Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Vittorio Marchi, MD (1851-1908): An Unsung Pioneer of Neuroscience

Talamonti, Giuseppe MD*; D’Aliberti, Giuseppe MD*; Debernardi, Alberto MD*; Innocenti, Gloria BA

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000003
Legacy-Institutions and People

Vittorio Marchi was an Italian neuroscientist who lived during the second half of the 19th century. He is generally remembered for developing a novel staining method to trace the degeneration of nervous fibers in lesions of the central nervous system. This osmium-based method was used worldwide for approximately a century and continues to be cited in modern textbooks. Despite several important original scientific contributions, Marchi was never awarded a university chair. Discouraged, he left to practice neurology in a rural area but continued to write outstanding articles, and in 1897, he became a pioneer of meningioma surgery. Today, he is remembered only in specialized contexts. We hope this article can provide the recognition that Marchi deserves.

*Department of Neurosurgery and

Centro Documentazione Biomedica, Niguarda Ca’Granda Hospital, Milan, Italy

Correspondence: Giuseppe Talamonti, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Niguarda Ca’Granda Hospital, Ospedale Maggiore 3, 20162 Milan, Italy. E-mail:

Received September 13, 2012

Accepted May 22, 2013

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons