Professor Rastislav Dzúrik: the Man and the Scientist


Rastislav Dzúrik, finished his medical study at the Medical School of Comenius University in Bratislava in 1953. After graduation he began to work at the Institute of chemistry and biochemistry of the Medical School and in 1957 he continued working at the IIIrd Internal Clinic of this faculty, which became later the base of “Internal School of Professor T. R. Niederland” with biochemical focusing. In the year 1967 Professor Dzúrik in cooperation with Professor Jan Brod founded the Nephrological Section of the Slovak Internal Society and then the postgraduate scientific-research activity in nephrology began. The main topics of his scientific activity, in which he received many priority results, were:

  1. Isolation and characteristic of inhibitor of glucose utilisation and of inhibitor of renal gluconeogenesis;
  2. Effect of “middle molecular substances“, especially in the development of renal insufficiency;
  3. Isolation and identification of hippurate and pseudouridine.

His publishing activity was manifested in more than 500 scientific papers, several monographs and many chapters in various textbooks and manuals of internal medicine and clinical biochemistry, and more than 1,000 citations. The most important success of Professor Dzúrik was the textbook “Nephrology“ which was published in 2004 and he was its main editor. Rastislav Dzúrik‘s impact on the field of Nephrology in Slovakia was manifold. It included his complex work of clinical nephrology, his pedagogical activities, and last but not least his excellent organizing abilities.

Key words: clinical nephrologist, pharmacologist and biochemist, Rastislav Dzúrik, scientist and organizer


Professor Rastislav Dzúrik MD, DSc. died after a long illness on February 27, 2014 (Figure 1). He was one of the most outstanding Slovak medical personalities who lived in the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century. He left work that significantly influenced the development of general internal medicine, clinical nephrology, biochemistry and pharmacotherapy.

Professor Dzúrik was born on August 24, 1929 in Košice. He graduated from the High School in Bratislava in 1948.He finished his medical study at the Medical School of Comenius University in Bratislava in 1953. After graduation he began to work at the Institute of chemistry and biochemistry of the Medical School. As a young assistant he was immediately involved into pedagogical work and at the same time he tried to find a contact with clinical practice. In 1957 he went together with some assistants (Eva Brixová, MD, Jan Gvozdjak, MD) to the newly founded 3rd Internal Clinic and continued in working. Later the Clinic became the base of “Internal School of Professor T. R. Niederland“ with biochemical focusing [1]. He participated together with other assistants in the establishing of Research Laboratory of Pharmacobiochemistry at that Clinic, which became its experimental base. In these years started the developing of new clinical divisions. Clinical biochemistry had a prominent place among them. Dzúrik tried to support therapeutic activity by high-quality diagnostics. Until 1962, he received attestation of clinical biochemistry and of internal medicine of the 1st and 2nd degree. At the same time he defended his PhD thesis with a title “Contribution to the effect of the salyrgan in the kidneys”. Despite the time-challenging work at the Clinic as well as in the laboratory, he received the academic degree Associate Professor of internal medicine at the Medical School of Comenius University in 1965. His habilitation thesis “Experimental contribution to the metabolism of the glycides in the kidneys” clearly indicated his future scientific focus. This was also demonstrated in his dissertation thesis “Uraemia – pathophysiology of carbohydrate metabolism”, published in English in 1973 and he defended his academic title “Doctor of Medical Sciences (DSc)“. In 1987 he was appointed as a full professor of internal medicine.

Work in laboratory showed to the need for education of qualified laboratory technicians. Therefore, in 1961 he took care of the education of biochemical laboratory technicians, as the founder and head of the Department of medical laboratory technicians at the Institute for further education of medical staff. As a study aid he prepared a monograph “Enzymology” in 1967 [2], which became a valuable study material for them, and also for doctors of medicine who have completed courses at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, at the Institute for further education of physicians and pharmacists, where he also lectured. In 1980 he became the Head of that department and in 1983 the Director of the Research Institute of Medical Bionics. The Institute under his leadership soon gained an international authority. Here, in the new environment with the need of rapid handling of computer technology problems and its applications, fully excelled his extraordinary inventions and realizing abilities. In the framework of the Research Institute of Medical Bionics he has created the conditions for the foundation of a Centre of Clinical Pharmacology. The Centre – the only one of this kind in the former Czechoslovakia, provided valuable assistance to the domestic pharmaceutical industry in monitoring the effect of new drugs. Nowadays the core of this centre forms a substantial part of the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine in Bratislava.

He wrote several monographs i.e. “Diuretic Therapy” [3]; “Kidney metabolism and function“ [4]; “Disorders of the Internal Environment – Diagnostics and Therapy” [5] and other; and chapters in textbooks of Professors Dérer and Dieška “Internal Diseases”; of Professor Hořejší “Principles of Biochemistry in Internal Medicine”. He published together with Prof. Niederland “Clinical Aspects of Trials of New Drugs”. Professors Dzúrik and Trnovec were the main editors of two books “Standard Diagnostic Procedures“ [6] and “Standard Therapeutic Procedurs” [7] in 1998 and 2001.The most significant success of Professor Dzúrik was the important textbook “Nephrology“ which was published in 2004 [8] and he was its main editor. It is a complex work of clinical nephrology which completed his and co-authors clinical, pedagogical, scientific and research activities, but always in the context of internal medicine. His publishing activity was manifested in more than 500 scientific papers, most of them in international journals and more than 1,000 citations.

In addition to his scientific and research activities it is also necessary to underline his excellent organizing abilities and activities. He founded the Nephrological Section of the Slovak Internal Society in cooperation with Professor Jan Brod in 1967. This allowed to start the postgraduate scientific and research activity in nephrology. He was the first President of this Section. Later he became the President of the Slovak resp. Czechoslovak Nephrological Society, in which he alternated with Professor Albert Válek, especially in the organization of international nephrological congresses. He started cooperation with important foreign nephrologists, i.e. Professors Carmelo Giordano, Jonas Bergström, August Heidland, and others. He invited them to present their scientific papers at congresses in Bratislava, i.e. at the 8th Danube Symposium on Nephrology in 1987. Since then under the leadership of Professor Dzúrik and later under the leadership of his student Professor Viera Spustová, MD, DSc. [9], nephrology has developed still at a higher level. In the second half of the 20th century clinical nephrology recorded an unprecedential development that resulted in the formation of new clinical division “nephrology“ within internal medicine. Curative and preventive care of patients with kidney diseases, pre-and postgraduate education of medical students and doctors of medicine in nephrology, as well as scientific and research activity continued and have been further developed at the beginning of the 21st century.

In this context it should be noted that to manage the above mentioned activities within the Medical School and later the Slovak Medical University, such a universal personality as Professor Dzúrik was needed. He had an extraordinary theoretical, practical, clinical and biochemical erudition. We have to say that it was very difficult to separate his activities in the terms of general internal medicine, nephrology, clinical biochemistry and clinical pharmacology because they overlapped each other. Tremendous activity of Professor Dzúrik as an excellent organizer of numerous national and international congresses and symposiums resulted in fact that he became the President of the Slovak Medical Association. At the congresses he had with his co-workers still active participation, often as an invited speaker. He presented lectures in concise form in different languages and these were published in foreign journals or proceedings.

The main topics of his scientific work, in which he received many priority results, were: Isolation and characteristic of inhibitor of glucose utilisation and of inhibitor of renal gluconeogenesis[10] [11]; Isolation and identification of hippurate and pseudouridine [11] [12]; Effect of “middle molecular substances“ [13] [14], especially in the development of renal insufficiency. He developed a concept of “middle molecular substances” in the pathogenesis of renal insufficiency, which had a great response abroad. All of these works contributed to the clarification of the “uremic toxicity” and of the progression of kidney diseases. In the terms of our cooperation we consider as extremely important work on “middle molecular substances” – uremic toxins, which have significant participation in the development of uremic syndrome in acute and chronic renal failure [15] [16].

The scientific and research work that Professor Dzúrik has performed during his active life will remain as a stimulus for the next generation of nephrologists, biochemists and clinical pharmacologists. He left a historical impact in the international medical and scientific community.


[1] Hořejší J. Academician T. R. Niederland, the Seventy. Časopis Lékarů českých 1985; 124:64.

[2] Dzúrik R (1967) Enzymology: A Guide for the Medical Laboratory Technicians (book in Slovak). Obzor, Bratislava.

[3] Dzúrik R, Dzúriková V (1978) The diuretic therapy (book in Slovak). Osveta, Martin.

[4] Dzúrik R, Lichardus B, Guder W (1985) Kidney metabolism and function. Martinus Nijhoff Publ, Boston.

[5] Dzúrik R, et al.(1984) Disorders of the internal environment. Diagnostic and therapy (book in Slovak). Osveta, Martin.

[6] Trnovec T, Dzúrik R (1998) Standard diagnostic procedures (book in Slovak). Osveta, Martin.

[7] Dzúrik R, Trnovec T (2001) Standard therapeutic procedures (book in Slovak). Osveta, Martin.

[8] Dzúrik R, Šašinka M, Mydlík M, Kovács L (2004) Nephrology (book in Slovak). Herba, Bratislava.

[9] Spustová V, Dzúrik R (1992) Renal isufficiency (book in Slovak). Osveta, Martin.

[10] Dzùrik R, Hupkovà V, Cernàcek P et al. The isolation of an inhibitor of glucose utilization from the serum of uraemic subjects. Clinica Chimica Acta 1973;46:77-83.

[11] Dzúrik R, Spustová V, Lajdová I et al. Inhibition of glucose utilization in isolated rat soleus muscle by pseudouridine: implications for renal failure. Nephron 1993;65(1):108-10

[12] Dzúrik R, Spustová V, Krivosíková Z et al. Hippurate participates in the correction of metabolic acidosis. Kidney International 2001; Suppl 78:S278-81.

[13] Dzúrik R Metabolic alterations caused by uraemia. Proceedings of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association 1980; 17: 577-86.

[14] Gajdos M, Spustová V, Geryková M et al. Erythrocyte transport of middle molecular substances. Proceedings of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association. ex 1981; 18: 183-7.

[15] Mydlík M, Spustová V, Dzúrik R et al. Middle molecular substances in acute renal failure. International urology and nephrology 1982;14(1):67-73

[16] Mydlik M, Dzurik R, Derzsiova K, Spustova V. Influence of charcoal haemoperfusion on plasma middle molecular substances during regular dialysis treatment. Časopis Lékarů českých 1983; 122: 1573-6.

