Celebrating the 100th birthday of Professor Endre Mester, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. sci. Budapest, Hungary, 1903 – 1984.

Professor Endre MesterDr. Endre Mester was born in November 20, 1903 in Budapest, Hungary. He graduated medical school in 1927 from Queen Elisabeth University in Pecs, Hungary but he had rotations in Budapest and a full academic year in Vienna, Austria. He was resident and assistant professor of Surgery at the Pazmany Peter University in Budapest. He was working in the Third Department of Surgery for thirteen years under Professor Lajos Adam, M.D. He became board certified both in Surgery and in Radiology. During the Second World War he operated on patients both at Saint John’s Hospital and in the ”Rock Hospital” later installed in the tunnels underneath Castle Hill in Budapest.

In 1945, he became the Chair of the Pediatric Surgery Department at St. Steven’s Hospital in Budapest. In 1946, he received the title “Private University Professor” from the University of Budapest. From 1947 until 1963, he chaired the Surgery Department of the Bajcsy Zsilinszky Teaching Hospital in Budapest. In 1956, during the Uprising against the communist system and the Soviet subjection, he was elected to the director of the Hospital and Chairman of Revolution Committee in the Hospital. After the Uprising was beaten, he was still able to keep his appointments because he saved so many lives.

In 1963, he became Professor and Chairman of the Second Surgery Department of the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest and he kept this position for ten years until he retired. In 1974 he founded and directed until his death in 1984, the Laser Research Center of the Semmelweis and Postgraduate Medical Universities in Budapest.

His scientific interest included several fields of general surgery particularly the biliary system. He performed over 4,000 cholecystectomies. He introduced the routine application of intraoperative Cholangiography. This procedure reduced both the complications and the need for re-operations since the left over stones in the biliary duct was documented during the operation. He got his Ph.D. for his research in gallbladder surgery.

He started laser research in 1965 and first lectured on the use of the laser in Medicine in 1966. He was the fourth physician in the literature publishing in laser medicine and surgery. He invented and published in 1967 the Biostimulatory Effect of the Low Intensity Laser. He performed basic science experiments and studied the biological effects of laser irradiation. For his research work in 1971, he received the “Doctor of Sciences” title from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He started to treat patients with non-healing skin ulcers in 1971 and his Low Intensity Laser Irradiation protocol became well known all over the world.

Professor Mester authored over 100 published articles. He had several collaborators during his laser research and clinical work particularly his two sons Adam Mester, M.D. a radiologist and Andrew Mester, M.D and otolaryngologist. They did a lot of work together and after Professor Mester’s death, Adam and Andrew were continuing the laser research and clinical studies. Professor Mester’s wife, Gini was a remarkable woman. She was an attractive, vital, charming lady with great enthusiasm for life and devotion to her husband’s life work.

Among the many positions and honors Professor Mester held were President of the Hungarian Society of Surgeons for 8 years, President of the International Soft Laser Society, Vice President of the Red Cross Committee of Budapest, Merited and Prominent Physician of the Hungarian People’s Republic, winner of the Balassa Prize in 1967, Golden Order of Labor in both 1958 and 1978, Committee Member of the International Academy of Proctology, Correspondent Member of the Society de Chirurgie of Lyon and member of the Editorial Boards of Chirurgische Praxis and Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. He was guest lecturer all over the world: Vienna, London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Tokyo, Athens, Milan, Munich, Kiev, Barcelona, Leipzig, Utrecht, Graz, and Florence.