Professor Pauls Stradiņš - Riga Stradiņš University

Professor Pauls Stradiņš

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Only by being aware of our roots, can we understand our mission. The history of Rīga Stradiņš University is rooted in the field of medicine. Its most visible representative is professor Pauls Stradiņš who once said that the best medic is a deeply intelligent person. He himself well suited this description and we are therefore proud to have his name in the title of our university.

RSU Rector, Professor Jānis Gardovskis

Stradins individuals wrBiography of Pauls Stradiņš

Pauls Stradiņš was a surgeon, an oncologist, a medical historian, a doctor of medicine (1923, 1927) and a professor (1933). He was born on the 17th of January 1896 in Viesīte, in the family of craftsman Jānis Stradiņš. Pauls Stradiņš had three younger sisters, two of which became doctors. He graduated from Alexander Gymnasium in Rīga with a gold medal and in 1914 he took up his studies at the Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, graduating in 1919. Afterwards he spent four years working at Professor Sergey Fyodorov's clinic expanding his knowledge.

In 1923, he presented his doctoral thesis in medicine, married his colleague doctor Nina Malysheva and returned to Latvia. Already in 1924, he became a member of the teaching staff at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Latvia, which was his only place of employment up until his death.

In 1925, as the first holder of the Rockefeller Foundation grant in Latvia, he went to the United States for a two-year training programme. In 1927, Pauls Stradiņš presented his second doctoral thesis in medicine, receiving the Latvian Culture Foundation award. At the same time, from 1931 until 1941 as he was working at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Latvia, he also worked as the medical director of Rīga Hospital No. 2 (today Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital). From 1936 until 1940 he published the National Health Calendar (1941).

Stradins team

Throughout the post-war years, Pauls Stradiņš was the head of the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine of the Scientific Academy (1946-1951), head of the Oncology Section of the Scientific Research Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine (from 1951).

Pauls Stradiņš died at the age of 62 on August 14th, 1958. In order to preserve the professor's memory, a major hospital in Rīga was named after him (Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital) as well as a medical school (Pauls Stradiņš College of Medicine of the University of Latvia), the Museum for History of Medicine, and streets in three cities of Latvia (Jūrmala, Ventspils and Viesīte).

Pauls Stradiņš had four children: Irēna Stradiņa (artist), Maija Sosāre (linguist), Jānis Stradiņš (chemist, scientific historian, professor, academic), and Asja Eglīte (doctor physiotherapist). Several of his grandchildren are medical doctors too: Linda Sosāre, a gastroenterologist, Andrejs Ērglis and Pēteris Stradiņš, both cardiac surgeons.

Professor Pauls Stradiņš was the founder and head of:

  • Cancer Prevention Society in Latvia (1934-1937)

  • Health Promotion Society (1937-1940)

  • Medical Society (1945-1946)

  • Surgeon Scientific Society (1946-1952)

  • Medical Historian Society (since 1953)

  • First oncology hospital in Latvia

  • Riga Medical School No. 2 (1939)

  • Blood Transfusion Station (1941)

Professor Pauls Stradiņš has received several awards:

  • Honorary Award of Latvian Tuberculosis Prevention Society (1934)

  • Third Degree Distinction Cross (1939)

  • USSR medal "For unselfish work during the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945"

  • Award of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic Supreme Council Presidium

  • USSR Order of the Red Banner of Labour

Source: Pauls Stradiņš Museum for History of Medicine.


Rīga Stradiņš University, 16 Dzirciema Street, Rīga, LV-1007, Latvia, +371 67409261 (UTC +2), international@rsu.lv