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Last update:
2004, January 27


Victor Babeş

(Viena, 1854- Bucharest,1926)

Romanian physician; He was Professor of Pathology and Bacteriology at the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest and member of the Romanian Academy.

He was among the scientists who created modern microbiology. He worked out the first treatise on bacteriology in the world. ("Bacteria and their role in the anatomy and pathological histology of contagious diseases", co-written with French scientist A. V. Cornil, 1885). He made essential, worldwide known investigations on rabies, leprosy, diphtheria, tuberculosis etc.

He also identified in the cells of the brain of animals sick with rabies, the Babes-Negri diagnostics-relevant corpuscles. He discovered more than 50 new germs (the pseudobacillus of glanders, the germs in the paratyphoid group etc. ) and initiated serotherapy. His important researches on the microbial antagonisms took him to being one of the first in promoting modern ideas on antibiotics.

Babes's activity was highly influential in the progress of veterinary science. He succeeded to reorientate it in keeping close to the objectives of the preventive medicine. It was Babes who first used anti-rabic vaccination in Romania, to even improve it through combining it, in hopeless cases, with serotherapy. He developed the first rationalized model of a thermostat. He also proposed tinting methods for bacteria and mushrooms in cultures and histologicals etc. He was highly preoccupied with solving the problems in the preventive medicine (water supply in towns and villages, scientific organisation of the antiepidemic campaigns etc. ).

Babes, who loved people, took pains to put science in their service and improve life quality. For this, he showed perseverance in investigating the origins of mass spread diseases (pellagra, tuberculosis etc.), and in revealing the social roots of such diseases.

The protozoan parasites that infect red blood cells of vertebrate animals were named after him: Babesia.

All his scientific and social activity give evidence of his materialistic philosophical view, to be found mainly in his "Considerations about the relation of natural sciences with philosophy" (1879) and in "Faith and Science" (1924).