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Ioan Cantacuzino

Ioan Cantacuzino
Cantacuzino on a 2018 stamp sheet of Romania

Ioan I. Cantacuzino (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈjo̯an kantakuziˈno], also Ion Cantacuzino; 25 November 1863 – 14 January 1934) was a renowned Romanian physician and bacteriologist, a professor at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Bucharest, and a titular member of the Romanian Academy. He established the fields of microbiology and experimental medicine in Romania, and founded the Ioan Cantacuzino Institute.

Early days

He was born in Bucharest as a member of the Cantacuzino family and the son of Ion C. Cantacuzino. After attending the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, he graduated from the University of Paris' Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, and worked at several hospitals in Paris. He obtained his doctorate in 1894, with thesis Recherches sur le mode de destruction du vibrion cholérique dans l'organisme. Later in the same year, he began his academic career as a deputy professor at the University of Iași, and returned to Paris after two years to serve on the staff of the Pasteur Institute, where he worked under the direction of Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov.


In 1901, Cantacuzino was assigned a teaching position in Bucharest, where he became a major influence on a generation of scientists. His discoveries were relevant in the treatment of cholera, epidemic typhus, tuberculosis, and scarlet fever. As a disciple of Mechnikov, he devoted part of his research to expanding on the latter's field of interest (phagocytes, the body's means of defence against pathogens, as well as the issue of immunity and invertebrates). He invented the notion of contact immunity.

During the Second Balkan War, Cantacuzino was appointed head of the staff combatting the cholera epidemic in the ranks of the Romanian Army stationed in Bulgaria; he was assigned to the same position during the Romanian campaign in World War I, in the fight against typhus. He founded and led the scientific magazines Revista Științelor Medicale and Archives roumaines de pathologie expérimentale, and regularly contributed to the literary magazine Viața Românească (replacing Paul Bujor on the editorial board).[1] A collaborator of Constantin Stere, he was noted as a Poporanist disciple of Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea.[2]


  1. ^ Constantin Stere, "Cum am devenit director al Vieţii Romîneşti [sic]" ("How I Became an Editor of Viața Românească"), in Viața Românească, 1&2/XXV, January–February 1933. p. 13
  2. ^ (in Romanian) Mircea Vulcănescu, Școala sociologică a lui Dimitrie Gusti. IX: Semnificaţia generală a învățământului gustian.

External links

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