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HAFFKINE, WALDEMAR MORDECAI WOLFF:

Bacteriologist; born at Odessa, Russia, 1860; graduated from the University of Odessa in 1884 (D.Sc.). He resided for the five following years at Odessa, working in the zoological museum of the university. His researches resulted in several papers, published in Russian and French scientific journals, on the infusoria and lower algæ (1883-1888). In the latter year he was appointed assistant professor of physiology under Professor Schiff at the University of Geneva. After eighteen months he went to Paris to work under Pasteur. Here he studied typhoid and cholera, and discovered the principle and method of inoculation with attenuated virus against cholera. In 1893 he went to India to conduct investigations for the Indian government. Making Calcutta his headquarters, he extended his operations over the whole of Bengal, and into the Punjab, the North-West Provinces, and Assam. In 1896 he was deputed by the Indian government to inquire into the bacteriology of the plague. He discovered an effective method of inoculation, and succeeded in reducing the mortality by 80 or 90 per cent. In recognition of his services he was created C.I.E. The Haffkine method of inoculation has been generally adopted throughout India, and the government plague research laboratory founded by him issues many thousand doses to various tropical countries. Haffkine's contributions to biological research include pamphlets and official reports on heredity and monocellular organisms, infectious diseases in connection with infusoria, the adaptability of microbes to their environment, Asiatic cholera and its etiology, and inoculation against cholera and the Indian plague. He has likewise translated into Russian a German text-book of zoology and a Norwegian work on botany.

Bibliography:
  • Jew. Chron. Sept. 16, 1892; June 2, 1899;
  • Men and Women of the Time;
  • Jewish Year-Book, 1902-3.
J. G. L.
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