The Joint Society of Nephrology in Germany, Switzerland and Austria – Five Decades of Successful Activities


The joint Society of Nephrology in Germany, Switzerland and Austria was founded on April 10th, 1961 in Wiesbaden. Board members were Hans Sarre, Kurt Kramer, Klaus Rother, Francois Reubi, Bruno Watschinger, Wolfgang Dutz, Ernst Wollheim and Karl Ullrich. The mission of the society was an intensive interaction between basic science of the kidney (anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry and molecular biology) and clinical research in nephrology and hypertension. Every year scientific symposia took place in different venues in one of the three countries, except in the years between 1963-1987, when the congresses of the International Society of Nephrology took place.

Practical issues of clinical nephrology, in particular renal replacement therapy (dialysis and transplantation), were covered since 1971 by a specific Working Group.

In 1994 the Advisory Board (Kuratorium) of the Society of Nephrology was founded as a result of an initiative of Peter Weidmann (Bern). Its main goals were Update Seminars in Nephrology and Hypertension in Eastern Europe, in part together with the “Joint Action of Nephrology” and an Eastern European Scholarship Program.

Despite the prosperous work of this European society within nearly five decades in Germany a national society was founded as well, which combined all activities of nephrology in one organization. The German Society of Nephrology was founded in 2009.

Key words: German Society of Nephrology, Joint Society of Nephrology in Germany, Switzerland and Austria



“In the last two centuries major contributions to renal physiology and clinical medicine had been made in the German-speaking world. Key observations in our specialty were reported by several outstanding scientists and clinicians in Germany and neighboring German-speaking countries” [1]. In 1842 Carl Ludwig introduced the concept of glomerular filtration and the reabsorptive and diffusive processes in the tubule. In 1862 Jacob Henle described the loop of Henle [1]. In 1909 the structure and arrangement of the nephron as well as the macula densa cells were characterized by Karl Peter [2]. In the beginning of the 20th century Volhard and Fahr (1914) established a novel classification of renal diseases and hypertension [3]. In 1924 the first human hemodialysis treatment was performed by Georg Haas [4].

In the 1950s a real breakthrough occurred in clinical nephrology and basic research of the kidney. The pioneer inventions included measurement of GFR and tubular functions by Homer Smith (1951) [5], percutaneous renal biopsy (Iversen and Brun 1951) [5], description of the analgesic nephropathy (Spühler and Zollinger 1953) [6] and hemodialysis treatment of acute renal failure (Kolff 1948, Alwall 1952) [5]. Great progress of basic research included description of the concentration process in the kidney by kryoscopy [7], the introduction of new micropuncture techniques and microanalytic methods to evaluate the function of different parts of the nephron[8]. Based on such progresses, a number of national societies of nephrology were founded.

At the 1st Congress of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) in Evian on September 3rd 1960, a small group of nephrologists from Germany, Switzerland and Austria decided to establish the Society of Nephrology [9] [10]. It was founded on April 10th 1961 in Wiesbaden. The first president was Professor Hans Sarre (Freiburg i.Br), a scholar of Franz Volhard and the Vice-President Professor Kurt Kramer (Göttingen), the “father” of renal physiology. Dozent Klaus Rother (Freiburg i. Br.) was the secretary and board members were Professor Francois Reubi (Bern), Professor Wolfgang Dutz (East-Berlin), Professor Ernst Wollheim (Würzburg), Professor Bruno Watschinger (Vienna) and Dozent Karl Ullrich (Göttingen). A picture of the founders is shown in Figure 1.

The society was a true scientific academic organization with the primary goal of an intensive interaction between basic science of the kidney (anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pathology, molecular biology and pharmacology) and clinical research in nephrology and hypertension. Prerequisites for membership were scientific publications and support by two members of the society. The primary venture of the society was an annual scientific symposium held in different places of the three countries. The presidents were elected for one year and organized the scientific program of the symposia. The secretaries stayed for several years to guarantee the continuity. The presidents and the places of the symposia as well as the secretaries are listed in Table 1 and Table 2.

The main topics of the first five symposia were “Acute Renal Failure” (Freiburg 1961), “The Nephrotic Syndrome” (Bern /CH) 1962), “Normal and Pathological Functions of the Kidney Tubulus” (Berlin 1964), “Current Problems in Nephrology” (Homburg /Saar 1965) and “Progress in Nephrology” (Lausanne /CH, 1967). These symposia were published as books [11] [12] [13] [14]. From 1979 to 1992 the main lectures were published in the “Klinische Wochenschrift” and in the next 2 years in the “Clinical Investigator”. From 1995 to 2004 the main lectures were published in “Kidney and Blood Pressure Research”.

The scientific strength of the society was based mainly on outstanding scientists in basic research in physiology, anatomy, pathology and pharmacology (Figure 2 and Figure 3, key clinical nephrologists are shown in Figure 4).

In the 1960s-1980s clinical nephrologists were mainly involved in the time-consuming organization of haemo- and peritoneal-dialysis as well as kidney transplantation which shortened the time for scientific research. In spite of clinical work, many clinical nephrologists made important scientific contributions in their field.

