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Arpad I. Csapo PapersAdd to your cart. | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Title: Arpad I. Csapo PapersAdd to your cart.
ID: FC/FC038
Extent: 42.0 Linear Feet
expand icon Biographical/Historical Note

Arpad I. Csapo was a Hungarian-American professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in the 1960s and 1970s. He is best known for his research on the progesterone hormone in the physiology of uterine function. Csapo developed a series of experiments testing a theory that the hormone serves to block the contraction of muscles in the pregnant uterus. His work also identified that after the initial weeks of pregnancy in the human, the blocking action of the hormone progesterone shifts from the ovaries to the placenta and further proved that the placental progesterone exerts its action on the uterus through a local mechanism, thus explaining why twins can be born several weeks apart.

He was born in 1918 in Szeged, Hungary. He studied medicine at the University of Szeged and received his M.D. in 1943. Next, Csapo completed his residency at the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest. ZThe Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was a great influence on Csapo's career, leading him to become interested in laboratory science. Szent-Gyorgyi employed him in his laboratory, where he succeeded in isolating actin and myosin, proteins responsible for contractible properties of muscle. Throughout the late 1940s, Csapo served as a Mannheimer Fellow at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and completed a fellowship with the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore while lecturing in obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1956, he became an associate professor at Rockefeller University, where he later became the director of the Laboratory of the Physiology of Reproduction. In 1963, Csapo became professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University, where he remained until his death in 1981.

During his career, Csapo was a prolific writer and promoted international cooperation in uterine physiology research. He published over two hundred articles and contributed chapters to several textbooks. From the 1950s onward, Csapo participated in various projects with Brazilian and Finnish colleagues. He obtained a grant from the U.S. Department of State in 1973, which funded an Advanced Technology Fertility Training Center at Washington University that trained more than 300 physicians from 57 countries for five years. Although he became a U.S. citizen in 1953, Csapo preserved his roots in Hungary, frequently visiting his native country and inviting Hungarian researchers to St. Louis. After his death, Csapo was honored in 1983 with the Michaelis Medallion, a prestigious German prize in obstetrics.

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Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (

Preferred Citation: [Item description, Box number, Folder number], Arpad I. Csapo Papers, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.
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