Prof. Dr. István Dömök (1925 - 2004)
Professor István Dömök graduated at the University of Medicine, Budapest in 1950. He started his career as virologist at the National Institute of Public Health. He became a head of department later and then the Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Microbiology and finally, he served as the Deputy Director-General of the Institute for years.
He got three different microbiological qualifications, defended his candidates degree on the interaction of coxsackie viruses and polio viruses in 1962.
He set up the first virus diagnostic laboratory in Hungary, and then he took part in the development of the national laboratory network.
From the time of the introduction of poliovirus vaccination in 1958 he studied the effectiveness and safety of the alive vaccines as well as their influencing factors.
From 1970 until 1973, he was the Head of the WHO Regional Laboratory for Viruses in Uganda. Later, the WHO Reference Laboratory for Enteroviruses and National WHO Influenza Center at the National Institute of Public Health worked under his heading.
He was one of the experts who elaborated the national AIDS prevention program from 1985, and he was an active leader of its practical realization too.
From 1992, he organized with his collaborators the complex prevention program of hepatitis viruses. This development made possible the introduction of the diagnostics on national level, the organization of the screenings and vaccinations.
He was a member of the WHOs Advisory Forum on Viral Diseases from 1966. It is outstanding that in 1972 Sabin, himself, proposed István Dömök to be the member of the working group on alive vaccines.
He was also a member of the nine-member European Committee leading the poliomyelitis elimination from 1996.
The declaration of the European Region polio-free on 21th June 2002 was the peak of his professional career as he personally acted and worked much for its realization. As a member of the Regional Committee, Professor Dömök was one of the subscribers of the Certificate.
He worked tirelessly.
During decades, he participated in the work of the editorial committee of the reviews Acta Microbiologica Hungarica and Egészségtudomány.
He was a bencher of the Hungarian Society of Microbiology, Infectology and that of the Hungarian Hygienists and Chairman of the Public Health, Epidemiology and Radiohygiene Scientific Board and member of several other scientific boards.
He was the author of several book chapters and 98 scientific reports.
In 2001, the Hungarian version of the very successful book Viruses, Plagues and History by Michael Oldstone was published that was translated into Hungarian by him, and he added professional explications to it. From 1985, he was a titular university professor. His merits are indefeasible in the field of the training and training courses for doctors and in the field of the training of hygiene specialists.
He was decorated several times: Merited doctor (1968), Excellent doctor (1978), József Fodor Medallion (1986, 1998), Rezső Manninger Medallion (1989), Merit of Republic Officers Cross (1995), Honorable Title for National Defense of 1st class (1997).
He was the first who could be decorated with Gábor Nyerges Medallion at the 9th National Conference on Vaccinology in 2003 and was also decorated with the Medallion of the Scientific Association for Public Health.
The only site of his work during 50 years was the same institute, the National Public Health Institute, and the whole Hungarian society benefited by the results of his work.
His career reached international peaks at a time when it was possible only for the most outstanding experts to be there.
His colleagues, disciples and those who honor him organized a Scientific Meeting and inaugurated his memorial tablet in the National Center for Epidemiology in 2009.
Dr. Márta MellesDirector General
The bronze plaque on the memorial tablet is the work of the artist Tamara Kubasova
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