New Year’s Eve was born on December 31, 1936 in Budapest. He began his studies at the Medical College in Pécs in 1955, where he was separated from his activity during the 1956 revolution, so he continued his studies in the capital. He graduated from the Medical University of Budapest in 1961, and after graduation became a teaching assistant at the University’s Institute of Pharmacy headed by Béla Isikowitz. In 1967 he assumed the position of assistant professor, in 1974 an associate professor, and in 1977 a university professor.
In 1981, he was transferred to the Research Institute of Experimental Medicine (KOKI) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), where he was appointed Deputy Director of Science. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the Institute.
He became a correspondent of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1985, and a full member in 1990. In 1996 he was elected Vice-President of the General Scientific Body, and from 2002 to 2008 he was President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
At Issekutz’s suggestion, he began working as a young central nervous system researcher at a time when few scientists were interested in the field of brain research.
He went to London in 1967, where, together with the world-famous pharmacologist Sir William Patton, he studied the effects of stimuli-transmitting substances in the sympathetic and parasympathetic networks of the autonomic nervous system that regulate the work of internal organs. In the course of his research, he conflicted with textbook data, his concept enabled a new model of brain function, and launched a new direction in brain research. He has published and co-authored over four hundred scientific publications (including books) on the physiological regulation and pharmacological vigilance of nerve transmission in the central and peripheral nervous systems. One of his studies became Citation Classic, and it is one of the most cited works in the field. Its scientific results have also been used in the production of pharmaceutical preparations.
In addition to his research work, he was also actively involved in educating the future medical generation. As a scholar of school building, he believed that young people needed to be taught scientific thinking first and foremost, and he also experienced himself as a young researcher alongside Sir William Patton.
“Knowledge acquired by a person during his life is, in fact, in the public domain, that is, to impart a general mission to all scholars. It is the duty of all of us to serve the community of good.”
Its name is associated with notable initiatives to organize and promote science, such as the organization of the World Science Forum in Budapest in 2003 with the participation of the international scientific community, and the launch of a television educational program called The University of All Knowledge. He was not only the initiator of the latter, but also its first speaker on September 16, 2002. He has been president of the Scientific Publishing Association (KIC) since 2000, and is currently the organization’s honorary president. Since its inception in 2011, he has been the President of the Friends of Hungary Foundation.
His pioneering work and research results were recognized all over the world: in 1998 he was awarded the Galileo Galilei Prize (Italy) and in 2002 the Order of the Sacred Treasure awarded by the Emperor of Japan. (The officer rank of Star of Romania, which he had received in 2006, was reinstated in 2016 in protest of Romanian President Laszlo Tokis’ withdrawal from the Star of Romania.)
Among his Hungarian awards are the Széchenyi Prize (1993), the Prima Primissima first awarded in 2003, the Corvin Series in 2012 and the Grand Széchenyi Prize in the field of nerve transmission in the central and peripheral nervous system, and the pharmacology of chemical neurotransmission. , for his world-renowned research achievements, his scholarly activities in establishing the school, and his extensive work as a scholarly organizer and science diplomat, in recognition of his exemplary career.
In 2001, on the occasion of his birthday, Neurochemistry International published a special issue of his birthday, in which 40 scientists from 25 countries summarized how the professor’s work influenced their research. It was also a nice birthday present, as in 2016 he was awarded Honorary Causality Distributor of the Year – With Asteroids, which rewards scientists who do their best to promote and showcase science. The asteroid’s water, listed on December 19, 2016, is located three times the distance from the sun and orbits around the outer edge of the asteroid belt. In 2017, he was awarded the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ most prestigious award, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Academic Gold Medal. In 2021, he was honored with the state’s most prestigious award, the Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen.
Cover photo: New Year’s Eve (Zoltán Balogh / MTI)
“Friendly thinker. Wannabe social media geek. Extreme student. Total troublemaker. Web evangelist. Tv advocate.”