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Physiol Res. 2011;60 Suppl 1:S1-13. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Ivan Djaja (Jean Giaja) and the Belgrade School of Physiology.

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Institute of Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.


The founder of physiology studies in the Balkans and the pioneer of research on hypothermia, Ivan Djaja (Jean Giaja) was born 1884 in L'Havre. Giaja gained his PhD at the Sorbonne in 1909. In 1910 he established the first Chair of Physiology in the Balkans and organized the first Serbian Institute for Physiology at the School of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade. He led this Institute for more than 40 subsequent years. His most notable papers were in the field of thermoregulation and bioenergetics. Djaja became member of the Serbian and Croatian academies of science and doctor honoris causa of Sorbonne. In 1952 for the seminal work on the behavior of deep cooled warm blooded animals he became associate member of the National Medical Academy in Paris. In 1955 the French Academy of Sciences elected him as associate member in place of deceased Sir Alexander Fleming. Djaja died in 1957 during a congress held in his honor. He left more than 200 scientific and other papers and the golden DaVincian credo "Nulla dies sine experimento". His legacy was continued by several generations of researchers, the most prominent among them being Stefan Gelineo, Radoslav Andjus and Vojislav Petrović.

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