- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Frédéric Bamatter

Born  1899
Died  1988

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Swiss paediatrician, born May 4, 1899, Basel; died May 25, 1988, Geneva.

Biography of Frédéric Bamatter

Frédéric Bamatter studied medicine in Basel, Geneva and Paris. Following graduation in 1927, he continued his education at the Geneva Institute of Pathological Anatomy, the Lausanne University Hospital and the Pasteur Institute, Paris,

He obtained a doctorate in 1932 and subsequently worked in paediatrics with Guido Fanconi (1892-1979) in Zürich. From 1937 he collaborated with Professors Adolph Franceschetti (1896-1968) and David Klein (1908-1993) at the Geneva University Ophthalmological clinic. From 1951 he held a post in paediatrics at the Geneva University Hospital, becoming full professor in 1957. He remained in this post until he retired in 1969. Bamatter was instrumental in establishing neonatology as a speciality at the Geneva maternity hospital, in 1952. He was also involved in the design of a new Paediatrics Department at the Geneva University Hospital, where he set up units for childhood neuropsychiatric disorders and for cerebral palsy.

Bamatter coined the term "embryopathy" in order to distinguish foetal damage due to intrauterine infection from genetically determined malformations. During his period in Zürich with Fanconi Bamatter identified the poliomyelitis virus as an etiological agent in bulbar palsy and discovered that meningococcal septicaemia could be implicated in the pathogenesis of failure of the adrenal glands.

Frédéric Bamatter published more than 150 medical articles.


  • Hans-Rudolf Wiedemann (1915-):
    Gerodermia osteodysplastica – What would Virchow have thought about it?
    Human Genetics, Berlin, 1978, 43: 245.
  • D. Klein:
    In honor of Prof. Fred Bamatter (1899-1988).
    Journal de genetique humaine, Geneva, 1988, 36(4): 389-391.
  • J. Oehme:
    Fred Bamatter (1899-1988).
    Kinderkrankenschwester, 1992, 11(1): 19.

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