A tribute to Prof. Richard Cranovsky and Prof. Ryszard Gryglewski.

Igor Gościński1

Farewell to Prof. Richard Cranovsky

Figure 1. Prof. Richard Cranovsky
[please click on the image to enlarge]

Richard Cranovsky (aka Ryszard Chrzanowski) was born on 26 October 1930 in Mościce near Tarnów, where his father was employed at the State Factory of Nitrogen Compounds. He completed the elementary and junior high school in his home town.

After Nazi German occupation, he settled in Cracow and in 1948 graduated from Jan III Sobieski High School. In the years 1948-53 he studied at the Faculty of Medicine of the Medical Academy (Jagiellonian University). After graduation, he specialized in neuroradiology under the supervision of Prof. Stanisława Spett and Prof. Adam Kunicki. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1964 in Cracow, and his postdoctoral degree in 1968. In 1970, his first textbook on neuroradiology was published.

The rest of Prof. Cranovsky's professional career took place in Switzerland. In the academic year 1971/1972, as a visiting professor, he headed the Laboratory of Neuroradiology at the University Hospital in Geneva. Then, in the years 1974-1984, he held managerial positions in academic hospitals in Aarau and Lausanne in Switzerland; he obtained his 2nd Postdoc degree at the University of Bern (1976). In 1985-1986 he studied at the University of Texas Medical Centre in Houston, where he obtained the title of Master of Public Health in the "Technology and Humanities" program. In the years 1991-1995 he was a consultant and lecturer in Poland, under the program of the Swiss government: "Central and Eastern Europe". He also participated in the first phase of the development of the School of Public Health in Cracow.

Health technology assessment and patient safety remained his focus. With his participation or inspiration, numerous works on these issues were created both on an international level, e.g. WHO, European Council, Global Challenges Program of the FDU University in New Jersey, United States, as well as in Switzerland and Poland. One of the recent projects was "Safe Patient - Safe Doctor", launched by the Medycyna Praktyczna publishers in Cracow. Prof. Cranovsky had a very fruitful cooperation with Cracow Medical Society for which he received a honorary membership in 2016. In addition, he was awarded the Society's medals (A. Kremer's jubilee medal, J. Piltz's medal and Medicus Laureatus).

Ha was the author of many articles, books and chapters. In 2014 he published a sort of a memoire entitled "Notatnik sceptyka. Fakty i fantazje" (eng. The Skeptic's Notebook. Facts and fantasies.). In 2015, together with Prof. Gościński, Dr Wiernikowski and Dr Zawiliński, he co-authored a book on Prof. Piltz, the creator of Neuropsychiatry Clinic in Cracow. "Natchnieni" (eng. Inspired) was one of his recent works with essays.

He died on 3 December 2022 in Lausanne, Switzerland after a long, terminal illness.

Figure 2. Prof. A. Kunicki and Prof. S. Spett with the team of Cracow's Neurosurgery Clinic with a guest from Czechoslovakia on 4 December 1956. Sitting from left: Prof. Stanisława Spett, from the right: Prof. Adam Kunicki. Standing from the left: Dr. Richard Cranovsky, third from the right: Dr. Igor Gościński.
[please click on the image to enlarge]

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Figure 3. Team of Neurosurgery Clinic of the Medical Academy in Cracow in 1964. First row from the left: Dr Lechowski, Dr Gruszka, Prof. Kunicki, A. Prof. Liszka, Dr Kukulska, Dr Szwagrzyk. Second row from left: Dr Moroz, Dr Świderski, Dr Gościński, Dr Czerwiński, Dr Wincentowicz, Dr Uhl. Third row from the left: resident name unknown; Dr Chrzanowski, Dr Ładziński.t, from the right: Prof. Adam Kunicki. Standing from the left: Dr. Richard Cranovsky, third from the right: Dr. Igor Gościński.
[please click on the image to enlarge]

Figure 4. Neuroradiology Conference, Antwerp, November 1965. The authors of the first neuroradiology handbook in Spanish (from left): A. Wackenheim (France), R. Cranovsky (Poland), J. Solle-Lenas and M. Rovira (Spain).
[please click on the image to enlarge]

