Zavarzin, Aleksey Alekseevich

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(b. St.Petersburg, Russia[now Leningrad. U.S.S.R.],25 March 1886; d.Leningrad,25 July 1945)

histology, biology, embryology.

Zavarzin completed his secondary studies at the technical high school in St.Petersburg in 1902 and graduated from the natural sciences section of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at St.Petersburg in 1907. Retained in the histology department of A.S.Dogel to prepare for a teaching career, he passed his master’s examination in zoology and comparative anatomy in 1910 and defended his dissertation, on the structure of the sensory nervous system and the optical ganglia of insects,three years later. He was subsequently professor of histology and embrology at the University of Perm (1916-1922), at the Military Medical Academy in Leningrad (1922-1936),at the First Leningrad Medical Institute (1936-1945), and at the University of Tomsk(1941-1944). From 1932 to 1945 he headed the department of general morphology of the All–Union Institute of Experimental Medicine and in 1944-1945 was director of the Institute of Cytology, Histology, and Embryology of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences.

In a series of works on the histology of the nervous system of insects (1911-1924) Zavarzin established the morphological similarity of the optical centers and of the trunk brain of systematically distant animals (mammals and insects) and formulated a theory of parallelism of histological structure that he subsequently stated in “Ob evolyutsionnoy dinamike tkanaey “(“On the Evolutionary Dynamics of Tissues, “1934). In a two–part monograph devoted to the structure of blood cells and connective tissue (1945-1947)Zavarzin further developed the evolutionarty trend in histology, transforming it from a purely descriptive into a dynamic discipline.

Zavarzin also worked on problems of general biology–the origin of multicelled organisms, the biological basis of inflammation, the theory of embryonic the theory of the cellular structure of organisms, the significance of remote sensory organs ion the formation of the encephalikc section of the central nervous system, the relationship between form,functioin, and development as three aspects of a unified biological process and the coordination of changes of histological structures in into–and phylogenesis.


I. Original Works. Zavarzin’s textbooks, the fruit of almost thirty year’s teaching, are Kratkoe rukovodstvo po embriologii cheloveka i pozvonochnykh zhivotnykth (“AShort Guide to the Embryology of Man and the Vertebrates “; Leningrad–Moscow,1929; 4th ed., Leningrad, 1939); Kurs mikroskupicheskov anatomii (“Course in Microscopic Anatomy “; Moscow–Leningrad, 1930); kurs obshchety gistologii (“Course in General Histology “, Leningrad, 1932); Kurs gistologii (“Course in Histology “),2 pts. (Moscow, 1933); Kurs gistologii i mikroskopicheskoyu anatomii (“Course in Histology and Microscopic Anatomy “; 5th ed., Leningrad, 1939); Kuurs gistologii, 6th ed.(Moscoow, 1946), written with A.V.Rumyantsev; and Isbrannye trudy (“Selected Works “), 4 vols. (Moscow–Leningrad, 1950-1953).

Specialized works include “Histologische Studienüber Insekten, “in Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie97 (1911),,481-510;100 (1912),245-286,447-458;108 (1913), 175-257; and 122 (1924),97-115, 323-424; and 122 (1924),97-115,323-424; and “Der Parallelismus der Strtukturen als ein Grundprinzip der Morphologie, “ibid124 (1925), 118-212.

Among his monographs are Gistologicheskie issledovania chuvstivtelnoy nervnoy sistemy i optiche skikh gangliev nasekiomykh (“Histological Research on the Sonsory Nervous System and the Optical Ganglia of Insects “;St. Petersburgt, 1913), his master’s thesis; Ocherki po evolyutsioinnoy gistologii nervnoiy sistemy (“Sketches in the Evolutionary Histology of the Nervous System “; 1941);and Ocherki po evolyutsionnoy gistologii krovi i soedinitenoy tkani (“Sketches in the Evolutioinary Histology of the Blood and Connective Tissue “), 2 vols. (Moscow, 1945-1947).

II. Secondary Literature. On Zavarzin and his work, see A.I.Abrikosov, “Aleksey Alekseevich Zavarzin, “in Vestnik Akademii meditsinskikh nauk SSSR(1946), no.1,65-67, an obituary; D.N.Nasonov and A.A.Zavarzin(his son), Aleksey Zavarzin(Moscow,1951), with bibliography; and G.A.Nevmytvaka; Aleksey Alekseevich Zavarzin (Leningrad, 1971).

L. J. Blacher

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Zavarzin, Aleksey Alekseevich

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