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Stern, Lina Solomonovna


STERN, LINA SOLOMONOVNA (1878–1968), Russian physiologist and biologist. Born in Lithuania, Lina Stern qualified in Geneva and was later appointed professor of biochemistry at that university. In 1925 she was appointed professor of physiology at the Second Medical Institute of Moscow University and later chief professor and director at the Physiological Scientific Research Institute. In 1932 she was elected a member of the German Academy of Natural Sciences and in 1939 became the first woman to be admitted to the USSR Academy of Sciences. She was the recipient of the Stalin Prize and several Orders of Merit. During the 1948–49 purges in the Soviet Union she was accused of "rootless cosmopolitanism" and removed from her positions, but after the death of Stalin in 1953 was rehabilitated, with all her previous honors restored. Lina Stern made significant contributions to the study of the physiology of the central nervous system, the problems of sleep, the endocrine system, catalase, oxidation ferments, and related subjects. She investigated the hematoencephalic barrier, described the role of the carotid plexus in the brain, the exchange of blood in the plexus and the liquid of the rachis. She published papers in German and Russian, among them "Die Katalase" (with F. Battelli, 1910); "Ueber den Mechanismus der Oxydationsvorgaenge im Tierorganismus" (1944); and others.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 175–6.

[Suessmann Muntner]

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