METCHNIKOFF, ELIE (1845–1916), Russian biologist, born at Ivanovka, near Kharkov. Metchnikoff 's father was an officer of the Imperial Guard; his mother was Jewish (her family name was Neakovich). After graduating from the University of Kharkov he went to Germany for further training in biology. A succession of important discoveries in embryology earned Metchnikoff a reputation for originality and acuteness of observation, and in 1870 he was appointed professor extraordinarius at the University of Odessa. The political upheavals and persecution of the Jews that followed the assassination of Czar Alexander II led Metchnikoff to leave Odessa in 1882. He went to Messina, a place especially favorable for the study of marine organisms. Here, during the course of studies on jellyfish and sponges, he began to turn his attention to the remarkable behavior of certain amoeba-like cells that ingest and destroy foreign particles in the body. Metchnikoff developed the theory that these cells, which he named "phagocytes," served to engulf and digest bacterial invaders of the organism. He set forth this thesis in an essay "The Struggle of the Organism Against Microbes" (1884). In 1888 Pasteur invited him to Paris and gave him a laboratory at the Ecole Normale. When the Pasteur Institute was established, Metchnikoff became its subdirector. To this laboratory Metchnikoff attracted large numbers of investigators, whose research established the validity of the phagocytosis theory. Metchnikoff later became interested in the problems of biological aging. In Etudes sur la nature humaine (1903; The Nature of Man, 1904) he advanced the idea that senile changes result from toxins produced by bacteria in the intestine. To prevent these "unhealthy fermentations," Metchnikoff advocated the inclusion of sour milk in the diet. In 1908 Metchnikoff shared the Nobel Prize for medicine with Ehrlich for his work on immunity. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: O. Metchnikoff, Life of Elie Metchnikoff, 1845–1916 (1921), incl. bibl.; H. Zeiss, Elias Metschnikow, Leben und Werk (1932), incl. bibl.; A. Besredka, Histoire d'une idée (1921); T. Levitan, Laureates, Jewish Winners of the Nobel Prize (1960), 111–5. (Mordecai L. Gabriel)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Metchnikoff, Élie — orig. Ilya Ilich Mechnikov born May 16, 1845, near Kharkov, Ukraine, Russian Empire died July 16, 1916, Paris, France Russian zoologist and microbiologist. In 1888 Louis Pasteur offered him a post at the Pasteur Institute, and he succeeded… …   Universalium

  • Metchnikoff , Elie — (1845–1916) Russian–French zoologist and cytologist Metchnikoff was born at Ivanovka near Kharkov (now in Ukraine) and educated at Kharkov University. After holding posts under Rudolf Leuckart at Göttingen and Giessen, and under Karl Siebold at… …   Scientists

  • Metchnikoff, Elie — (1845–1916)    Russian bacteriologist and Nobel laureate, 1908. Metchnikoff, whose mother was Jewish, was a professor at the University of Odessa but the Jewish persecution of the 1880s forced him to resign. He settled in Messina, Italy, where he …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Metchnikoff,Elie — Metch·ni·koff also Metch·ni·kov (mĕchʹnĭ kôf , myĕchʹnĭ kəf), Elie. 1845 1916. Russian zoologist. He shared a 1908 Nobel Prize for discoveries and advances in immunology. * * * …   Universalium

  • Metchnikoff, Elie — (1845 1916)    Russian scientist. He was a professor at the University of Odessa, but left Russia due to the pogroms of the 1880s. He settled in Messina, Italy where he studied marine life. In 1888 he went to Paris to work with Louis Pasteur.… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Elie Metchnikov — noun Russian bacteriologist in France who formulated the theory of phagocytosis (1845 1916) • Syn: ↑Metchnikoff, ↑Elie Metchnikoff, ↑Metchnikov, ↑Ilya Ilich Metchnikov • Instance Hypernyms: ↑bacteriologist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Metchnikoff Point — (64°3′S 62°34′W / 64.05°S 62.567°W / 64.05; 62.567) is a point forming the west extremity of Pasteur Peninsula in northern Brabant Island, in the Palmer Archipelago. First …   Wikipedia

  • Metchnikoff — (Ilia Ilitch Metchnikov, dit élie) (1845 1916) microbiologiste russe. à Paris, il collabora avec Pasteur. Il découvrit la phagocytose (1884). P. Nobel de médecine 1908 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Metchnikoff — [mech′ni kôf΄] Élie [ā lē′] (Russ. Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov) 1845 1916; Russ. biologist & bacteriologist, in France …   English World dictionary

  • Metchnikoff — Elie, Russian biologist in Paris and Nobel laureate, 1845–1916. See M. theory …   Medical dictionary

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