SEARCH WITHIN CONTENT
Beata Majkowska-Zwolińska / Joanna Jędrzejczak
Citation Information : Journal of Epileptology. Volume 27, Pages 7-8, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/jepil-2019-007
License : (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Published Online: 17-January-2020
Professor Jerzy Majkowski teacher and mentor of many generations of Polish neurologists and epileptologists and editor-in-chief of Journal of Epileptology passed away on July 18, 2019 in Warsaw at the age of 91.
The professor’s years of youth fell during World War II. He was 11 years old when the war broke out and throughout the occupation, he took an active part in the fight. In the Warsaw Uprising he was one of the youngest soldiers. After the uprising he was taken prisoner in a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. After the liberation, he served in the Polish Armed Forces in Hameln in Germany and there, he continued his interrupted high school education.
After returning to Poland in 1947, he studied at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Warsaw. He obtained his medical diploma in 1952 and became a specialist in the field of neurology. He underwent also extended abroad training at Dep. of Neurology, Karol University, Prague (1954), Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London (1958), Montreal Neurological Institute (fellowship of Rockefellers Foundation) (1959–1960), Brain Research Laboratories, New York Medical School (1964–1965), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (1965–1966).
In the years 1952–1975 he worked at the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of Warsaw; he was the head of the EEG and Neurophysiology Laboratory and between 1973–1990 he continued as the head of the Experimental Neurology Laboratory of the Medical Academy in Warsaw were he conducted experimental research in the field of neurophysiology and learning processes.
In 1979–1986 he was the chairman of Department of Clinical and Experimental Neurophysiology and Seizure Unit, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, and visiting professor at New York University, Medical Center. After return to Poland in 1988 he created the first in Poland Department of Neurology and Epileptology and was its head until 1998.
After retirement he worked at Foundation of Epileptology and Epilepsy Diagnostic and Therapeutic Center, which he established in 1993. He focused his energy on medical, scientific, educational and most of all publishing work. From 1993 he published and was editor-in chief of the quarterly Epileptologia, which since 2010 has evolved into an international journal in English, and then in 2013 to take the current form of the Journal of Epileptology.
Professor’s scientific research focused on the following issues: electrophysiological exponents of learning and memory in healthy animals and with damage of various brain structures; electrophysiological studies of epileptogenesis of experimental epilepsy (aluminum and kindling models), protective role of glia in the prevention of post-traumatic epilepsy, assessment of prophylactic and therapeutic effect of antiepileptic drugs in animal models and in the clinical practice.
Professor Majkowski was involved in organizational academic activities. In 1974–1979 he was the organizer and the first Dean of the Second Faculty of Medicine of the Medical Academy in Warsaw. He was also very active in many scientific societies. He was the organizer and the first president of the Polish Society of Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, First president of the Polish League Against Epilepsy and from 2001 – the first vice president of the Polish Society of Epileptology. Therefore he is considered a father of the Polish epileptology. In 2007 he organized and became the first President of the Federation of Polish Medical Societies. He felt strongly bound to organizational and scientific work for the societies, in which was active until the end of his life. At the international League Against Epilepsy, he was an extremely active member of the Commission for European Affairs, Executive Board of the European Academy of Epilepsy, Commission on Therapeutic Strategies, key member, chairman of Subcommission on Polytherapy and Drug Interactions, Commission on Classification and Terminology, member of the Council of European Antiepileptic Leagues. he received the Ambassador for Epilepsy award of the ILAE.
Professor Majkowski’s publications include more than 500 publications, 11 books mainly in experimental models, clinical epilepsy, clinical trials of AED, clinical and experimental electroneurophysiology, epileptic seizures and cognitive functions impairment.
The professor received many awards and honors for scientific work and military awards as well, including the last received before his death – Honorary Citizen of the Capital City of Warsaw.
He will be remembered for his inexhaustible energy and passion in teaching and passing on his experience to all of us who had this privilege to know him.