Lev Aleksandrovich Zilber

Zil’ber, Lev Aleksandrovich


Born Mar. 15 (27), 1894, in Medved’, in present-day Soletsk Raion, Novgorod Oblast; died Nov. 10, 1966, in Moscow. Soviet micro-biologist, virologist, and immunologist; academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR (AMN SSSR; 1945).

Zil’ber graduated from Petrograd (1915) and Moscow (1919) universities. From 1921 he worked at the Institute of Microbiology of the People’s Commissariat of Public Health in Moscow. From 1939 he was chief of the division of virology at the N. F. Gamaleia Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the AMN SSSR, and from 1945 he was chief of its division of immunology and malignant tumors. His principal works are on the variability of microorganisms and on immunity, including work on the thermostability of antigens, antibodies, and complement. He described (in 1937 with co-workers) a previously unknown virus disease—Far Eastern tick-borne encephalitis—discovered its causative agent, and established its epidemiology. He was occupied with basing and elaborating a viral theory of the origin of cancer. Zil’ber received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946; in 1967 he was posthumously awarded the State Prize of the USSR (with G. Ia. Svet-Moldavskii) for discovering the pathogenicity of the virus of Rous sarcoma of fowl for other classes of animals (cycle of works, 1957–66). He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and medals.


Paraimmunitet. Moscow, 1928.
Vimsnaia teoriia proiskhozhdeniia zlokachestvennykh opukholei. Moscow, 1946.
Uchenie o virusakh. Moscow, 1956.
Osnovy immunologii, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1958.