromyelitis optica, lymphogranulomatosis inguinale) ; recommended bismuth in the treatment of syphilis.
1902 Thesis defense for medical doctorate, with a dissertation topic entitled : Contribution à l'étude des mastzellen et de la mastzellen-leucocytose (contribution to the study of mast cells and mast cell leukaemia).
1903 In Romania, married the professor Istrati's daughter, with whom he had a son, Jean Levaditi.
1910 Appointed as head of laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. With S. Muttermilch, contributed to a film developed by J. Comandon, showing the phagacytosis of trypanosomes.
1912 With Carl Kling, participated in a mission for studying a poliomyelitis outbreak in Sweden, working with Scandinavian researchers (among them Karl O. Medin) ; they were able to isolate the poliovirus on tissue explant and to describe it.
1912-1919 Recording secretary at the Society of Exotic Pathology (Société de Pathologie Exotique).
1912-1931 Taught at the microbiology course of the Institut Pasteur (cours de microbiologie) ; became a permanent member of the Society of Biology ( Société de biologie ).
1914-1918 During First World War, volunteered to serve as a medical assistant, then as a physician.
1921 At the Romanian government's request, he was assigned to give a series of lectures in microbiology at the Medical School of Cluj.
1926 Appointed as professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
1928 Elected member at the French Academy of Medicine, Paris.
1931 With Schmutz and Willemin, participated in a mission for studying a poliomyelitis outbreak in the area of Bas-Rhin (France). Elected member of the French Society of Serology and vice-president of the French Society of Biology.
1932-1953 Appointed as scientific director of the Alfred Fournier Institute, newly created in Paris.
1939 Promoted to be a commander of Legion of Honor.
1940 Retired from the Institut Pasteur.
1953 On Sept. 5, died in Paris.
Collaborators : V. Babès, J. Bardet, R. Béquignon, M. Charrin, J. Comandon, N. Constantinesco, F. Coste, Danulesco, Darré, R. Deschiens, R. Even, L. Fournier, I. Galloway, A. Guelin, P. Haber, Hamelin, P. Harvier, J. Henry-Eveno, G. Hornus, D. Krasnoff, C. Kling, K. A. Lacassagne, Landsteiner, Latapie, Launoy, P. Lépine, J. Levaditi, Y. Manin, Manouélian, A. Marie, R. Martin, J.-G. Mezger, P. Mollaret, S. Muttermilch, M. Nattan-Larrier, A. Netter, S. Nicolau, H. Penau, P. Ravault, L. Reinié, V. Sanchis-Bayarri, Sazerac, R. Schoen, E. Schmutz, F.-R. Selbie, J. Troisier, A. Vaisman, H. Vaisman-Noury, J. Vieuxchange, Yamanouchi, L. Willemin.
Biographical reference tools :
- Lépine (Pierre), "C. Levaditi", Annales de l'Institut Pasteur, Paris, Masson et Cie éditeurs, tome 85, 1953.
- Levaditi (Constantin), Travaux de microbiologie et de pathologie humaine et animales 1897-1933, Paris, A. Maretheux et L. Pastat, imp., 1935, 151 p.
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