Giovanni Maria Lancisi

October 26th

Born 26 Oct 1654; died 20 Jan 1720 at age 65.
Italian clinician and anatomist, personal physician to three popes, who is considered the first modern hygienist. He obtained his M.D. in 1672, a month before age 18 years. Having examined the causes of sudden deaths, in 1706 he published De motu cordis mortibus, on the problems of cardiac pathology, and De motu cordis et aneuysmatibus (1728). He carried out extensive anatomical and physiological studies, also epidemiology studies on malaria, influenza and cattle plague. In 1717, contrary to the old conception of “mal’ aria ” – literally, “bad air” – Lancisi observed that the lethal fever, malaria, disappeared when the swamps near to the city were cleared. He concluded that injurious substances transmitted from flies and mosquitos were the origin of the disease.

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