Dr. István Földes (1921 - 2002)
Dr. István Földes was born in 1921 in Budapest and graduated summa cum laude in 1950 from the University of Medicine, Budapest. He also started his medical career here at the Research Institute of Pathology and Cancer as a demonstrator when he was still a medical student. In 1951, as a young doctor, he participated in the discovery of elastase. In the same year, he began to work as an aspirant at the National Public Health Institute and defended his Ph.D. degree in 1943. He directed the Pathological Department of Korányi National Institute of TB and Pulmonology from 1954 until 1972. He examined the effect of TB and its drugs on the high nervous function. He introduced the radioisotope technology in experimental TB research.
Together with his wife, Dr. Edit Beregi, he studied the changes of different clinical patterns related to age. He obtained the title of Doctor of Science in 1966 and was nominated to Honorary University Professor in 1972 at Semmelweis University of Medicine. In the same year, he took up the duty of the directory of the Microbiological Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He had an extraordinary sense to explore the important fields of research in prosperity at the end of the 20th century: retroviruses and the tumors caused by virus, the immunology of tumor, the interferon research and the examination by molecular biological methods of phages, which infect the mycobacteria. His research group proved to be productive in every mentioned field.
Professor Földes was an excellent organizer and his collaborators got the opportunity to broaden their knowledge in renowned institutes in Hungary and abroad. After the reorganization of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, he continued his work at the organizational unit Johan Béla National Institute of Public Health (and at his legal successor National Center for Epidemiology). It ensued naturally from the retrovirological researches, set up in 1972, that after the worldwide outbreak of AIDS and the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) the Microbiological Research Group played a determinant role in the fight against AIDS in Hungary. Here was built the first Hungarian HIV laboratory, and from 1993 after he became retired, Professor Földes acted as a scientific adviser of the HIV verification laboratory. He was the founder and board member of the Hungarian Microbiological Association and editorial member of the review Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica.
Four Hungarian scientific associations granted awards for his broad knowledge, scientific activities and science-organizational activities.
Professor Földes was a warm-hearted, broadminded colleague, chief and teacher.
János Minárovits MD, DScDirector of Microbiological Research Group ofNational Center for Epidemiology
Publications of Dr. István Földes
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