Working Group of Clinical Nephrology

The Society of Nephrology in the first two decades addressed preferentially scientific projects. There was however a need for a forum to deal with all practical issues in clinical nephrology. For this reason the “Working Group of Clinical Nephrology” (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für klinische Nephrologie) was founded in 1971 [15], to address specialized and subspezialized practice in nephrology and also different forms of dialysis, hemodialysis access as well as renal transplantation [15]. Training programs for clinical nephrologists and dialysis personnel were established. During the first two decades specific meetings took place in the intervals between congresses of the Society of Nephrology. It was the merit of Heini Murer to organize parallel sessions of both the Society of Nephrology and the Working Group of Clinical Nephrology on occasion of the congress of the Society of Nephrology in Zürich 1994.

Joint Meetings of the Society of Nephrology with Foreign Societies

There were two Joint Meetings with the Dutch Society of Nephrology: The first was held in Leiden in February 1985. Organizers were A.J.M. Donker (Amsterdam) and W. Thoenes (Mainz). The 2nd Joint Meeting took place in Aachen, in September 1997. The organizers were H-G Sieberth (Aachen) and J.H.M. Berden (Nijmegen).

Two meetings with the Israel Society of Nephrology occurred in Jerusalem in November 1988, on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the state of Israel with Jacques Bernheim (Kfar Saba) and August Heidland (Würzburg) chairmen and the second one in Weimar, May 1992 with the Organizers Jacques Bernheim (Kfar Saba) and Günter Stein (Jena) chairmen [16].

Evaluation of Clinical Nephrology at German University Clinics by the American Kidney Foundation

In contrast to the outstanding basic research on the kidney in the early dates, clinical nephrology at universities suffered from considerable structural deficits in our country. Until the end of 80s only eight chairs of nephrology and 6 independent divisions of nephrology existed in Germany. At ten universities the work of clinical nephrology was taken care of only by one or two nephrologists in dependent positions. Therefore, Eberhard Ritz during his time as president of our society suggested in 1991 that the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of the US should be invited for a critical evaluation of clinical nephrology at the universities of our country. For this purpose two officers of the NKF, Prof. Shaul G. Massry and Prof. Richard J Glassock, discussed this problem with the leading nephrologists of our society in October 1991 in Frankfurt, subsequently they visited seven university clinics in West and East Germany. Based on these observations, they made detailed recommendations to improve the levels of clinical nephrology both in terms of research and patients care [17]. Their report, together with a statement of the Society of Nephrology, was addressed to all Ministers of Sciences and the Deans of Medical Faculties in our country. The action was successful and resulted in the foundation of further seven chairs of nephrology [17].

Advisory Board (Kuratorium) of the Society of Nephrology

Peter Weidmann (Bern) organized the establishment of a “Kuratorium” to attract sponsors from the pharmaceutical industry. The goals of the Kuratorium were, among others, the organization of Update Seminars in Eastern Europe (1994-1998), the participation in the Joint Action of Nephrology in Eastern Europe, the Eastern European European Scholarship Program for Junior Clinical Nephrologists and Public Relations Work. The Update Seminars in Eastern Europe were organized with the presidents of the following foreign societies: Polish Society (President František Kokot) in Wisla [18], May 1995, Romanian Society (President Jancu Sabo) in Timisoara, October 1995, Russian Society (President Yuri Natochin) in St. Petersburg, May 1996, Bulgarian Society (President Zdravko Kiriakov) in Sofia [19], October 1996, Slovenian (President Marko Malovrh) and Croatian Society (President Sabljar Matovinovic) in Brdo Pri Kranju [20], November 1997, Ukrainian Society (President Lyubomir Pyrih) in Kiev [21] (full text), May 1998 and Slovakian Society (President Rastislav Dzurik) in Bratislava [22] (full text), November 1998 [16].

Joint Action of Nephrology in Central and Eastern Europe

With the International Society of Nephrology, the European Renal Association and the Kuratorium Joint Actions of clinical nephrology Eberhard Ritz organized conferences in the following countries: In Kaunas (in cooperation with the three Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, May 1996), in Budapest (together with the Hungarian Society of Nephrology on May 1966) and in Cracow (in cooperation with the Polish Society of Nephrology August 1997). The Update Seminars and the Joint Action in Eastern countries as well as the European Scholarship Program program were great successes by bringing many scientists together and by resulting in long lasting connections.

Nephrology in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR)

The initially promising connection with nephrologists from GDR after the foundation of our society came to a sudden halt after the Iron Curtain was built in August 1961. Scientists and clinicians in East Germany were no longer allowed to be members of our Society. Only few nephrologists from GDR could subsequently take part in congresses in Germany only after personal invitation. The best chances to obtain allowance to visit our meetings were congresses in the neutral countries Switzerland or Austria. Particularly, Gilbert Thiel in Basel strongly supported participation of numerous GDR nephrologists [23]. After the fall of the Wall, the GDR Society of Nephrology was connected with the Working Group of Clinical Nephrology. Together they formed the German Working Group of Clinical Nephrology.

