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Professor Anatoly I. Nesterov

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Professor Anatoly I. Nesterov
Professor Anatoly Innokentievich Nesterov, a
prominent Soviet rheumatologist, Academician of the
USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, Hero of Socialist
Labour, and Lenin prize laureate, died in Moscow on
February 10, 1979.
A. I. Nesterov was born in 1895 in Siberia. After
graduating from the Tomsk State University in 1920, he
did postgraduate work under N. I. Leporsky. Beginning
in 1931, Prof. Nesterov held the chair of clinical medicine at the Tomsk School of Medicine. In 1936, he was
appointed head of the State Clinical Scientific Research
Institute in Sochi where he founded and held the chair
of rheumatology. In 1939, Prof. Nesterov became the
director of the Central Institute of Spa Treatment in
Moscow, and from 1943 to 1947, he headed the State
Scientific Research Institute of Physiotherapy. From
1950 to 1976, he held the chair of therapeutics at the
Second Moscow School of Medicine.
Prof. Nesterov was a brilliant clinician, teacher,
outstanding scientist, and public figure. He published
more than 200 scientific works and five monographs including “The Classification of Rheumatic Diseases and
Articular Complaints.” Prof. Nesterov was well known
for his work on capillaroscopy. Problems of immunogenesis, morphogenesis, experimental models of rheumatic fever, common and specific indices, and the diagnosis of the major rheumatic diseases were his main
areas of interest. Prof. Nesterov made significant contribution to the elaboration of diagnostic criteria for
rheumatic fever. On his initiative, the prevention of
rheumatic fever recurrences was developed and implemented in Soviet public health practice.
A. I. Nesterov was a prominent public figure. In
1950, he became an Academician and secretary of the
Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR and served
from 1953 to 1956 as its Vice President.
Prof. Nesterov was a leader in developing the
campaign against rheumatic disease in the USSR. Due
to his efforts, rheumatology centers and dispensaries
were set up all over the Soviet Union. On his initiative,
the Scientific Research Institute of Rheumatism was established in Moscow in 1958, and Prof. Nesterov
headed the Institute until 1970. The Institute of Rheumatism has become the principal center engaged in the
studies of rheumatic and articular diseases in the USSR.
Figure 1. Professor Anatoly I. Nesterov, 1895-1979.
He was host to many visiting American rheumatologists and particularly to the American Rheumatism
Association committee headed by Joseph J. Bunim in
June 1964. That visit was a forerunner of the still continuing US-USSR Cooperation in Arthritis Research.
Prof. Nesterov’s contributions to the affairs of rheumatology internationally are attested by his honoary membership in the American Rheumatism Association and
the rheumatologic societies of Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands, Canada, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria.
The memory of Academician A. I. Nesterov, an
outstanding man of science, gifted organizer in the area
of public health care, founder of the Soviet school of
rheumatology, and marvelous individual, will always be
preserved in the hearts of those who knew him.
Building 10, Room 9N218
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland 20205
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