Although little is known about Professor Giorgi Eliava, without his avid support of bacteriophage research, our knowledge about phage therapy might not have been acquired. A tribute to the life of Professor Eliava and the institute he founded is presented in the peer-reviewed journal PHAGE: Therapy, Applications, and Research. Click here to read the article.
Nina Chanishvil, from the George Eliva Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology & Virology, in Tbilisi, Georgia, and coauthors, provide an overview of Eliava life, beginning with his studies to become a doctor. In 1917, Eliava became head of the Tbilisi Bacteriology Laboratory. He went to France to work at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1919-1921 among several famous bacteriologists. In the early 1920s he learned of Felix d’Herelle’s discovery of bacteriophages and the two subsequently became acquainted, collaborated and formed a friendship. Eliava returned to Georgia where, in 1923 he initiated the foundation of the Institute of Bacteriology, the antecedent of the present-day Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology & Virology. In 1937, Eliava was suddenly arrested by Stalin’s regime, sentenced to death, and executed.
As the authors note, “In 2008 the institute founded a nonprofit organization, the Eliava Foundation, which in its turn formed several companies: Eliava Phage therapy Center, Diagnostic Center, Pharmacy, and Eliava BioPreparations.”
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