Farewell to Prof. Ryszard Gryglewski

Figure 5. Prof. Ryszard Gryglewski (photo by Lech Polcyn, CC BY 3.0).
[please click on the image to enlarge]

Ryszard Jerzy Gryglewski was born on the 4 of August 1932 in Wilno - back then a Polish city (currently the capital of Lithuania - Vilnius). He completed his medical studies at the Medical Academy in Cracow in 1955 and two years later obtained his Ph.D. related to diabetes. After his habilitation in1965, just 10 years after completing his medical degree, he took over as Chair of Pharmacology, which he presided until the new millennium in 2002. He became a full professor in 1971.

He was the Rector of the Medical Academy in Cracow in the 80s and had important functions in the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, advisory bodies to the Minister of Health and international organizations, e.g. IUPHAR. He took part in many research activities both in Poland and abroad e.g. William Harvey Research Institute in London and Wellcome Research Laboratories in Kent (UK) or at the New York Medical College (USA). He published over 400 articles and received many awards for his scientific work. He received seven honoris causa doctorates from: the New York Medical College, Szeged Medical University, Medical University of Silesia, Medical Academy in Gdańsk, Semmelweis University in Budapest, Lviv, University of Grodno. In 2017 he became a Knight of the Order of the White Eagle.

Quoting Prof. Olszanecki from Galicyjska Gazeta Lekarska: "He was a great supporter of a comprehensive view of biological phenomena and explaining the action of a drug not only at the level of cells or tissues (he did not trust molecular methods too much ...), but above all the whole organism (his famous "In vivo veritas"!). When asked about the most important features of a scientist, he mentioned: curiosity and passion, diligence and skilful preparation of the mind for ... a stroke of luck (serendipity) - a lucky chance leading the researcher to an interesting discovery. These features accompanied him throughout his scientific life. We will remember him for his discoveries, which were not only among the most important cognitive ones in their time, but also led to specific methods of treatment. In the 1970s, Professor Gryglewski participated in the discovery of prostacyclin and research on compounds that inhibit the formation of thromboxanes - these works paved the way for the subsequent two Nobel Prizes, and their results not only significantly expanded our understanding of inflammatory processes in such basic areas as, for example, the explanation of the anti-inflammatory action of glucocorticosteroids, but they also formed the basis for the implementation (not without initial resistance of the medical community!) of acetylsalicylic acid as an antiplatelet drug and the subsequent flourishing of antiplatelet treatment in cardiology. In the 1980s, Professors Ryszard Gryglewski and Andrzej Szczeklik explained the phenomenon of "aspirin asthma" by linking broncho-constriction with the inhibition of cyclooxygenase activity by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Professor Gryglewski devoted the last decade of his scientific work to the key role of the vascular endothelium - the main "producer" of prostacyclin and nitric oxide - in the physiological regulation of the circulatory system and proving the fundamental role of endothelial damage in the development of cardiovascular diseases." [1]

Prof. Gryglewski was an honorary member of Cracow Medical Society.

He died on 30 January 2023 in Cracow.

[1] Olszanecki R. Pożegnania: Prof. dr hab. Ryszard Jerzy Gryglewski (1932-2023). Galicyjska Gazeta Lekarska, 17 lutego 2023.

Authors’ affiliations:
1 Chairman, Cracow Medical Society – Towarzystwo Lekarskie Krakowskie, Cracow, Poland

Corresponding author:
Prof. dr hab. med. Igor Gościński
Prezes Towarzystwa Lekarskiego Krakowskiego
ul. Radziwiłłowska 4
31-026 Cracow, Poland
e-mail: tlk@cm-uj.krakow.pl

To cite this article: Gościński I. A tribute to Prof. Richard Cranovsky and Prof. Ryszard Gryglewski. World J Med Images Videos Cases 2023; 9:e31-35.

Submitted for publication: 1 April 2023
Accepted for publication: 25 April 2023
Published on: 31 May 2023

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