Foundation of the German Society of Nephrology

In the late 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century, the Society of Nephrology, together with the Kuratorium, made progresses in many different fields of nephrology  including the public relations. Of importance was the assignment of a press officer (Professor J. Galle). The number of the members of the Society reached more than 1100 in 2008. Despite these successful developments of our Society in nearly five decades, there was a need to combine all nephrological activities in one organization, the German Society of Nephrology (DGfN). Therefore in 2009 the DGfN was founded by merging of the Society of Nephrology with the German Working Group of Nephrology and the corporative membership of the Society of Pediatric Nephrology and the Association of German Kidney Centers [24] [25]. The goals of the new society were: support of research, education and training, achievement of optimal care for patients with kidney diseases and hypertension, and strengthening nephrology as a field of medical specialization. Numerous commissions were established e.g. for public relations, dialysis machines, transplantation, hygiene and infection and science. The board of the DGfN included equal members from university clinics, general hospitals, practicing nephrologists and scientists.

The first leadership of the society was: President R. Brunkhorst, and four Vice Presidents J. Floege and Ch. Erley (representative of nephrologists in general hospitals and university clinics), K. Amann (representative of basic science institutes) and Th. Weinreich (representative of practicing nephrologists) [24] [25].


Nearly five decades of the Joint Society of Nephrology in Germany, Switzerland and Austria were remarkably effective in promoting basic research and clinical nephrology. In 2009, the German Society of Nephrology (DGfN) was founded to integrate all areas of basic research of the kidney and clinical nephrology in one society which has impressively flourished ever since.


[1] Ritz E, Koleganova N, Heidland A et al. Renal research in 19th century Germany. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation 2010 Jun;55(6):1121-9

[2] Heidland A, Klassen A, Fazeli G et al. Karl Peter’s fundamental contribution to the structural organization of the kidney. Journal of Nephrology 2011 May-Jun;24 Suppl 17:S51-7

[3] Heidland A, Gerabek W, Sebekova K et al. Franz Volhard and Theodor Fahr: achievements and controversies in their research in renal disease and hypertension. Journal of human hypertension 2001 Jan;15(1):5-16

[4] Vienken J.: Hemodialysis as an experimental therapy: Georg Haas and the first clinical treatment of a human kidney patient. In: Dialysis: History, Development and Promise. Edited by T.S. Ing M.A. Rahman. C.M. Kjellstrand. World Scientific Publishing 2012. Chapter 1G, page 43- 50.

[5] Peitzman SJ. Nephrology in the United States from Osler to the artificial kidney. Annals of internal medicine 1986 Dec;105(6):937-46

[6] Spühler O, und Zollinger HU. [Chronic interstitial nephritis], Z Klin Med. 1953;151(1):1-50

[7] Wirz H, Hargitay B, Kuhn W: [Localization of the concentration process in the kidney by direct kryoskcopy). Helvet Physiol Pharmacol Acta 1951 Jun 9(2):196-207

[8] Ullrich J.U. and Jarausch KH: Investigations on the problem of urine concentration and dilution. Distribution of electrolytes (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cl, inorganic phosphate) urea, aminoacids and exogenous createnine in the cortex of the dig kidney under different states of diuresis. Pflügers Archieve 1956. 262: 537-550. Reprinted in Milestones in Nephrology. J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999, 10: 1840-1848.

[9] Thurau K. 25. [Lecture:25th anniversary seminars of the Society of Nephrology], Zürich, 25. – 28. September 1994

[10] H.-G. Sieberth. [Dates from 50 years of Society of Nephrology and the German Working Group of Clinical Nephrology]. Nieren- und Hochdruckkrankheiten, 2010, Nr 90. P 385-389

[11] Sarre H, and Rother K. Akutes Nierenvarsagen, 1. Symposion der Gesellschaft für Nephrologie. Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1962.

[12] Reubi F und Pauli H.G. Das nephrotische Syndrom- II. Symposion der Gesellschaft für Nephrologie. Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart 1963.

[13] Ullrich KJ und Hierholzer K, Normale und Pathologische Funktionen des Nierentubulus. 3. Symposion der Gesellschaft für Nephrologie (1964), Verlag Hans Huber Bern und Stuttgart 1965

[14] Peters G and Roch-Ramel F, Progress in Nephrology – Proceedings of the Vth Symposium of the “Gesellschaft für Nephrologie”, held in Lausanne (Switzerland) 21-23 Sept. 1967. Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 1969

[15] Kühn K and Heinze V: [The importance of the Working Group of Clinical Nephrology – founded 1971]. Nieren- und Hochdruckkrankheiten 2010 Nr. 9 S 375-378.

[16] Heidland A, Stein G und Ritz E. [Common meetings of the Society of Nephrology with foreign societies]. Nieren- und Hochdruckkrankheiten, Jahrgang 39, Nr 9/2010, S. 367-374

[17] Heidland A und Ritz E. [The evaluation of clinical-nephrological units at the German universities by the National Kidney Foundation] (1991/2). Nieren- und Hochdruckkrankheiten, 2009, Nr. 11.P. 604-609.

[18] Distler A, Heidland A, Stein G. Seminars in Nephrology and Hypertension in Eastern Europe: Activities of the Kuratorium der Gesellschaft für Nephrologie. Nephrol Dial Transplant, 1996; 11: 1395

[19] Heidland A, Kriijakov Z; Sieberth HG. Report of the Seminar „Update in Nephrology and Hypertension“ in Sofia (Bulgaria). Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1998; 13: 1044

[20] Heidland A, Malovrh M, Sabljar-Matovinovic M. International Seminar “Update in Nephrology and Hypertension,” BRDo Kranju, Slovenia. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1998; 13.1312

[21] Pyrih L, Heidland A, Wanner C et al. Update in Nephrology and hypertension seminar may 23-24th, 1998, Kiev, Ukrine Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association – European Renal Association 2000 Jan;15(1):126-7 (full text)

[22] Dzurik R, Spustova V V, Heidland A et al. Update Seminar in Nephrology and Hypertension Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 5-7 November 1998. Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association – European Renal Association 2000 Mar;15(3):438 (full text)

[23] Stein G, Osten B, Stolpe H J, [The opportunities and limitations in Nephrology in former GDR] Nieren und Hochdruckkrankheiten 2009; 38:553-560.

