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Polish Journal of Pathology
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Non Omnis Moriar
In memoriam Professor Aleksandra Krygier-Stojałowska
(2.10.1923 – 17.11.2015)

Maria Chosia

Online publish date: 2016/05/10
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Professor Aleksandra Krygier-Stojałowska was born in Ryczywół, in Poland’s Wielkopolska Region, on 3 October 1923. She enrolled for medical studies in Poznań in 1946, and in 1951 she relocated to the Pomeranian Medical Academy (PMA)* to take up a position in the PMA’s Department of Pathological Anatomy. As it later turned out, she stayed for good. She graduated from the PMA in 1952, and in 1956 she was awarded the academic degree of candidate of medical sciences after submitting a thesis on “Nucleic acids in certain cancers of the peripheral nervous system (neuroblastomas, malignant schwannomas)”. The degree was verified as summa cum laude doctor of medical sciences in 1959. Also in 1959, Aleksandra Krygier-Stojałowska completed her specialization in pathological anatomy. She was awarded the academic degree of docent in 1961 after successfully defending her habilitation thesis on “Cytochemical and cytophotometric studies of fibroblasts in cell culture”. In 1972, she was appointed to the academic rank of associate professor, before achieving the full professorial title in 1989.
Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska was an extremely active and creative person with broad scientific interests. She was an author or co-author of over 200 reference publications in the field of connective tissue pathology, quantitative histo- and cytochemical methods (particularly cytophotometry), mechanisms of cancer cell proliferation and haematopoietic system pathology. Together with Prof. Henryk Godlewski, she co-edited the first Polish two-volume textbook entitled “Course Book of Histochemical Methods” and another textbook – “Topochemical Methods of Cell and Tissue Analysis”. Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska was also an active participant in a number of scientific symposiums and conferences, both in Poland and abroad.
Her professional interests centered mainly on histo- and cytochemistry, with a special focus on cytochemistry incorporating quantitative microscopic methods: cytophotometry and cytomorphometry. Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska established scientific contacts with Prof. Walter Sandritter, one of the most eminent experts in the field of cytophotometry. She completed three academic internships at prestigious research institutes in the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1959, she received a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which was indisputably a mark of great distinction. Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska was the Foundation’s first Polish fellow after World War II, and she completed a scientific internship at the University in Frankfurt am Main at the time. In 1973, she was again granted a fellowship, which allowed her to take another scientific internship at the Aschoff Institute of the University of Freiburg. The cooperation with Prof. Sandritter resulted in joint publications which featured prominently in the scientific output of Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska. The researcher brought cytophotometric methods to Poland, setting up a cytophotometry laboratory at the PMA Department of Pathological Anatomy and commencing studies using a cytophotometer of her own design. For several years, the device was the only cytophotometer available in Poland, and was used for cytometric measurements performed for the purpose of scientific studies and training of many Polish researchers of different disciplines and foreign scientific establishments. Due to Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska’s guidance, assistance and kind encouragement, overall 30 doctoral and six habilitation theses were completed at the department. Their authors were scientists from the Pomeranian Medical Academy and other research establishments in Poland and abroad. Formally, Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska was a supervisor of 12 doctoral dissertations and one habilitation dissertation.
While still a student, she began working as a university lecturer and continued her work uninterruptedly until the end of her professional career, conducting classes, seminars and lectures for medicine and dentistry students. She also supported academically active and eager students, organizing the students’ scientific initiatives at the university. During her postgraduate training she supervised a number of physicians specializing in the area of pathomorphology.
In addition to her professional career, Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska held various social and organizational functions. She organized the PMA’s Department of Cell Pathology, which she headed from 1983 until her retirement in 1994.
In 1970-1986, she was the deputy director of the PMA’s Institute of Biostructure, and in 1986–1993 she was the director of the PMA’s Institute of Pathology. Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska was also the PMA’s Vice-Rector for Science, serving two terms in office, between 1975 and 1981. In 1982-1985, she was a member of the Scientific Council designated by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare. She was also an active member of the Committee on Cell Pathophysiology and the Committee on Cytobiology at the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), and a member of the Programme Board for the University of Szczecin which was established at the time.
She was keenly involved in the activities of scientific societies, mainly the Polish Society for Histochemistry and Cytochemistry in which she held the role of the president for two terms of office (1976-1986), the Polish Society of Pathologists and the Szczecin Scientific Society in which she headed Department III in 1985-1988.
Prof. Krygier-Stojałowska received multiple distinctions, honorary mentions and awards for her outstanding scientific, teaching and organizational accomplishments. For example, she was awarded a Gold Cross of Merit, Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Medal of the Commission of National Education and Medal for the 25th Anniversary of PAN. Also, she was a four-time winner of the award granted by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare.
In 1965, she married Prof. Kazimierz Stojałowski, the first Head of the PMA’s Department of Pathological Anatomy and a promoter of pathomorphology in the Western Pomerania region. Their only son, Stefan Stojałowski, holds the degree of habilitated doctor in the field of plant genetics and works at the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin.
Prof. A. Krygier-Stojałowska was a very modest and considerate person, and was always concerned about her fellow researchers.
She died on 17 November 2015. The funeral mass and the burial were held in the parish church in Ryczywół. The scientist was laid to rest in her family grave in the local parish cemetery.
Non omnis moriar. Prof. Aleksandra Krygier-Stojałowska has left behind many grateful students and loyal friends. She holds a well established place in the history of Polish pathomorphology, histochemistry and cytometry.

Prof. Maria Chosia
Department of Pathomorphology,
Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin

*since 2010 Pomeranian Medical University (PMU)
Copyright: © 2016 Polish Association of Pathologists and the Polish Branch of the International Academy of Pathology This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
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