Giovanni Grassi

Picture of Giovanni Grassi

Date of Birth: 03/27/1854

Age: 71

Place of birth: Rovellask

Citizenship: Italy


Born March 27, 1854 in Rovellaske. He graduated from the University of Pavia, in 1878 received his doctorate in medicine. The studied zoology in Heidelberg and Wurzburg universities over the next five years. In 1883 he returned to Italy, accepted the invitation to take the post of professor of comparative anatomy at the University of Catania. In 1895 he moved to the chair of comparative anatomy of the University of Rome, where he worked until his death. Early research focused on Grassi helminths: hookworm, roundworm roundworm, tapeworm and hair algae, as well as diseases caused by them. He was also engaged in the study of the social life of termites; damage caused by phylloxera viticulture; in 1886 he described a new species of spider. He studied the life cycle of eels, conger eel larvae metamorphosis.

But the most valuable work of Grassi devoted to clarify the methods of malaria, its vectors and the establishment of the study of the cycle of malaria parasite - Plasmodium falciparum - in the mosquito. For the first time the parasite has been found in the blood of malaria patients in 1880, but the full life cycle of the malaria parasite in the body of vertebrates, including humans, described Grassi. In 1898 he showed that only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria parasite, and in the same year the first experimental human malaria infection carried by the bite of an insect. The study of the ecology and taxonomy of mosquitoes made it possible to develop ways of dealing with them. These activities are successfully carried Grassi and other scientists for many years in Italy and other European countries, so that the incidence of malaria has dropped sharply.

Grassi became a member of the Accademia dei Lincei and the Italian scientific community, and received an honorary professor of the University of Leipzig. He - the author of labor to the study of the malaria mosquito (Contribuzione allo studio dei parasiti malarici, 1892). Grassi died in Rome on May 4, 1925.