[24] Brunkhorst R und Floege J. [The German Society of Nephrology starts its work]. Nieren-und Hochdruckkrankheiten, Jahrgang 38, Nr 11/2009. S. 613-616

[25] Floege J, Albers B und Brunkhorst R. [The new German Society of Nephrology (DGfN). An active cooperative force in the health system]. Nieren-und Hochdruckkrankheiten, 2010, Nr. 9, P. 361-384.

Tabella 1
Secretaries of the Society of Nephrology
1961 – 1963 Doz. Dr K. Rother, Freiburg i.Br.
1964 – 1974 Doz. Dr. D. P. Mertz, Freiburg i. Br.
1975 – 1976 Prof. Dr. P. v. Dittrich †, Innsbruck/A
1977 – 1979 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.mult. A. Heidland, Würzburg
1980 – 1981 Prof. Dr. W. Schoeppe †, Frankfurt
1982 – 1994 Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. A. Heidland, Würzburg
1994 – 2002 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. F. Lang*, Tübingen
2002 – 2006 Prof. Dr. Dr. W.H. Hörl *†, Vienna /A
2006 – 2008 Prof. Dr. A. Kurtz, Regensburg

* General secretary

Tabella 2
Presidents and locations of the yearly symposia
1961 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. H.J. Sarre†, Freiburg 1990 Prof. Dr.P. Deetjen, Bad Gastein/A
1962 Prof. Dr. F. Reubi†, Bern/CH 1991 Prof. Dr. Dr. hc.mult. E. Ritz, Heidelberg
1964 Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. mult K.J. Ullrich†, Berlin 1992 Prof. Dr. K.M. Koch, Hannover
1965 Prof. Dr. H.P. Wolff, Homburg 1993 Prof. Dr. U. Helmchen, Hamburg
1967 Prof. Dr. G. Peters†, Lausanne/CH 1994 Prof. Dr. H. Murer, Zürich/CH
1968 Prof. Dr. B. Watschinger, Wien/A 1995 Prof. Dr. G. Stein, Jena
1970 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. A. Bohle†, Tübingen 1996 Prof. Dr. A. Distler, Berlin
1971 Prof. Dr. R. Heintz†, Aachen 1997 Prof. Dr. H. G. Sieberth, Aachen
1973 Prof. Dr. H.-U. Zollinger†, Basel/CH 1998 Prof. Dr. R.B. Sterzel†, Erlangen
1974 Prof. Dr. P. Deetjen, Innsbruck/A 1999 Prof. Dr. R. Greger†, Freiburg
1976 Prof. Dr. E. Buchborn†, München 2000 Prof. Dr. Dr. W.H. Hörl†, Wien/A
1977 Prof. Dr. F. Krück†, Bonn 2001 Prof. Dr. K.-H. Rahn, Münster
1979 Prof. Dr. K. Hierholzer†, Berlin 2002 Prof. Dr. B. Grabensee, Düsseldorf
1980 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult.A. Heidland, Würzburg 2003 Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. mult. E. Ritz, Heidelberg
1982 Prof. Dr. G. Thiel†, Basel/CH 2004 Prof. Dr. M.J. Mihatsch, Basel/CH
1983 Prof. Dr. P. v. Dittrich, Salzburg/A 2005 Prof. Dr. H. Köhler, Homburg/Saar
1985 Prof. Dr. W. Thoenes†, Mainz 2006 Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Th. Philipp, Essen
1986 Prof. Dr. W. Schoeppe†, Frankfurt 2007 Prof. Dr. D. Schlöndorff, München
1988 Prof. Dr. F. Scheler†, Göttingen 2008 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. F. Lang, Tübingen
1989 Prof. Dr. P. Weidmann, Bern/CH 2009 1.Congress of the German Society of Nephrology, Prof.Dr.G.A.Müller,Göttingen

Great figures of Polish Nephrology – Participants of the Warsaw Uprising 1944


In 1944, during the World War II, many doctors and many medical students participated in the Warsaw Uprising. This group also comprised future nephrologists, professors of medicine, founders of Polish nephrology, dialysis and transplantology centers. We presented 3 of great polish nephrologists who participated in medical services in the Warsaw Uprising: Zygmunt Hanicki, Andrzej Manitius and Tadeusz Orłowski.

Key words: giants of nephrology, polish nephrologists, Warsaw Uprising



During the Warsaw Uprising, in 60 days 150 thousand civilians and 15-18 thousand insurgents, soldiers of the Home Army, were killed. Number of casualties would have been even larger if it had not been for the well prepared operations of medical services. It is estimated that medical services saved around 25 thousand lives. 1210 doctors and many medical students participated in the Uprising. We presented 3 of great nephrologists, pioneers of Polish nephrology and transplantology, who participated in Warsaw Uprising (1944) and after the war organized the clinics of nephrology, dialysis and renal transplantation centers in Poland.

Zygmunt Hanicki (1919-1995)

[Figure 1] He was a volunteer in Insurgent Medical Services. During the war, he studied medicine at the Secret University of Warsaw and worked in the Institute of Hygiene. He vaccinated civilians against typhoid fever using vaccines manufactured by Rudolf Weigl Institute in Warsaw. In conspiracy he worked as a courier for the Home Army (Polish resistance organization during World War II). During the Warsaw Uprising, similarly to other senior medical students, he gave first aid to the Insurgents and civilians at the first-aid post of Kolonia Staszica region. He participated in evacuation of the injured to the Dzieciatka Jesus Hospital. Before the fall of the Uprising, he left Warsaw towards Radom. After the war, he completed medical studies in Cracow and began work at the 2nd Department of Internal Disease of the Jagiellonian University. In 1962 he organized the first dialysis centre of Southern Poland and performed the first hemodialysis using with Alwall dialysis machine. In 1969, after the creation of the Department of Nephrology, he became its the first head until he retired in 1989. He participated actively in organizing several dialysis centres in south-eastern Poland. He had many scientific and professional functions. He was a member of the Scientific Committee at the Polish Ministry of Health, member of the Commission on Nephrology and Metabolic Diseases of the Polish Academy of Science, regional consultant in Nephrology and the member of several Polish and foreign scientific associations. He was a honorary member of the Polish Society of Nephrology [1] [2] [3].

Andrzej Manitius (1927-2001)

[Figure 2] He was a soldier of the Warsaw District of the Home Army. His nickname was “Skała” (“the Rock”). He was assigned to Śródmieście – Południe headquarters and then delegated to the cover of OS-V district headquarters. As a medical orderly he gave aid to wounded soldiers at a medical point in a basement of one of Warsovian houses. He got through sewers to Mokotów district where he was arrested by German troops. He was a prisoner in Stalag X B POW camp in Sandbostel, West Germany, until liberated in 1945 by the US Army. He came back to Poland in 1947 and, continuing his family’s tradition, was enrolled at Medical Academy in Gdańsk. In 1964 he organized the first dialysis centre in Northern Poland. He was the first Head of the Department of Renal Diseases, Medical Academy in Gdańsk. He actively participated in organization of the new dialysis centers and renal transplantology in Poland. He was the regional consultant in nephrology in Northern Poland and national consultant for many years. He was the founder, vice-president and a honorary member of the Polish Society of Nephrology. Professor Manitius was a distinguished figure not only in the history of Polish nephrology but in Polish medicine in general [4].

Tadeusz Orłowski (1917-2008)

[Figure 3] In conspiracy since the beginning of the war, he was the officer of the Home Army. He was nicknamed “Justyn”. He completed medical studies in 1943 at the underground University of Warsaw. He trained medical orderlies at the Dzieciatka Jesus Hospital. He worked in counter-intelligence of the London Government Delegation. On the day of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising he became the commander of the Main First-Aid Point of “Odwet” battalion of Ochota district. After moving to Śródmieście district he organized an infirmary in the Faculty of Architecture building of the Warsaw University of Technology which he led until the fall of the Uprising. He left burning Warsaw together with civilians towards Piotrków. In the post-war period he worked at the Medical Academy and also at the Scientific Institute of Physical Culture of Warsaw. In 1953 he carried out the first peritoneal dialysis in Poland. He organized the first dialysis center in Warsaw. He was the chairman of the Department of Internal Disease at the Medical Academy in Warsaw, the first director of the Transplantation Institute and a professor in the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering at the Polish Academy of Sciences. It has to be noted that he was involved in the first successful kidney transplant in Poland (1963), prepared and introduced immunotherapy for primary glomerulopathies and modified of ESRD therapy. He was the first President of the Polish Society of Nephrology (1983). Professor Orłowski was the honorary member of several associations and academies including the Polish-American Medical Society, Polish Society of Internal Medicine, Polish Immunological Society and many more. He was also a great university teacher and the national consultant in nephrology and transplantology in Poland for many years [5] (full text) [6] (full text) [7].

Associate Professor Eduard Neubauer: the first nephrologist in Slovak Republic


Associate Professor Eduard Neubauer, MD, PhD. worked from 1945 to the end of 1964 at the Department of Internal Medicine of Faculty Hospital and Medical School of P. J. Šafárik University in Kosice, which was led by Professor František Pór. During this period he was dealing with clinical and experimental nephrology, as the first in Kosice and in Slovak Republic also. In 1954 he founded the Clinical Nephrological Laboratory according to the model of Prague laboratories led by Professor Jan Brod. He devoted himself to functional examination of kidneys. He was especially interested in clearance methods in the diagnosis and treatment of renal diseases and hypertension. He published altogether 55 scientific works in domestic and international journals. In December 1964 he left Czechoslovakia and went with his wife to Canada. After retirement he lived in Ottawa, where he died in 1983.

Key words: Eduard Neubauer, Nephrological laboratory, renal function examination, the first nephrologist in Slovak Republic


Associate Professor Eduard Neubauer, MD, PhD. (Figure 1) was born on October 24, 1910 in Nitra. He studied at the Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava, Comenius University, where he graduated on December 13, 1935. After graduation he worked at the Department of Internal Medicine in Nové Zámky and Trenčin. During the Slovak State he was in labor camps for four years from racial reasons, mostly in Baračka, Hungary. From July to December 1945, he worked at the 2nd Internal Clinic in Bratislava as a senior house physician. On December 1, 1945 he joined the Department of Internal Medicine of Professor Pór, later in 1948 Internal Clinic at the State Hospital in Košice. Eduard Neubauer was appointed assistant professor on January 1950. After qualifying in internal medicine in 1948 he began intensively to deal with kidney diseases, as the first nephrologist not only in Košice but also in Slovak Republic. He already wrote his first publication in 1946: “Tonsillectomy in chronic glomerulonephritis” [1].

He completed his postgraduate internship at the Nephrological Laboratory of the Faculty of General Medicine in Prague in 1950 and in 1956 and 1957 at the Nephrological Laboratory of the Institute of Blood Circulation Diseases in the Thomayer Hospital in Prague under the leadership of Professor Brod. These stays have led him to the foundation of the Nephrological Laboratory at Internal Clinic of the Faculty Hospital in Košice. This Nephrological Laboratory was fully working in 1954.

Associate Professor Neubauer and his colleagues introduced constantly new laboratory methods for examinations of renal functions, particularly clearance methods [2]. His main scientific interests were: extra-and intracellular electrolyte status in various diseases; hypertension and kidney damage; tubulointerstitial nephropathy; experimental studies in nephrology. In 1963 he introduced a method of investigating the acid-base balance using the apparatus Van Slyke. He was a very hardworking clinical as well as research worker. On July 1956 he became Associate Professor of internal medicine. He successfully passed attestation of laboratory methods in 1962. Even as the Associate Professor he defended his PhD. thesis in 1964.

Since 1961 until his departure to Canada at the end of 1964, the first author of this article had the opportunity to work with him at the bedside of the patient, in the Nephrological laboratory as well as in the experimental investigations. He was always very diligent, he did not recognize regular working hours and he was tolerant towards colleagues, but also strict to them. He had an extremely good relationship with patients, he was very favourite among them as well as among medical students. Several years before his departure to Canada he suffered from a hearing impairment, caused by toxic damage of the inner ear due to Neomycin.

Associate Professor Neubauer published more than 55 works in domestic and foreign journals until 1965. It was a respectable number at that time. Two publications were created during the cooperation of the first author of this article with him. One of them was: “Electrolyte composition of striated muscle in chronic renal insufficiency after the administration of alkalizing and acidifying substances” [3]. The authors of this study found out that intracellular sodium had increased after administration of 10 g NaHCO3 in 25 patients suffering from CHRI, but after the administration of ammonium chloride solution 40 mg/kg body weight they did not find significant change in its concentration. Neither alkalizing nor acidification substances have influence on the reduced concentration of extracellular potassium. In the experimental work: „Tissue metabolism in the atrophied dog kidney from the viewpoint of gluconeogenesis in vitro”[4], the authors deal with the gluconeogenesis in the athrofied kidney in 12 dogs under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. They found that under the anaerobic conditions of gluconeogenesis glucose did not form either after the addition of substances such as e.g. pyruvate, lactate or glucoplastic amino acids. Under the aerobic conditions of gluconeogenesis glucose is formed also without the addition of the above mentioned substances, but much less than in a healthy kidney. These findings gave evidence for impairment of gluconeogenesis in athrofied kidney tissue.

Neubauer was also interested in the diagnostics and treatment of chronic pyelonephritis and hypertension and their effects on renal function. He concluded that hypertension significantly damaged kidneys. He recommended for each hypertensive patient to investigate renal functions, which were in the fifties of the last century relatively simple and imperfect, but were very important for the detection of kidney damage and the following treatment [5] [6]. In addition he published several papers from cardiology, endocrinology, mostly together with other authors from the Faculty Hospital in Kosice, but always from the point of view of the kidney function.

Neubauer was married to Helen Winter. Their marriage was childless. His wife´s brother Pavel Mráz, lived in Toronto, Canada. At the end of 1964 they went to visit him and they have never returned back to Czechoslovakia. In connection with damage of his inner ear, which continued even after his emigration, he was handicapped as a clinician, despite of this fact he worked as an internist at a Psychiatric Hospital in Brockton.

Then, since January 1965 the Nephrological Laboratory at Internal Medical Clinic was under the leadership of Miroslav Mydlík, MD. Since 1969 Nephrological Laboratory at the Ist Internal, later IVth Internal and Nephrological Clinic was led by Dipl. Ing. Katarina Derzsiová until March 31, 2008, when it was cancelled as a result of privatization.

Associate Professor Neubauer remained our model as a clinical scientist till nowadays. He laid the foundations of nephrology in Košice and developed it at the level of that time. We, as his followers, have developed this unit within internal medicine and the Nephrological and Dialysis Department in Kosice has become one of the most important in the Slovak Republic. This resulted in formation of the Nephrological Clinic at the University Hospital of L. Pasteur and Medical School of P. J. Šafárik University in Košice 1997, the only one in the Slovak Republic [7], but privatization played again a negative role and the Clinic was cancelled in 2008. Associate Professor Eduard Neubauer, MD, PhD, after retirement lived in Ottawa, where he died in 1983.