Biography of József Baló
This biography was submitted by Dr. Peter Hauser, Budapest:
József Baló's family came from Transylvania (former: Austrian-Hungarian Empire, nowadays: Romania). He started his study in 1913 in Budapest, but due to the first world he had to interrupt it. From 1917 he worked as a student in the I. Department of Pathology at the University Budapest. He finished his medical studies in 1919. Between 1922 and 1924 he worked through Rockefeller-scholarship in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins University and in Boston in the Hygiene Institute.
In 1926, Baló was appointed as a professor at the Faculty of Medicine in the Pázmány Péter University. In 1928 he got an appointment for the Department of Pathology of Ferencz József University in Szeged (Hungary). He was the Dean of Faculty of Medicine in Szeged from 1932 to 1933 and from 1941 to 1942, the Head of University from 1939 to 1940, then till the autumn of 1945 the leader of the Department of Pathology. From the autumn of 1945 to 1946 he was the leader of Forensic Medical Institute in Budapest, and from 1945 to 1967 of the Experimental Cancer Research, Semmelweis University Budapest, where he worked as a research advisory for more than a decade.
From 1947 Baló was the president of the Hungarian Pathology Society and member of the Justice Medical Council. In 1965 he received the title of doctor from the Medical University in Szeged. He was also awarded a Semmelweis medallion. In 1975 he received the newly established Krompecher Ödön medallion of the Hungarian Society of Oncology. In 1955 he was awarded by Kossuth-prize (the most outstanding prize in Hungary). He was a member of the Hungarian Academy, too.
During autopsies done by him from 1926 he observed and described the earlier unknown disease of the brain, the leukoencephalitis periaxialis concentrica, the concentric sclerosis of the brain, which is called Baló's Disease.
He summarized his virological studies in a book, which was published in Hungarian and German language in 1931. He published his observation about the deleterious effects causing demyelinization in the central nervous system in a book (Die Erkrankungen der weissen Substanz des Gehirns und des Rückenmarks, Leipzig-Budapest, 1940).
He continued his studies concerning blood-vessel diseases and arteriosclerosis in Budapest. He discovered the pancreas elastase enzyme with his wife, Dr. Ilona Banga. He was the founder of experimental cancer research in Hungary.
Baló was the first in Hungary who confirmed the role of viruses in the pathogenesis of cancer. He had an internationally respected work on the pathology of lung cancer (Lungenkarzinom und Lungen adeno 1957 Budapest)
Baló published about 300 articles and 6 monographs, 300 publications. His wide scientific interests is reflected in his membership of many national and international scientific societies.