Vasiliy Klimenko

Vasiliy Klimenko

Russian doctor, talented teacher, actor
Date of Birth: 13.04.1868
Country: Latvia

Biography of Vasily Klimenko

Vasily Klimenko was a Russian doctor, talented teacher, and actor. He was one of the first wave of immigrants to Latvia and held the position of professor at the University of Latvia. He was also one of the founders of the Medical Faculty at LU during the interwar period. Klimenko was born in Odessa in the family of military engineer Nikolai Vasilyevich Klimenko. His family members were all somehow connected to the engineering profession. Following in his father's footsteps, he enrolled in the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy. In 1895, Vasily Klimenko defended his doctoral dissertation. After a successful defense, he served as a military doctor, gaining experience until 1900. In the first year of the 20th century, he went to Zurich University for further professional development. There, he became a protege of Professor Ernst. Klimenko then attended a medical school at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, after which he honed his professional skills at the Bern Bacteriological Institute.

With the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Klimenko returned from abroad and joined the Chita department of the Red Cross, where he served as the head of the internal diseases department throughout the military conflict. After the war, Klimenko became an assistant to Professor V. Podvysotsky, who taught at the Department of General Pathology at the St. Petersburg Institute of Forensic Medicine. In 1908, while assisting Podvysotsky in teaching, Klimenko was elected an associate professor at the Military Medical Academy in the Department of Contagious Diseases. In 1913, he stopped assisting Professor Podvysotsky. In 1914, he took on a leadership position at the Central Bacteriological Laboratory in the St. Petersburg City Hospital named after Peter the Great (which later became known as the Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov City Hospital during Soviet times). In 1918, he was appointed as the head of the Vaccine-Bacteriological Laboratory at the Institute of Experimental Medicine. Finally, in 1919, Vasily Klimenko became a professor of bacteriology.

During the period when the Russian Civil War broke out, Klimenko moved to relatively calm Samara, which was initially unaffected by the military turmoil. There, he became a professor at Samara University. His activities contributed to the increased prestige and quality of education at Samara University, especially in the specific conditions created by the Civil War. After 1920, he found himself in Latvia, which had recently gained sovereignty after a long period of civil unrest. In the fall of 1921, Klimenko became a professor at the reformed University of Latvia in the Department of Internal Diseases Diagnosis. He rightfully earned the reputation as a leading specialist in Latvia in the study of diseases of bacterial etiology. During this period, Klimenko played a significant role in the opening of a new independent Medical Faculty at LU. In fact, the activities of the Medical Faculty were renewed in 1923, thanks in large part to Vasily Nikolayevich Klimenko, who advocated for quality medical education in young Latvia, which had become his second homeland. The Medical Faculty was reestablished as one of the 11 faculties of the "new" LU.