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Semmelweis University Gallery


Darányi, Gyula


of Pusztaszentgyörgy and Tetétlen

(B. 9th January, 1888, Budapest – D. 12th January, 1958, Budapest)

Dean: 1934/35 - 1936/37

The politician and prime minister’s Kálmán Darányi’s brother, Gyula followed his medical studies in Geneva, Munich, Kiel, Berlin and Budapest, where he received his degree on 26 October 1912. After World War I. he became chief bacteriologist of the National Institute of Bacteriology, then head physician of the laboratory in Erzsébet Red Cross Hospital. He habilitated as a privatdozent in the fields of serology and immunology at the Budapest Faculty of Medicine in 1924. He taught public health at the University of Szeged in 1928, then at the Budapest University between 1931 and 1946 while being in charge of the Institute of Public Health as well. Under his leadership teamwork in bacteriology and immunology grew definitely stronger at the institute . This was his main working principle: „All my activity had the gauge whether it served the benefit of the department or not.” Besides teaching, Darányi lived an internationally intensive scientific life by representing the university at numerous congresses and regularly publishing in foreign languages. His efforts to enlarge the library were also remarkable. As dean, he was involved in the reforms of medical training and proposed that the entrance exam should be taken in front of a committee. Also, he urged to introduce a more rigorous examination system, and proposed that students should spend a month at a healthcare institute before taking the public health exam.

His textbook dedicated to „the great hygienist and honoured predecessor at the department”, József Fodor excellently covers almost all disciplines of public health including the ones which were relatively newly specialized within the field of hygenie. It gives an accurate picture of Darányi’s activity and philosophy.

He researched the significance of the kolloid lability of the blood, the pathogenic charateristics of staphylococci and demonstrated the pathogenic agent of tuberculosis, etc.

He achieved remarkable results in the demonstration of bacteria present in drinking water, in the chemotherapeutical treatment of infectious diseases, and in observing the thermoresistance of bacteria.

Gyula Darányi was editor of the magazine „Egészség” (Health) between 1928-1944, and lead extensive informative activity in this area. In order to facilitate the research of blood groups, he founded an inheritance and eugenics department in 1934, and dealt mainly with twin research. He achieved remarkable results with regard to blood groups, complement bond trials, the quantity of serum proteins, the trials of colloid lability compared with the results of other eugenic diagnostic procedures defined as under the 15 points. It was exactly this kind of research that lead to Darányi’s being pensioned in 1945, a trial having been framed up stating that the results had been used to serve the so-called ’race biology’.

What was behind this, actually, was that the new political wave, intolerant with the former right-wing government, did not want to see the professor among its political elite due to his close (even family) ties with the Horthy regime. He was allowed to work at the clinic of the Social Insurance Centre of Trade Unions from 1946 on. Gyula Darányi was dean of the Budapest Faculty of Medicine for two years.

(Major works: Eine Reaction der Kolloidlabilität des Serums. In: Deutsche Med. Wochenschrift, 1922.; Die Anwesenheit von Hydrophilen Kolloiden im Trinkwasser. Deutsche Med. Wochenschrift, 1925.; Collected studies of pyogenic staphylococci. In: Med.. Arch., 1926.; The reform of hygiene training . Bp., 1934.;

The epidemology of tuberculosis vol. I-II., Bp., 1934.; The reform of medical training, Bp., 1937.; Public health vols. I-IV., Bp., 1939-1942.;

Nutritional charts. Bp., 1941.; National food administration charts, Bp., 1941.; How should we protect our health? Bp., 1942.; The school doctor’s handbook. 2nd. ed., Bp., 1942.)