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University of Porto Famous Alumni

Alberto de Aguiar

Fotografia de Alberto de Aguiar Alberto de Aguiar
Physician, analyst and university teacher

Alberto Pereira Pinto de Aguiar was born in Porto on 22 September 1868.

He graduated in 1893 at the Medical-Surgical School of Porto. At that school, he presented the inaugural dissertation on "As leucomainas e em especial a importância das leucomainas urinarias na explicação da toxicidade das urinas. Toxicidade d'urinas normaes e de tuberculosos" [Leucomaines and the importance of urinary leucomaines in explaining the toxicity of urine. Toxicity of normal urines and tuberculosis], dedicated to his parents, to doctors Ferreira da Silva and Ricardo Jorge, and to the school faculty and his supervisor, Dr. Maximiano Lemos.

Three years later, he edited his PhD thesis entitled "Cellula hepatica e crase urinaria. Contribuição para a diagnose urologica das lesões funcionais do fígado" (Porto, Typographia Occidental) [Liver cells and urinary crasis. Contribution to the diagnosis of functional urological diseases of the liver].

Retrato de Alberto de AguiarAlberto Aguiar taught various subjects at the Medical-Surgical School of Porto and later at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto between 1896 and 1935, the year he retired: Bacteriology, Parasitology, General Pathology, Biological Chemistry and Physiology. He was the head of the Faculty of Medicine, professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto and director of public and private laboratories. He ran the Nobre Laboratory for 5 years, following an agreement between the Medical-Surgical School and Santo António Hospital. After some troubled times, during which he was removed from the management of that institution and excluded from running for the management of the Misericórdia Clinical Analysis Laboratory, he moved to a private laboratory, which soon achieved national fame and became a prestigious scientific centre dedicated to research. Here, he produced 17 theses (for tenders) and 6 volumes of the journal "Revista de Semiótica Laboratorial", created and run by Alberto Aguiar.

Alberto de Aguiar did not refrain from participating in politics and to be civically involved. He chaired the executive committee of the Patriotic North Board (1916), an organisation for the promotion of patriotic propaganda, and later to provide assistance to the victims of the 1st World War and support the government; while working at the Board, he helped found the Casa dos Filhos dos Soldados, a home for the children of the military, in Rua de Cedofeita. The prestige he achieved here led him to a short-lived term as chairman of the Senate of the Porto City Council between 2 January and 30 June 1926.

He published hundreds of scientific papers. One of the best known is called "Notícia histórica da química portuense nas suas relações com o ensino médico no Porto" [News on the history of chemistry in Porto and its relations with medical education in Porto] (1925). He was a corresponding member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, elected on 16 December 1909, of the French Chemical Society and a member of the Society of Medical Sciences of Lisbon and of the Real Academia de Medicina Y Cirurgia de Madrid. [Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery of Madrid]. He was awarded the commendation of the Tower and Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit, and was called the "Father of Portuguese Biochemistry" as he was considered the forerunner of study and research in Biochemistry.

Alberto de Aguiar died in Porto on 27 April 1948 in the house where he lived, in Rua da Restauração. He is buried in the Agramonte cemetery.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2011)

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