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Semmelweis University Gallery

 

Mihalkovics, Géza

 

(B. 30th January, 1844, Pest – D. 12th July, 1899, Budapest)

Dean: 1892/93 - 1893/94

Mihalkovics, whose father was a lawyer in Pest, completed his secondary school studies at the Piarists and at the state high school in Pest, however, he pursued music studies at the same time. He enrolled at Pest University to study medicine where two of his competition works in anatomy won him prizes during his studies. He received his medical and surgical diplomas on 2nd May, 1869 and 20th July, 1870, respectively and a degree as master in obstetrics at the beginning of the 1870/71 academic year. He was afterwards assistant lecturer to the well-known József Lenhossék until 1871. He worked as an assistant surgeon at the surgical clinic of József Kovács for six months. In 1872, he was given a Schordann fellowship and went abroad on a lengthy academic trip. He spent a year in Vienna as well as in Leipzig. He performed embryological and comparative histological studies, attended anatomy lectures in the institutes of Schenk and Langer, then studied at the institute of Ludwig. Between 1873 and 1875 Mihalkovics worked as an assistant lecturer to Wilhelm Waldeyer and was awarded the title privatdocent in Strassburg. He was appointed professor extraordinarius in 1875, then professor ordinarius in 1878 to the Department of Evolution at the Medical University of Budapest. He became head of the 2nd Department of Anatomy during this period. Shortly after the death of József Lenhossék in 1888, Mihalkovics replaced him as deputy head of the 1st Department of Anatomy. In 1892, he was appointed director of the department while Lajos Thanhoffer filled his former position at the 2nd Department of Anatomy.

His research on the nasal cavities, the histology of the testicles, the development of the brain and the comparative anatomy of the sexual organs were of great significance. Over the course of his professorship, he took academic trips across all of Europe. The summer of 1882 saw him in the institute of Gegenbauer in Heidelberg where he performed comparative anatomical studies. Afterwards, he travelled all around Switzerland and Northern Italy. He represented the university at the 200-year anniversary of Halle University in 1894. His visits to anatomical institutes in the Netherlands and Belgium were followed by those in Switzerland, Paris and London in 1895. He became a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on 22nd May, 1879, and a regular member on 5th June, 1884. He was twice elected dean of the Faculty of Medicine (1892/93, 1893/94).

He was also elected to serve as rector of the Medical University during the 1898/99 academic year. He played an active role in professional public life, too. He was a founding member of the Royal Medical Society of Pest and the Public Health Society, life and committee member of the Natural Science Society, board member of the Hungarian Medical Publishing House and honorary member of the Association of Lawyers of Budapest. Waldeyer who had been teaching in Berlin gave the address at his funeral. Lajos Thanhoffer held a speech in his honour at the Academy on 28th May, 1900. His bust, modelled by Miklós Ligeti, was unveiled in the garden of the Department of Anatomy on the 2nd of June, 1901.

(Major works: Surgical dressing. Pest, 1868 /award winning work/; Development of the brain. Bp., 1877., /award of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1881. In German Leipzig, 1877/; General anatomy, Bp., 1881.; The Anatomy Department of the Royal Hungarian University of Budapest, on the occasion of the exhibition on health care and ambulance service in Berlin. Bp., 1882. /co-authored by József Lenhossék. Also in German. Bp., 1882./; Textbook of descriptive human and regional anatomy. Bp., 1888.; Morphology of the central nervous system and sense organs. Bp., 1892.; When and where should the third university be established? Bp., 1895.; Human anatomy and histology. Part one. General histology and anatomy of the locomotorium. /Bones, ligaments and muscles/. In the new anatomical Latin terminology. Bp. 1898; Human and vertebrate evolutionism I. General evolutionism . Bp., 1899.; Terms of a successful functioning and organization of our university. Speech held as rector on 13th May, 1899 Bp., 1899.)