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Biographical Sketch
Alexandre Besredka (1870-1940)
version française

@ Russian-born French physician and biologist, born on March 27, 1870 in Odessa (Ukraine, Russia). His father, was a private teacher of foreign languages.
1888-1892 Secondary and higher secondary education, in Odessa.
1892 Thesis defense for Doctorate in Sciences ; dissertation topic entitled : Ideas' proceeding over the field of stereochemistry.
1893 Left Russia for Paris and entered the Pasteur Institute, as a research assistant in E. Metchnikoff's laboratory ; meanwhile enrolled in medical training.
1896 Attended the renown microbiology course at the Pasteur Institute (cours de microbiologie).
1897 Thesis defense for Medical Doctorate, with the dissertation topic entitled subphrenic abscess.
1905-1914 Appointed as head of laboratory at the Pasteur Institute ; conducted research on endotoxins, vaccine sensitized with homologous immune serum, anaphylactic desensitization (the so called Besredka's method").
1903 Co-founded Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur with G. Bertrand, A. Borrel, C. Delezenne, A.-C. Marie, F. Mesnil.
1910 Became citizen of France ; appointed as professor at the Pasteur Institute.
1910-1914 In collaboration with E. Metchnikoff, commenced research on experimental typhoid fever on chimpanzees ; This work was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I in 1914, when Besredka was mobilised.
1914-1918 During WW1, served as a nurse, then as a medical officer in different bacteriological laboratories (Verdun, Bar-le-Duc, Paris-Val-de-Grâce).
1919-1940 Back to the Pasteur Institute, succeeded E. Metchnikoff as head of service ; devoted himself to the study of the immunity of the intestinal infections (dysentery, typhoid, cholera) and anthrax ; his experiments led him to move away from the Metchnikoff's cellular theory of immunity and to develop the idea of a local immunity ; Each virus owns its organ and each organ its immunity.
1921 Published The history of an idea, about Metchnikoff's works.
1923-1933 In collaboration with L. Gross, tried to extend to cancer the results obtained in the field of antimicrobial vaccination.
1937 Joined P. Giroud, A. Macheboeuf and Eug. Wollman to travel to the Soviet Union for scientific mission.
1939 President of the association for the protection of Jewish public health ; established an infantile preventive medicine service for the families of Jewish emigrants of the Paris area, and also organised the reception of the first 300 German, Austrian and Czech children, after the Night of Crystal in 1938.
28/02/1940 Died in Paris.

Collaborators : Bardach, Basseches, Bronfenbrenner, Mme de Trévise, Golovanoff, F. Jupille, S. Lissofsky, E. Metchnikoff, Nakagawa, H. Ströbel, Urbain.

Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur